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Brian Blessed relives his life on stage

PUBLISHED: 16:21 08 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:21 08 March 2019

Larger than life

Larger than life

Archant

He’s done it all. Acted in movies, television, adverts. Adventurer and explorer, climbing the world’s tallest peaks, and only just failing to make the summit of Everest three times, the oldest to ever do so. He walked to the magnetic North Pole.

A lover of astronomy who almost cried on television when NASA probe Cassini finally died.

He has been in a plane crash and almost died on stage.

There was even that time he worked as a plasterer and undertaker and was the house breadwinner at 14 when his miner dad was almost killed in a roof fall.

He is a truly big man, and his persona is always described as larger than life.

A conservationist and even a cosmonaut having finished 800 hours training in Russia.

His screen resume is an almost endless list of classics – Flash Gordon, Black Adder, I Claudius, Z Cars and so on. And of course, he’s an OBE.

And now an audience at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre can get to know Brian Blessed a little better as he takes to the stage to relay his life’s highs and lows.

He told us: “Everything is going marvellously, I love doing a one-man show.

“As for my life, I have just started. I have had some extraordinary years and I am getting more work now than ever before.

“I run seven miles a day and can lift up to 300lbs bench-press as I have always had this huge strength, so I train every day.

“But it is not out of vanity, it is so I can go on my expeditions.

“Fifty per cent of my life is acting and the rest is exploration.”

He hates the idea of age, and added: “I am feeling more and more adventurous.

“The greatest danger in life for me is not taking the adventure. I find life is divine.

“On our way to the North Pole by foot, which took four or five months, the ice broke in front of me and a great Typhoon submarine came through it.

“The captain got out, took a look at me and said ‘ohh, it’s him. Please say Gordon’s alive’.”

It was a reference to his iconic line in the cult movie.

Brian said: “Everywhere I go, people say ‘Please say Gordon’s alive’.

“I have finished space training as I have this ability to go high without oxygen to aid the Martian programme.

“I don’t embrace being over-busy, I do love peace but I do like to write my own scripts in life and do the things I like to do.

“I do believe in life. My main message from myself is that nature doesn’t cheat. There is no one like you. We have all got something that no one else has got and you have got to give it a chance and bring it out and don’t let the bastards grind you down.”

To reflect his incredible range, he told us: “I am Grumpy Rabbit in Peppa Pig.”

There is even an episode called Grumpy Rabbit in Space.

Brian said: “Peppa Pig is enormous and they are going to make a film of it – I am going to be Grumpy Rabbit. I was at the O2 the other day and people called out for me to do Gordon’s Alive and there was an even bigger cheer for Grumpy Rabbit.”

Conservation is another major love. He said: “I am president of the national parks.

“On the news the other day, we were told in 200 years all the insects will be gone and we will be in real trouble. But we will win out – I have brought in hundreds of butterfly farms on the south downs. I do an awful lot of that.

“I have never had any low points.

The high point was going to the top of Everest without oxygen.”

An Evening with Brian Blessed is at the Churchill on April 1.

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