Waiting for God's Daniel Hill

Tea Time Tidbit for the week of January 15, 2018

One of my favorite characters in Waiting for God is the retirement home manager, Harvey Bains, played by Daniel Hill.

Tea Time Tidbit

Daniel Hill

Although 61-year-old Hill has never had his own series and tends to play supporting roles, he’s rarely been out of work. Some of the series you may have noticed him in include Midsomer Murders and Foyle's War. Hill was also in a couple of episodes of one of Britain’s most popular comedy series, Only Fools and Horses, the star of which was David Jason, who plays Granville in Open All Hours and which also featured Roger Lloyd-Pack from The Vicar of Dibley and Nicholas Lyndhurst from After You’ve Gone. (One does sometimes have to wonder if there are a limited number of actors in the U.K. who go from show to show!)

Before Waiting for God, Hill had also worked several times with Stephanie Cole, who plays Diana Trent in the series, including in the Japanese prisoner of war series, Tenko, which much to Hill’s delight was filmed in Singapore. Hill and Cole are also alumni of the same theatre school – the Bristol Old Vic – although Hill, who was born in Bristol attended almost two decades after Cole.

Tea Time Tidbit

As Harvey Bains

When originally cast as Harvey Bains, the character was described to Hill as being “sad, short and bald”! Hill felt that really wasn’t him, and so he was told Bains could be whatever Hill wanted him to be – to which Hill promptly asked if the character could wear Armani shoes!

In 2010 Hill appeared in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. It had long been Hill’s hope to be in a Harry Potter film and for a long while he’d badgered his friend co-producer David Barron to find him a part. When he eventually did, Hill had a conflict and had to turn it down. Eventually Hill received word that J.K. Rowling was allowing the producers to create three new roles, one of which was the "Bushy Haired Muttering Wizard". It was a small role, but according to Hill had “the longest credit in Harry Potter History”! According to his producer friend, Hill was ideal for the role, given the fact that he had bushy hair and was always muttering!

Tea Time Tidbit

Hill in Doctor Who: Shade with Lalla Ward
and Tom Baker as the Doctor

At the end of last year, Hill found himself back on the big screen in Doctor Who: Shada. The film was an update of a six-part Doctor Who series, Hill had appeared in 38 years previously as the Doctor’s assistant, Chris Parsons. Unfortunately, before the last episode of the serialized story could be made, there was a strike at the BBC. Filming was halted, so the episodes never aired. Last year, the BBC animated the missing segments using the original cast to record the dialogue and finally Hill was able to prove to his three kids that he had been in Doctor Who!

Although it may never have aired when it was first filmed in 1974, Shada proved fortuitous to Hill in that it was while working on it that he met his future wife, Olivia. The couple have now been married over 30 years and have three children, two daughters and a son.

You can see Hill weekday afternoons at 2pm in Waiting for God.

To contact Heather:
E-mail: heather@mpt.org
Address: Afternoon Tea
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117

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