Detectorists' Toby Jones, part two
Week of January 25, 2016
Toby Jones
Jones and Mackenzie Crook in Detectorists

This week we continue with a look at actor Toby Jones, who plays Lance in Detectorists, a relatively new addition to our Afternoon Tea line-up.

The series was written by Mackenzie Crook who also directed and stars in the show. He reportedly wrote the series with Jones in mind for the role of his best mate and fellow metal detecting enthusiast. Crook pitched the idea to Jones back in 2013 when they were both working on the Muppets Most Wanted film. Although they’d appeared in the same films several times, the Muppets film was the first time they’d actually been in a scene together. Jones accepted the part, because as he said in an interview with The Independent, the script made him “laugh out loud”.

Toby Jones
Crook and Jones in The Muppets Most Wanted

Apart from Crook’s writing skills, another thing Jones appreciates about working with Crook is the writer/director/actor’s obsession with metal detecting. "He's genuinely nuts about metal detecting”, Jones said in his Independent interview. “After takes, I'd have to say, Mackenzie, you're directing this, you're supposed to be looking at the monitor..." Given that Jones, who turns 50 this year, grew up in an acting family, he probably knew what he was talking about.

Toby Jones
Jones' father, Freddie

Jones’ mother, Jennie Heslewood, was an actress, but she gave up acting to raise Jones and his two younger brothers, who also went into what you might call "the family business". At the age of 88, his father, Freddie Jones, continues to act. In fact, you might recognize the veteran actor from his appearances in numerous Masterpiece series, including Pennies from Heaven, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Vanity Fair, Silas Marner, and Casanova. Freddie has also appeared in several mysteries that have aired on MPT such as Midsomer Murders, Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Morse. Currently he stars in the long-running, popular British serial drama, Emmerdale Farm.

Toby Jones
The Jones family in 2009
Source: Dave Hogan/Getty Images Europe

Despite his show business upbringing, Jones seems to have had a relatively steady childhood. It was spent in Surrey and Oxfordshire, where he attended private schools. In the mid-1980s he moved to Manchester to study drama for three years and from there he went to Paris, where he trained in the art of clowning and mime at the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq.

Jones and his wife Karen, who is a defense attorney, have been together for over 25 years. They married in the summer of 2014 and live in London with their two teenage daughters.

You can see Jones every Tuesday afternoon at 1pm in Detectorists on Afternoon Tea.

To contact Heather:
Address: Afternoon Tea
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117

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Afternoon Tea is Maryland Public Television's weekday presentation of British programs.
Our host and Tea Lady is Heather Sanderson.
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