Where: Media Factory – The Media Innovation Centre
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John Thomson, actor and animation voice artist, will discuss his journey to success and talk about voice acting techniques as well as tips for animation directors when directing voice artists John Thomson met Steve Coogan at University who secured him a job on Spitting Image. They would continue to collaborate on such programmes as The Dead Good Show, a 1993 Granada TV pilot also starring Caroline Aherne, Coogan’s Run, the Paul and Pauline Calf video diaries (where he played ‘Fat Bob’) and Knowing Me, Knowing You… with Alan Partridge, which he also contributed to writing. He also appeared in Coogan’s live shows as compère Bernard Righton and the two would be reunited in the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People. The two won the Perrier Comedy Award in 1992 for their act at the Edinburgh Fringe. Thomson also played supporting roles in the first series of the Stewart Lee and Richard Herring vehicle, Fist of Fun.
In 1994 Thomson appeared in the BBC sketch series The Fast Show, remaining with it until it ended in 2001. Thomson played memorable characters such as Chip Cobb, the deaf stuntman, and Roger the Nouveau football fan, but it is as “Jazz Club” host Louis Balfour that he is most remembered, with the catchphrase, “Nice!” He also appeared in The Fast Show Live and the spin-off Ted & Ralph. In 1996 he appeared opposite Maureen Lipman as Bob Acres in The Rivals at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. He made guest appearances on various series such as Soldier Soldier and Men Behaving Badly in the 1990s before being cast as Pete Gifford in the ITV comedy drama Cold Feet. Thomson was known to the producers, who had previously cast him in a one-off drama called The Perfect Match. A series was commissioned that ran until 2003 and earned him a nomination for Best TV Comedy Actor at the British Comedy Awards 2001.
Granada Television filmed a comedy drama called Stan the Man in 2002 in which Thomson starred as Stanley Tully a would-be entrepreneur. Some of the filming was done in south Manchester suburbs. After Cold Feet wrapped, Thomson appeared in the Royal Exchange’s production of Hobson’s Choice (helped by his acclaimed performance in The Rivals). The Independent described his performance as Willie as “an extremely well-judged performance. With the slightest physical gesture and merest facial expression he conveys disbelief, reluctance, panic and finally acceptance of his fate at the hands of manipulative Maggie”. His performance led to a Manchester Evening News Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. That same year he participated in the BBC series Comic Relief does Fame Academy, being the fourth “student” to be “expelled” and in 2004, he appeared in the musical drama Blackpool as Tony Corlette.
He has also lent his voice to the revived BBC children’s series Bill and Ben and Mr Windfall in Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Another television series, New Street Law, about a Manchester chambers, started in 2006. Thomson plays “lovable rogue” barrister Charlie Darling alongside co-star John Hannah. John is most well known for his portrayal of Pete in Cold Feet and you can hear his voice on many adverts and animation series.