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Cas Actor

Kwame Kwei-Armah

Plays Finlay Newton

REAL NAME : Ian Roberts ‘Once I changed my name I felt inner-peace. The angry young man just dissolved and I was able to concentrate on the future because I had a clear understanding of the past.’

DATE OF BIRTH : 24th March 1967

HOME TOWN : Tottenham, London.

FAMILY : Mother, Theresa and father, Eric – a welder. Brother, Terry and younger sister, Ann-Marie.

PARTNER : Girlfriend, Michelle

CHILDREN : Three children from previous marriage to Fyna Dowe, twins Oni and Kofi, and Kwame ‘I just love playing with them.’

SCHOOL : Barbara Speake stage school

ON CHARACTER FINLAY : ‘He’s really professional, but he’s also able to see the funny side of his job.’

ON SIMILARITIES WITH FINLAY : ‘An enjoyment of life. He loves life and tries to live it to the full, while still having fun – and I do too.’

DESCRIBE FINLAY IN LESS THAN FIVE WORDS : ‘Fun but serious when it comes to work.’

ON FINLAY’S BEST & WORST TRAITS : ‘He is very professional and cares passionately about his job. He also has a very hot temper and sometimes says things without thinking them through. This can get him into trouble!’

ON FAN MAIL : ‘I got a letter that was like a questionnaire -and I had to tick all these boxes. The woman wanted to know things like my favourite colour of underpants. I was slightly scared, but I filled it out anyway because I was so grateful to get some mail.’

REAL LIFE CASUALTY EXPERIENCES : ‘Soon after starting on CASUALTY, I saw a road accident in which a woman’s foot was run over. I stopped to help and gave her first aid until the ambulance arrives. But I also had to calm down the driver, who wanted to fight this poor woman because he claimed she had just stepped out infront of him.’

TO WHICH COLLEAGUE FINLAY WOULD GIVE KISS OF LIFE TO : ‘I think it may be Comfort because she is strong and sensual in her strength. They are very supportive of eachother and also have a mutual respect.’

FAVE WOMEN : Lisa Nicole Carson (Renee in Ally McBeal), Angela Griffin

FAVE FOOD & MUSIC : ‘Rice, peas and jerk chicken – I cook it myself too. Music? I like all things soulful.’

HEALTH ADVICE HE IGNORES : ‘I did develop what I call telly-belly, eating too much Casualty catering. I also love all butter shortcake biscuits, even though eating one means 120 calories – half an hour on the exercise bike!’

HOW HE KEEPS IN SHAPE : ‘I am back on track now, going to the gym four or five times a week. I can already feel the difference, I am getting my stamina back.’

MUSICAL CAREER : Kwame released a self titled album ‘Kwame’ in November 2003.

PREVIOUS CASUALTY APPEARANCE : Kwame has appeared in CASUALTY before his role as Finlay. In S9 E7, he played Lloyd Wincott. [More Info]

HOLBY CITY APPEARANCE : Kwame plays Finlay Newton in S2 E10 ‘Staying Out’; S2 E13 ‘Letting Go (Part One)’; S3 E10 ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart’; S3 E29 ‘Hearts and Flowers’

TELEVISION CREDITS : Grange Hill; The Latchkey Children; Escape from Kampala; The Bill; Between the Lines; The Knock; An Unsuitable Job for a Woman; Casualty; Holby City; Der Clown; Celebrity Fame Academy – The Afternoon Play; Sons, Daughters and Lovers; Lewis; Horne & Corden; Survival; On Tour With the Queen; Skins

FILM CREDITS : Cutthroat Island; Mio West II; Fade to Black; I Could Never Ben Your Woman

THEATRE CREDITS : Carmen Jones; Amadeus; To Kill a Mockingbird; Tribute to the Blues Brothers; Henry IV; Blues Brothers, Soul Sisters; A Bitter Herb (both written and performed); Elmina’s Kitchen (both written and performed)

WRITING CREDITS : Blues Brothers, Soul Sisters; A Bitter Herb; Hold On; Hooked Up; Elmina’s Kitchen; Fix Up

AGENT : United Agents Ltd; 12-26 Lexington Street, London W1F 0LE,.


* Kwame completed a Masters degree in screenwriting, but insists he’ll never stop acting. ‘It can be lonely, just me and my laptop.. I also need to hear that call that says I’m ‘on’ – then I can go and play with other people!’

* Kwame came third in a Celebrity edition of Fame Academy in March 2003. ‘It’s been a fantastic experience.’ he said at the time.


Kwame currently resides in America where he works as an actor, director and writer. From 2011 – 2018, he became Artistic Director of Centre Stage in Baltimore. He is currently Artistic Director of the Young Vic in London.

Twitter : @kwamekweiarmah

Gallery : Kwame Kwei-Armah

Interviews : Kwame Kwei-Armah S18 Interview

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