appearances the previous year. Savident said that he based the character on people he knew who really spoke like Fred Elliott. "It was all to do with the Industrial Revolution and the Lancashire mills, where people repeated themselves because of the noise of the looms. I started to put it into Fredís speech and people would say: ĎAre you allowed to do that?í But I say bugger that! We had all these writers who wrote in the wrong accent!" In 1999 he won a British Soap award for Best Comedy Performance.
Savident made his TV debut in 1968, and has credits in some well known series. These include an episode of The Avengers (1969); Callan (1969); an episode of Two in Clover (1970); 4 episodes of A Family At War (1970-72); 4 episodes of Yes Minister
John Savident is a top-class stage actor, with many plays to his name. At the National Theatre, he has been in The Beggar's Opera, Animal Farm and Coriolanus; at the Old Vic he appeared in Ivanov and Twelth Night. He has also been in productions at the Mermaid Theatre, Wyndham's Theatre (where he co-starred with Richard Harris in Pirandello's Henry IV) as well as appearances at many other provincial theatres.
He was an enthusiastic amateur as far as theatre was concerned but later left the police force to work at it full time. In 1962 he toured in a production of the musical The Student Prince. As a young man, he had a good singing voice and later appeared in many more 'musicals'.
I met John Savident at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham in February 2008. It was my birthday, and I had been to the theatre to see him in Hobson's Choice, a play that is now about a hundred years old but still very funny. His character was just like the one he played in Coronation Street!!
John Savident was born in 1938 in Guernsey, Channel Islands. His mother was Swiss. He grew up in Manchester and was a young police officer for six years, working alongside PC John Stalker who later became the Deputy Chief Constable of Manchester Police.
In 2007, Savident took on another role, virtually identical to Fred Elliott, in the Chichester Festival Theatre's production of Harold Brighouse's comedy Hobson's Choice. The play is set in Salford, Greater Manchester in the 1880s and was given its first performance in 1916. Savident plays argumentative and overbearing Henry Hobson, a bootmaker with three increasingly rebellious daughters who eventually contrive, through marriage, to break free of their domineering father.
Fred Elliott was involved in many storylines, but he was eventually 'killed off' with a heart attack on his wedding day in 2006. His last words to his friend Audrey Roberts before he collapsed were, "Be happy. I say, be happy."
On the big screen, John Savident's appearances heve been in minor roles, although he shared an uncredited scene with Laurence Olivier in Battle Of Britain (1969). He can also be spotted as a conspirator in A Clockwork Orange (1971); as the mine manager in Ghandi (1982);
He has even played at Windsor Castle in a private performance of the Lloyd Webber/ Tim Rice musical Cricket, for the Queen and other members of the Royal family. He was also in the original cast of another Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical The Phantom of the Opera.
He signed my programme, and also a photograph of him as Henry Hobson. I then had my photograph taken with him.
in which he plays Sir Frederick 'Jumbo' Stewart; Private Schulz (1981) one of Savident's favourite series in which he appears as Globke; The Doctor Who series, The Visitation (1982); and as the rascally Sir John Raffles in the TV mini-series Middlemarch (1994).
(1988) and as Dr Meredith in Remains of the Day (1993).
as Tite Barnacle in Little Dorrit
Savident shot to fame as the belligerent Lancashire butcher Fred Elliott in TV's Coronation Street, when he became a cast regular in 1995, although he had made brief
Savident became so disillusioned at the way the series was being produced, with emphasis on quantity
rather than quality, that he asked to be written out.
Ian Richardson & John Savident in
as Sir Frederick 'Jumbo' Stewart
Carolyn Backhouse & John Savident in Hobson's Choice
John Savident in Hobson's Choice
John Savident in The Saint (1968)
John Savident in Two in Clover
Seven Deadly Sins
John Savident & Lee Montague in
John Savident in Yes Minister
Sue Nicholls (Audrey) & John Savident in
John Savident signed my Hobson's Choice programme
John Savident signed my photo of him as Henry Hobson
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