I was brought up to believe that a good runner beats a good fighter. My Dad was a tough man in our village, he was a very good wrestler. He taught my brother and I how to look after ourselves with different moves, but only as defence. I think it is better to be loved than feared.
I have had some tough times and it is always hard in between jobs. I’m very critical of myself and I’m aware I’ve done some rubbish. But I wouldn’t deter others from trying. It’s just about ignoring the whispers telling you that you don’t belong; it’s only hard if you make it hard. Don’t think that you deserve it, earn it !
I’m one of those anglers who is living the dream. I’m able to balance my acting with this extraordinary angling journey. I’m doing stuff that most professional anglers only dream of. I never lose sight of the privilege and honour and I think that comes across.
You know, I never thought about it but I am content...if it doesn't get any better than this I'm not bothered, it can't get any better than this...and if it does it's just a bonus, you know, it really is. There's a lot of lovely folk in the world and you have to try and meet as many of them as you can, and that's what I'm trying to do now, absolutely.
The North East means a lot to me, it means roots, family, identity and belonging. The region is all about the characters and no matter where in the world I go to, I'm always driven back here. It's ironic that I had a need to leave to fulfill my dream but it has always brought me home.
I’m not comfortable in cities, I never have been. I’m a country boy from the remote parts of Britain and I just love solitude - that’s different from isolation.
Northumbrians have a sense of self-worth, identity, family and heritage and if you have all of those things it puts you at ease with who you are.
Fishing encompasses so many things that are important to me such as solitude and peace.
My Dad hated being cooped up in the house because he'd spent much of his time underground. I think that's in my DNA, making me want to do things and experience things around the world.
David Jason's timing as Del Boy was utterly beautiful. The performance was brave, confident and compelling. He was an artist. I never missed an episode of Only Fools and Horses (1981). I still watch it now on DVD. I don't think we'll ever get that kind of writing again in British comedy.
I do get recognized in the States, but it's usually a look, like, 'Do you owe me money?' The other thing is they ask if they've seen me somewhere. I start to reel off my CV, and they go, 'Oh, I'm sorry, I was thinking of someone else.'
Maybe my physical ability is now limited in certain aspects of the job. In other aspects, age makes you a better actor. Honestly, I'm just happy when my phone rings and people want to talk about my career. I'm one of the lucky few in this country, and I never lose sight of the honor or the privilege this career has given me.
Give me the boy of 7 and I'll give you the man. The kind of joy and perpetual inquisitiveness that I had then in me remains. Though I remember being a boy at 7 and looking at someone who was 50 and thinking, 'How are you still alive ?'
I occupy my mind and, for me, an occupied mind is a happy one.
The harder I work, the luckier I get.
Acting as a job wasn't even a dream where I come from.
Find a job you love and you never have to work again in your life.
What I always try to do, as an actor, is to make people care for the characters, about what they do and identify with the situation.
I know I'm very lucky to be in this position, but I've worked hard to get here. Nothing makes me happier than getting stuck into a new project. It's the ultimate buzz.
North is the greatest place on earth.
The North East runs through my veins like the River Tyne itself.
The North East is my sense of self, identity, family and belonging. That’s why I love this place. It’s who I am.
I’m just like the salmon that travels vast distances but returns to the very spot where it was born.
For me the real critics are my dad and the friends who drink with me in the local pub.
I never feel guilty about anything, and I oppose people who try to make me feel that way.
Always turn up on time, know your lines and get to know the people you work with.
I'm a hard-working guy but there's always a portion of me smiling away and as soon as the director shouts `cut' I have a laugh.