BBC Radio Leicester – 13.03.2013

Emily Anderson: asked RA about what he made about all the Richard III goings on, after interviewing him about his role as Thorin Oakenshield in “The Hobbit”.

[…] I do love working from literature, I love working from history. I always enjoy playing someone who existed in real life. […]

Emily Anderson: We can’t get you onto BBC Radio Leicester without talking to you about number 1 Richard III talking of history and I am sure you have heard about the recent find in Leicester of Richard III’s bones. What do you make of all that?

It’s very exciting. […] The dig was fascinating and I sort of watched every step of the way and seeing the facial reconstruction as well was also fascinating.
But I was named after Richard. My father had a real passion for his story and I was born on the 22nd of August, which is the day that he died at the Battle of Bosworth.
[…] I remember being a little bit cross with my dad for naming me after a hunchback monster, but of course, you know, he was a Ricardian so he believed in something quite different to what Shakespeare was talking about and I have adopted that passion, I suppose.
So yeah, I am kind of interested in his life.

Emily Anderson: So it has a special significance for you and as we have heard from the originator of the search, Philippa Langley, I am sure you have heard her speaking quite fondly of Richard III, it looks like history might need to be re-written.

Well yeah. I mean, there is not an awful lot there.
Any documentation that really was around at the time of his life was either destroyed or just simply didn’t exists, so we don’t really know an awful lot about him and certainly not any psychology as to why he was perceived in the way that he was. […]
The physical thing aside, you know, with regard to the scoliosis, at the time […] the idea of somebody who is physically deformed being a malevolent person was actually quite a normal thing.

Obviously we think differently to that today.
It would be interesting to have another look at his life aside from Shakespeares fantastic villain.
But really it is almost a pantomime creation and I am interested in looking at a psychological version of that story, whereby we try to understand […] who he was and why he did the things he did.

Emily Anderson: There have been various quotes from you from other people’s suggestion that may be you’d be the perfect person to play Richard III if there were to be a screenplay or film about him.

Well, I find that very flattering.
I mean I live in a dream world of may be doing that, but I’m a little bit too tall and perhaps a little bit too old now, but I certainly like to be involved in a production, whether that’s on stage or on film I don’t know.

Emily Anderson: So you have not been approached yet?

No, I haven’t.

Emily Anderson: Philippa Langley, who was the originator of the search, has told the BBC Radio Leicester, she can’t see past you, Richard Armitage, for the role and she is writing a screenplay at the moment.

Yes. I have read her screenplay and I have been in contact with Philippa for a long time and, you know, I am so thrilled that she was able to be such an integral part of that dig and as […] a member of the Richard III Society.
So I just want to offer my congratulations to her for that success.

Emily Anderson: Have you been to Leicester yet since the find of Richard III? Because obviously we have got the dig site, we’ve got the visitors’ centre, a brand new visitors’ center opening next year. Is that may be something you could be tempted to have a look at?

Without a doubt. I mean, it’s definitely on my list of things to do.
I think it is a real privilege for Leicester to have that find.
I suppose the idea of a re-burial is now on everyone’s lips of where his remains should end.

Emily Anderson: Can I ask you your opinion?

I think, he should probably stay where he was found.

Emily Anderson: In Leicester.

Yeah, I do.

Emily Anderson: So next year, when the re-internment happens, maybe we could see you in Leicester to come along and have a look for yourself?

For sure. Without a doubt.

Emily Anderson: Thank you very much for talking to me today, Richard. And if you ever are in Leicester, feel free to pop in to see us, because if you believe it or not, we are right next door to where Richard III’s remains were found.

I will do, I certainly will.

Emily Anderson: So come in and see us.

I will. Thank you. Bye bye.

Dave Andrews (10.03.2013): You heard him. We might expect him here now definitely.

Too old, too tall?
One can do marvelous things these days, can’t they, when doing film. I don’t think the age bit.
He looks pretty good for his age and as Philippa Langley who wrote the screenplay or has written the screenplay already, pointed out, you know, in those days back, in Richard III’s day, they didn’t have the moisturizers and all the creams and that sort of things. They probably would have looked older than he actually was.
Anyway, I think he still would be great in that particular part.

Transcript and audio-file of the interview version 10.03.2013 on BBC Radio Leicester (
Audio file for the interview version of 13.03.2013 (

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