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Archers star Bentinck happy not to have to deal with Brexit for real

The actor played the prime minister in a stage play performed at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Timothy Bentinck
Timothy Bentinck

Star of The Archers Timothy Bentinck has said he is relieved he is not a politician after playing the prime minister in a play about Brexit.

Any government or political party would be “caught between a rock and a hard place”, he added.

Bentinck spoke to reporters at Buckingham Palace after he received an MBE for his services to drama.

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Timother Bentinck is made an MBE by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Brexit, a stage play written by Robert Khan and Tom Salinsky, played at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Bentinck, 65, said: “Thank goodness I’m not actually the real prime minister. Just playing the part of it, I’m so glad I’m not a politician.

“The play was written a year and a half ago and we haven’t had to change any of the words because nothing has changed.

“We were coming into work and reading headlines which were literally direct quotes from a play written a year and a half ago.”

Bentinck plays the successor to Theresa May, who is called Matron in the play.

“You could see it coming and it’s just crazy, what’s going on,” he added.

Bentinck is the 12th Earl of Portland, inheriting the earldom after his father’s death in 1997.

The actor is best known for his role of David Archer in the BBC Radio 4 drama, which he has played since 1982.

He was presented with the honour by the Prince of Wales at a ceremony on Thursday, having previously met Charles at The Archers’ 50th anniversary.

He said: “(The Prince of Wales) said that Camilla would be very chuffed because she’s a great Archers fan.

“She came up to Birmingham and was in an episode with The Archers. She sent me a very nice card when I got the honour saying congratulations.”

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Camilla meets stars of The Archers (Arthur Edwards/The Sun)

Bentinck was joined at the ceremony by wife Judy and sons Will and Jaspar.

He said his wife, a bespoke milliner, was “chuffed” to be at the palace, as she had made hats for previous investiture ceremonies.

Asked about receiving the honour, he said: “From the day that I heard about this, I kept thinking, ‘why me?’, because all I’ve ever done is try and make a living.

“To have something serious where someone has actually said ‘well done’, it’s nice. I still feel completely undeserving of it, I feel a fraud, but it’s nice.

“People kept saying to me, ‘are you nervous about going to the palace’, and I thought, well, no, I’m an actor. Being scared stiff is part of the job.”

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