Ricky Tomlinson PodcastEarly lifeTomlinson was born Eric Tomlinson in Blackpool and has lived in Liverpool most of his life.Before turning to acting, he worked as a building site plasterer for many years, becoming involved in trade union politics and activism. In 1972 he joined the flying pickets in a building workers dispute in Shrewsbury. He was sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of 'conspiracy to intimidate' as one of the so-called Shrewsbury Two, and in 1975 disrupted the TUC conference by shouting from the wings after he had been prevented from speaking from the stage. It was revealed in 2002 that he had been monitored in the 1970s by MI5.In his 2003 autobiography he revealed that between 1968 and 1972, prior to his involvement with trade union politics, he was a member of the National Front, which he now bitterly regrets and puts down to being "politically naive and poorly educated".Television careerAs an actor he has found considerable success, appearing as Bobby Grant in the soap opera Brookside, as DCI Charlie Wise in Cracker (UK TV series) and as Jim Royle in the sitcom The Royle Family.In 2002 Tomlinson starred in the BBC TV Series Nice Guy Eddie playing a Liverpool private investigator. Using down-to-earth cases - actually based upon real life cases by Liverpool private investigator Tony Smith - the show also starred Tom Ellis and John Henshaw.He has also starred in several films, notably Mike Bassett: England Manager, Raining Stones and Hillsborough, a made-for-TV film about the families' of the victims of the Hillsborough stadium disaster.Tomlinson has fronted a series of commercials for privatised former nationalised utility British Gas. In 2003 he published an autobiography, entitled Ricky.Tomlinson is also a keen banjo player, and has played the instrument in many episodes of The Royle Family. In 2001 he teamed up with fellow Brookside actor, Michael Starke and other friends for his own rendition of well-known folk songs including It's A Long Way To Tipperary and a cover of The Pogues' Are You Lookin' At Me?. A CD album entitled Music My Arse was released the same year. He released a single at Christmas 2006 entitled Christmas My Arse which reached #25 in the UK Singles Chart.On 19 June 2006 Tomlinson made his debut as the guest celebrity in Dictionary Corner on the popular and long-running UK Channel 4 game show Countdown.In the summer of 2006, Tomlinson toured at theatres across the UK with his show An Evening with Ricky Tomlinson where he was interviewed about his life by Elton Welsby.In December 2006 he presented a programme in Five's Disappearing Britain series entitled When Coal was King, in which he made controversial comments about Margaret Thatcher's potential death.In March 2007, Tomlinson presented BBC's One Life: Guilty My Arse, detailing his version of the Shrewsbury Two case, in which he compared his political activism as a trade unionist to the work of the suffragettes.
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Interviews by Vince
An Interview with Ricky TomlinsonVince Tracy interviews Ricky Tomlinson. To listen to this interview click the link below, to download and play later RIGHT CLICK and choose “Save target as...” Ricky Tomlinson Podcast