Durham graduate in TV football debut
(30 September 2005)
Footballer Jeremy Hands, a Durham University graduate, has made his debut as a character in ITV’s new comedy series Mike Bassett: Manager.
The articulate, good-looking, Guardian-reading, intelligent and analytical tactician, played by actor David Gyasi, provides comic contrast with the tough-talking, badly-dressed, old-fashioned manager with a disastrous record at umpteen clubs played by Ricky Tomlinson.
Their careers merge at the lowly Wirral County football club whose sponsor is a waste company and where the mascot is a walking wheelie-bin.
Jeremy is the latest Durham graduate to feature in a TV or radio series. Back in the 1990s, ITV also had Prunella Scales in the Carla Lane comedy Searching. She played Mrs Tilston, the doughty director of a psychological therapy centre, who displayed her Durham University degree certificate (specially supplied by the University) on the wall of her office. And in Radio 4’s long-running favourite, The Archers, Durham alumnus Mark Hebden was the first husband of Shula Archer until his tragic death in a road accident.
Durham graduates also turn up in literature. Among them are a group of women friends in Act of Oblivion by the popular North East novelist Denise Robertson. She set much of the action in Durham where the friends meet up again some years after their student days at St Mary’s College.
- Mike Bassett: Manager - Thursdays 10pm ITV
- See also: www.itv.com