Watching The Crimson Field is like Old Home Week–there are so many familiar faces. Hermione Norris, who played Ros Myers in MI5; Suranne Jones, of Scott & Bailey; and Downton Abbey’s Kevin Doyle who played Joseph Molesley, and the Dowager Countess's butler Jeremy Swift; I love it!
It must be quite a change for Doyle, who plays Lieutenant-Colonel Roland Brett in The Crimson Field, to be in a series where he’s giving the orders instead of taking them. In fact, the 55-year-old actor couldn’t agree more. As he said in an interview with The Radio Times, “it’s nice to have people saluting me for a change! I usually play either servants or serial killers, so to have a character with a quiet authority about him is strange. It’s taken me a while to get used to it.”
Born in the industrial northern town of Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire, Doyle is a classically trained Shakespearean actor who has been performing on stage and screen since 1982. The actor’s degree though is in history, taken through the Open University, a distance learning course of study, which Doyle embarked on after he had become an actor. He found the program’s self-paced courses of study ideally suited his life as a working actor.
“When you’re on set and you’re hanging around, you’ve got a lot of time waiting around to be called”, explained Doyle “so I found that rather than reading newspapers, I’d much rather learn something new”.
Doyle also enjoyed the challenge of using a different part of his brain “than just reading and speaking”. Having read a lot of history books, Doyle chose History as his major, and his degree work incorporated the study of the First World War through the Second World War. As you can imagine, it came in extremely useful when it came to researching for his role in The Crimson Field!
Although a long time member of The Royal Shakespeare Company, Doyle first came to the British public’s attention in the long-running television prime-time soap opera, Coronation Street. That was in 1987 and over the years he has appeared in numerous popular series, such as Midsomer Murders, Scott & Bailey, The Tudors, Dalziel & Pascoe, George Gently, Poirot, and Foyle’s War. This year Doyle also appeared in the History Channel series, AD The Bible Continues.
Doyle will be back as the hapless Molesley in Downton Abbey when it resumes at the end of this year. In the meantime, you can see him in The Crimson Field on Sunday nights at 10pm on MPT.
If you've got a favorite actor you'd like to know more about let me know, drop me a line.
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