DATE OF BIRTH : 1957
BORN : Dublin, Ireland. Came to England in 1976.
LIVES : London.
WIFE : Polly
CHILDREN : One son, Waldo
HEIGHT : 5ft 11
SIMILARITIES WITH SPENCER : ‘We’re the same age and both Irish’
ON SPENCER’S BEST & WORST TRAITS : ‘He likes people and wants to help them. He doesn’t know when to stop helping them.’
ON HIS ROLE IN CASUALTY : ‘Given that this is a medical series and I’m playing a porter, I can’t expect to be doing lots of love scenes or open heart surgery, but I am pleased that I got to build some strong relationships. Ofcourse, if they ever have a storyline about really mucky floors, it’s mine!’
HIS INSPIRATION FOR SPENCER : Ben’s inspiration for Spencer came in a dramatic rescue in the late Eighties when he saved the life of an attempted suicide, ‘I saw this guy walking drunkenly down the middle of the road and then cross to a bridge. He climbed over and was standing on this tiny parapet, ready to jump. I stopped my car, ran over and grabbed him by the chest to stop him falling. Luckily someone had called the police and they soon arrived. I found out that he was an alcoholic who had left his wife and kids and just wanted to end it all, he was so desperate. When I came to play Spencer, I realised that would have been exactly the state he could have been in to. It really brought it home to me.’
WHO SPENCER WOULD GIVE THE KISS OF LIFE TO : ‘Spiller – no question; and he’d linger as well!!’
FUNNIEST MOMENTS ON SET : ‘The best fun I’ve had on Set, is making short films with Ian Kelsey (Patrick). We have a digital camcorder each and we make 2-3 min shorts which are terrific fun. Who knows what will happen to them..’
FAVE CASUALTY EPISODES : ‘I remember when Josh’s family died, but of all the years I’ve been watching Casualty I can only remember pockets of episodes. Another episode I remember was when a tanker load of acid went over on the motorway and a whole load of people melted. That was the reason why I stopped watching Casualty at tea-time.’
REAL LIFE CASUALTY EXPERIENCES : ‘I’ve been really lucky and kept out the way of hospitals.’
COMEDY HEROES : PeeWee Herman, early Woody Allen, some Jim Carey, Jack Benny, Lemon and Matthew, Dave Allen.
FAVE FOOD & MUSIC : ‘Mexican food and techno music, Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers.’
HEALTH ADVICE HE IGNORES : ‘I drive fast when I’m angry.’
HOW HE KEEPS IN SHAPE : ‘I am doing everything I can to maintain the body I have, that means beer and nothing healthy at all.’
HOW HE RELAXES : ‘I work; I really enjoy working.’
TELEVISION CREDITS : Gumtree; Jack and Jeremy’s Real Lives; Ben Keaton’s Finest Half Hour; Father Ted; Hubbub; Casualty; Doctors; TV Burp; The Bill; Double Time
FILM CREDITS : East is East; Love Bite
THEATRE CREDITS : Intimate Memoirs of a Taxidermist; Gone With the Wind 2; The Last Turkey; Prophet Bites Dog; Faraday Lecture; The Hell Guides; Ben Keaton – Live; Wolks World; Animal Crackers; Bats; American Buffallo; The Odd Couple; The Play What She Wrote; Dracula; Harvey
CABORET/ IMPROVISATION : Eddie Izzard Impro; South of the River; The Comedy Store Players
WRITING CREDITS : Hubbub; Gumtree; Little Horrors
AGENT : Waring & McKenna, 44 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7LN.
DID YOU KNOW?
* Comedy performer, Ben has won the prestigious Perrier Award for his one man show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.