Philip Bretherton, who plays Alistair in As Time Goes By, has certainly been keeping busy since the series ended in 2002. In fact, he went straight from ATGB to a drama called Footballer’s Wives, where he played the German manager of a British soccer team.
The Lancashire born Bretherton stayed with Footballer’s Wives for two series, before returning to his northern roots in 2005 to be in the Manchester-based soap opera Coronation Street where he played a luxury car salesman. His six or seven months on "The Street" was a lot longer than his previous two appearances in the show. The first had been in 1977 when he had one line as "man in a pub", and he was invited back again in the mid-1990s for a couple of weeks as a minor character.
Following Coronation Street, Bretherton returned to the stage where he performed in a play called Life After Scandal, a verbatim-play about so-called victims of scandal. In it he played Jonathan Aitken, a Member of Parliament who served a seventh-month prison sentence in 1999 for lying under oath in a libel action.
Bretherton first fell in love with theatre watching plays put on by his now deceased mother, who was an English high school teacher. When he attended high school, he went to an all-boys school and promptly started to take drama classes. Before being allowed to perform male roles though, he first had to prove himself by taking on an assortment of girl parts. It didn’t dissuade him from setting out on making a living as an actor, and after school he went to Manchester University where he studied English and Drama. Then it was off to London where he became a "jobbing actor", picking up whatever work he could find. In between acting jobs, Bretherton worked in offices, warehouses and kitchens; whatever he could to pay the rent.
Since then Bretherton has appeared in roles as varied as Brad in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, to Frank in Educating Rita. Other shows include Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Six Degrees of Separation, God of Carnage, As You Like It, and Blithe Spirit.
Bretherton hasn’t made a lot of films, but he can be seen in the 2013 dramatic thriller The Fifth Estate which also stars Benedict Cumberbatch.
Most recently Bretherton has become involved with a Welsh acting company, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, performing in their productions at least once a year since 2010. His most recent performance was last fall, when he starred in Somewhere in England, a new play set during World War II, about radio stars hiding out in north Wales during the London Blitz. Bretherton played comedian Tommy Handley.
If you’d like to know what one of our favorite actors is up to lately, drop me a line.
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