Top 10... - April 17, 2016

10 Things You Didn't Know About... This Life
by James
James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

10 Things You Didn't Know About... This Life

There are few TV shows that captured the zeitgeist of the 1990s quite like This Life. Created by Amy Jenkins, the show followed the lives of five twenty-something lawyers-in-training, but as fans of the show will know, most of the drama concentrated not on their working lives, but the life outside the office in their shared house – lives that involved plenty of casual drug-taking and even more casual sex, all soundtracked by the bands of the Britpop era.

The complete box set featuring both seasons and the 10th anniversary episode arrives in stores on Monday (April 18th), so we thought we'd take a trip down memory lane and dig up some lesser-known facts about this cult TV show...


Martin Freeman made a fairly unpleasant cameo in the second series

Before the days of Sherlock, The Hobbit or even The Office, a very young Martin Freeman was making one of his earliest on-screen appearances in an episode of This Life's second series, in which he steals money from Egg and also mistakenly drinks a can filled with urine, believing it to be lager. Yuck.

 

Andrew Lincoln's father-in-law is Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson

Andrew Lincoln's wife is Gael Anderson, whose father fronted the legendary prog rock band during their 1970s heyday. (Bonus fact: one of the flower girls at their 2006 wedding was Apple Martin, daughter of Coldplay singer Chris and Gwyneth Paltrow).

 

Lincoln's real surname is 'Clutterbuck'

Born Andrew James Clutterbuck, the actor decided to use the stage name Andrew Lincoln because he though his real surname “sounded like a poor character from a Charles Dickens novel”.

 

Ricky Gervais was the show's 'music adviser'

One of the notable things about This Life was its soundtrack, which featured much of the music from the era including tracks by the likes of Supergrass, Elastica and Jamiroquai, but what you may not know is that the man making those choices was none other than Ricky Gervais. He had yet to find fame himself, but his longtime partner Jane Fallon was one of the show's producers and Gervais was enlisted to help with suggestions for the show's music.

 

Jack Davenport's first film role was in John Cleese comedy Fierce Creatures

This Life proved to be a big break for actor Jack Davenport, who played Miles in the series, and he has since gone on to star in films like Pirates of the Carribean and The Talented Mr. Ripley, but before the series his only on-screen appearance was as a zookeeper in the John Cleese-penned comedy.

 

Davenport is married to Doctor Who actress Michelle Gomez

Gomez, who plays Missy in the long-running BBC sci-fi series, married Davenport in 2000. They have a son together called Harry.

 

Jason Hughes and Michael Sheen once shared a flat, and Jason made “sex music” tapes

Anyone who followed the show will know that all the main characters shared a house in south London, but in real life Jason Hughes, who played Warren, once shared a fkat with fellow Welsh actor Michael Sheen. The pair met while working together at the National Youth Theatre of Wales and the pair ended up living together after moving to London to pursue careers in acting. In an interview with The Independent, Michael once said this about living together: “This moved us into the era of Jason's "sex-music" tapes... when a girl was visiting, he'd get a guitar out to show his sensitive side. And when he put the seduction-music tape on – there was some Joni Mitchell in there – we'd know he had scored.”

 

Ramon Tikaram, the actor who played Ferdy, is the older brother of singer-songwriter Tanita Tikaram

Remember her?

 

Andrew Lincoln's first on-screen appearance was in an episode of Drop the Dead Donkey

He's an A-lister these days thanks to his role in The Walking Dead, but Lincoln got his first TV role in the cult sitcom Drop the Dead Donkey, playing a small part in a 1994 episode called 'Births and Deaths'.


Two of the show's main actors appeared in an Elton John music video

Because Elton John was such a fan of the show, particularly its down-to-earth depiction of homosexual relationships, he invited actors Luisa Bradshaw-White and Ramon Tikaram to take part in the video for 'Something About The Way You Look Tonight' – see if you can spot them below:

This Life: The Complete Collection
This Life: The Complete Collection Jack Davenport

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