Eric Tomlinson, better known as Ricky Tomlinson, actor, comedian and political activist, is 73 years old today.
What you possibly didn't know about Ricky, that he :
* was was born Eric Tomlinson in Blackpool in 1939 because his mother had been evacuated there from Liverpool which became a target after Britain declared War on Germany at the start of the Second World War 23 days before.
* has lived in Liverpool for much of his life his life where, as a qualified plasterer by trade, worked on building sites for many years.
* became actively involved in politics joining the right wing National Front in 1968 in support of less immigration and then moved to the 'left' and joined the pickets' in a building workers' dispute and in 1973 was sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of 'conspiracy to intimidate' as one of the so-called 'Shrewsbury Two'.
* after his release in 1975, disrupted the TUC Conference by shouting from the wings after he had been prevented from speaking from the stage and was monitored by the Security Agency, MI5, during the 1970s.
* in 1982 played a doctor in 'The Boys From The Blackstuff' quoting Dylan Thomas ' Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night' in a poignant scene with a dieing patient :
* found success, appearing as Bobby Grant in the soap opera, 'Brookside' from show's inception in 1982 until being written out in 1988.
* played Jim Royle in the sitcom, 'The Royle Family' with a Christmas episode with Jim and his daughter alone, upstairs where her waters have broken as she goes into labour and he talks to her movingly about the joys of parenthood and what she's meant to him over the years, before checking: "Are you sure it's not just a bloody great p*ss?'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3j82IbXebQ (can't viewed in UK)
* In 2002 starred in the BBC Series, 'Nice Guy Eddie', playing a Liverpool private investigator based on the real life cases from Liverpool private investigator, Tony Smith.
* featured heavily in series two of the series, 'Clocking Off' in a BAFTA - nominated episode written by Danny Brockelurst.
* starred in 'Hillsborough' a made-for-TV film about the families of the victims of the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster, in which he portrayed John Glover - the father of victim Ian.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ppcuhtN3Vc
* is a keen banjo and harpsichord player and played in many episodes of 'The Royle Family'.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUi7vEhN9W8&feature=related
Bryan Ferry, singer is 67 years old today. My my posting from his birthday 2 years ago :