Nigel Havers is an English actor. He played Lord Andrew Lindsay in the 1981 British film Chariots of Fire, earning a BAFTA nomination for the role and Tom Latimer in the British TV comedy series Don’t Wait Up. He portrayed the role of Lewis Archer in Coronation Street from 2009-10. He returned to the role in 2012 and left again in February 2013. He returned again on 1 June 2018.
Havers is most known for playing the quintessential, old school Englishman with his dashing good looks, cut-glass accent and thoroughly charming manner. Havers’s first acting job was in the radio series Mrs Dale’s Diary and he subsequently went on to working for The Prospect Theatre Company initially “carrying a spear and making cups of tea” as he puts it in his autobiography. After his theatre work, Havers slid into a period of acting unemployment, during which time he worked for a wine merchant. He ended this part of his career when his girlfriend, who later became his first wife, Carolyn Cox, suggested they move in together in 1974.
In 1975 Havers’s career began to pick up with an appearance in Upstairs, Downstairs, appearing in one of the series’ last episodes, Joke Over as Peter Dinmont, one of Georgina’s (Lesley-Anne Down) Roaring Twenties party friends. Dinmont is in the Rolls Royce when Georgina accidentally kills a farmer on a bicycle. Dinmont refuses to testify on Georgina’s behalf at a preliminary trial, as he was passed out drunk in the back seat and did not witness the accident.
His first film appearance was a small part in Pope Joan (1972) and he was a character in The Glittering Prizes (1976), but his first major success came with the leading role in a BBC dramatisation of Nicholas Nickleby (1977), closely followed by another BBC drama serial, A Horseman Riding By (1978). By the time he appeared in the film Chariots of Fire (1981), he had become a familiar face on British television.
Despite his work in such films as A Passage to India (1984), Empire of the Sun (1987) and Farewell to the King (1989), he never became a film star, but has continued in a succession of starring roles on television. He co-starred for several years in the 1980s BBC sitcom Don’t Wait Up (1983–90) alongside Tony Britton. He also starred in The Little Princess (1986) with Maureen Lipman, which won him a dedicated audience. He is also widely recognised in the Lloyds Bank television commercials.
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