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After so much success, you'd think Victor McGuire would sound excited.

Byline: Eileen Taylor

FOR someone who sort of drifted into acting with no great zeal, Victor McGuire has done rather well. A member of the famed cast in the BBC hit series Bread, then best friend to time traveller Nicholas Lyndhurst in another hit, Goodnight, Sweetheart, and more recently an affable landlord in Peak Practice, he is now appearing on the big screen in the newly released film Thunder Pants. Then there were the roles in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, 2Point 4Children etc etc. Follow all that with a soon to be seen BBC TV drama series with Pauline Quirke and you'd hope Victor might have something to talk about. Yet he is strangely uncommunicative. Perhaps he's shy or hates talking on the telephone but you'd think he was facing the inquisition rather than being given a chance to talk about his career, his family and life in general.

Which is a bit disappointing. As the cuddly, warm-hearted publican Shaun Carter, who didn't get the the girl in the last series of Peak Practice, he certainly won a new fan here.

True, some celebrities find interviews like having a tooth pulled - but then some days some journalists know just how a dentist feels.

YES, he went to school at Blessed Ambrose Barlow RC Comprehensive, West Derby, not far from where he grew up in Liverpool's Tuebrook district. He didn't have any career plans when he left school but went to the Everyman Youth Theatre as a new way of socialising and found he might have a talent for acting.

Is that enthusiasm I hear as he talks about the Everyman? ``Yes, I loved the Everyman. It was quite a vibrant time to be there then in the days of the McGanns, Cathy Tyson and Ian Hart.''

He obviously showed some talent for after a year in the theatre he was offered his first role for the youth theatre as a gravedigger in a Johnny Speight play called If There Weren't Any Blacks We'd Have To Invent Them.

With a title like that, it sounds intriguing but it can't have been very momentous because he can't remember what it was about now. But it convinced him that acting was the way forward - a fact that was more easily accepted by his family, he thinks, because his sister was a dancer. He also had a brother.

Enrolling at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School at 19, he was classically trained and in his final year, 1986, he won a part as Jack in the ever-popular Bread series about the Boswells, acting along side the wonderful Jean Boht and always being teased about his girlfriend over the road. Yes, it was very enjoyable. It was also fortuitous because it brought him to the attention of a Bread producer who was also involved in Goodnight, Sweetheart, in which he gained a leading role.

As he points out, a TV series like that only accounts for three to four months' work a year so there have also been stage appearances in plays such as She Stoops to Conquer and the Taming of the Shrew. And then, now and again, along comes a new series like BBC1's Being April, due to be screened this summer with Pauline Quirke, and things are suddenly looking up - especially as cinemas are currently showing Thunder Pants in which he plays the father of a boy who has two stomachs and breaks wind all the time.

``It's funny if you find breaking wind funny.'' Yes, well, I think I'll give that one a miss although the reviews have been good and it should appeal to small boys.

I much prefer the sound of Being April in which Pauline Quirke is a single mother of three children, each to different fathers, who, on reaching40, decides that each father must play more of a role in their respective offspring's lives.

Victor plays nice guy Richard, her childhood sweetheart and husband and father of her first child, from whom she has never bothered getting a divorce but who still can't get April out of his mind. Out of the three dads, he is the one who is still in love with April but apparently Richard is resigned to his love being unrequited. Yet he is a loyal husband and father, he's got money in the bank from his plumbing business and he'd be there at the drop of a hat - he's just not loved - except by the viewers of course who are bound to be rooting for Richard.

THIS would seem to set the scene for the rekindling of lost love and a romantic reunion - but, understandably this time, Victor has to keep mum about how it all develops. It sounds very promising though at a time when there is a dearth of good TV drama.

While viewers have that to look forward to, Victor is between work --and enjoying pottering round his London home, helping wife Jules with their children, Lily, two, and four-month-old Spike who was born during the making of Being April.

Is he glad he drifted to the Everyman and became an actor?

``I love working but the periods when you're not is something you have to get used to. Who knows what could be coming along next? I fancied acting and I've been lucky enough to make a living at it.''

Well, there you are - surely that's something to be cheerful about.

CAPTION(S):

LOVING FATHER: Victor's latest role sees him as a lovelorn dad who's bound to have the viewers on his side
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 10, 2002
Words:926
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