Young Ones star Nigel Planer to hold a Q&A session at Beccles Library

Nigel Planer will be holding a question and answer session and talk at Beccles Library on Wednesday.

Nigel Planer will be holding a question and answer session and talk at Beccles Library on Wednesday.Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire - Credit: PA

One of Nigel Planer's best known roles was as hippy Neil on cult television programme The Young Ones.

The Young Ones (left to right) Vyvyan played by Adrian Edmondson, Neil played by Nigel Planer, Mike

The Young Ones (left to right) Vyvyan played by Adrian Edmondson, Neil played by Nigel Planer, Mike played by Christopher Ryan and Rick played by Rik Mayall. Photo: BBC/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

And since his breakout part the actor's career has never dipped.

From starring roles in the West End, leading successful writing courses and parts in popular television series such as Boomers and Episodes, variety has literally been the spice of his life.

Now for the first time ever the 61-year-old is choosing to open up about his career and he has picked Beccles as the location.

He will be addressing an audience at Beccles Library on Wednesday after a friend from his teenage years Penny Brooke, who lives in the town, convinced him to pay a visit.


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'You could say that Beccles chose me,' he said. 'Penny is a very old friend, we used to hang around together in the 1970s in West London in a little gang, and she was very much the gang leader. She's always trying to persuade me to come to Beccles.

'I can tell people what not to expect about me. I'm not a stand-up comedian and I don't have a worked out routine. I'm not scripted so you will certainly see the real me.'

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Having just finishing starring in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the West End, Nigel has been busy writing a play, film and musical he would like to get produced.

And like his fellow Young One Ade Edmondson, a previous Celebrity Masterchef winner, he is heavily into cooking and is presently enjoying teaching himself how to cook Indian food.

'We have kept in touch and more so now. It's been a very binding experience with Rik (Mayall) dying so recently.

'Comedy is really my favourite genre. I'm ok doing drama, but I do like the fine line between that and comedy.

'I've just finished a new Jack Whitehall comedy, Cockroaches, which is post apocalyptic and going out in January. I play Stevie Giggle, who's an entertainer that's eaten his partner. It is quite extreme and very gross out. Caroline Quentin and Robert Bathurst are also in it.

'I have turned down a lot of stuff; sometimes I have regretted it, but I like to keep interested. It was quite difficult to be typecast after The Young Ones because it wasn't as if everyone was rushing to offer me sitcoms playing hippies. I think I'm quite a difficult person to cast as I don't quite fit into one category. It makes for an interesting life.'

Nigel Planer will be holding a question-and-answer session and talk at Beccles Library on Wednesday. He will also sign autographs. Doors open at 6pm for a 6.30pm start. Buy your £10 tickets from Kulture Shock in Blyburgate, Beccles Library or call 01502 714073.

• Do you have a Beccles story? Email louisa.lay@archant.co.uk

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