Paul Darrow

Paul Darrow


5/2/1941, Chessington, Surrey, England

Birth Name

Paul Birkby


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Paul Darrow was educated at Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School in Hertfordshire before studying drama at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and has appeared with most of the leading regional companies, most notably the Bristol Old Vic, Britain's oldest working theatre.

Darrow started his television career in…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Paul appeared in the 2006 BBC documentary The Cult of Blake's 7.

    • Paul starred as Elvis Presley in the West End stage musical "Are You Lonesome Tonight?".

    • Paul's father was a pharmacist.

    • The name of Paul's father was Ernest Valentine Birkby, his mother's name was Gwen Thomas.

    • Paul is 5' 11" (1.80 m) tall.

    • Paul has brown eyes and originally had brown hair, which is now greyish blonde.

    • Paul originally auditioned for the part of "Blake" in the science-fiction series Blake's 7, and was later recommended for the role of "Avon" by Vere Lorrimer.

    • Paul's favourite music artists include Elvis, Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan.

    • Paul had to learn to play golf for the part of a professional golfer in a TV programme. He still plays the sport occasionally, mainly for the children's charity called SPARKS (Sports Aiding Medical Research for Kids).

    • Before Blake's 7, Paul and Stephen Greif co-starred in the TV drama "The Stinie Morrison Case".

    • Paul's real surname is Birkby. When an agent advised him to change it to a more easily recognisable and pronounceable one, his father suggested the name Darrow, after the American attorney Clarence Darrow.

    • Paul is an only child.

    • Paul got his first cigarette from his uncle. He was five.

    • Paul did the narration for the Sky TV documentaries "Killer Whales" and "Killer Squid", and appeared in Channel 4's "Secret History 2002" documentary "Witchfinder Generals".

    • Paul admitted in a 2004 BBC interview that he was hooked on the British drama soap "Footballers' Wives", and he would have liked to be in it.

    • Paul Darrow and Jacqueline Pearce, who played Servalan in Blake's 7, went to drama school together.

    • In 1995 Paul Darrow appeared with "Doctor Who" actor Sylvester McCoy in an episodes of Hollyoaks in which Paul played a judge and McCoy a barrister.

    • Paul Darrow is a keen supporter of Manchester City Football Club.

    • Colin Baker guest-starred in the Blake's 7 episode "City at the Edge of the World" in 1980. In return, five years later, Paul had his second guest appearance on Doctor Who in the story "Timelash" when Colin played the Doctor. Paul's first guest role on Doctor Who was during Jon Pertwee's era in the story "The Silurians" in 1970.

    • Paul Darrow lent his voice to several video games, including:
      "MediEvil" (Zarok), 1998,
      "Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising" (Walker), 2001,
      "Primal" (Ferai Shaman, The Watcher), 2003,
      "Star Wars: Empire at War" (Grand Moff Tarkin), 2006

    • Paul made a cameo appearance as James Bond's doctor in the 2002 motion picture "Die Another Day", but he was cut from the final film.

    • In an Interview by Karen Davies and Paul Winter at the Cult TV festival in October 2003, Paul revealed that he wasn't really interested in science fiction until he met Isaac Asimov. Reading one of his books sparked his interest in the genre.

    • Paul Darrow was a close friend of Terry Nation, the creator of the Daleks, and creator and writer of the Survivors and Blake's 7 science-fiction series.

    • In one of his interviews, Paul confessed that he was known as a "Kiss of Death" to a lot of actresses, since no female character he kissed in the series Blake's 7 had ever survived the episode.

    • Paul Darrow, Andrew Mark Sewell, and Simon Moorhead acquired the rights to the sci-fi series Blake's 7 from Nation's widow in 2003. The plan was to revive the show as a mini-series, starring Darrow in his original role as Avon, but due to disagreements about the direction of the show, he has since left the consortium.

    • Paul starred in 51 of 52 episodes in his role as Kerr Avon in the sci-fi series Blake's 7. He didn't appear in the first episode.

    • Paul Darrow stars as the cynical character Kaston Iago in the Magic Bullet's Kaldor City audio series.

    • Paul performed all his own stunts in the sci-fi series Blake's 7. Today he thinks he must have been mad, because a lot of them were quite dangerous.

    • Paul is well known to be accident-prone with props, especially with his guns on the set of Blake's 7. In fact, he broke so many of them, the team built a special gun with an aluminium core for him. Paul suspects that the transfer to a more solid weapon model in later seasons resulted from his accidents.

    • Paul is a huge fan of cinema. As a teenager, according to some interviews, he spend a lot of his time in the cinema, and usually stayed there until his mother phoned the usherette to send him home for tea.

    • On December 20th, 2005 Paul Darrow gave a 30 minute video interview, in which he talks about his role as Kerr Avon, the character he played in the British science fiction series Blake's 7 twenty-five years ago. The footage, entitled Forever Avon, was recorded at the London Science Museum, and is included in the Blake's 7 season 4 DVD box set.

    • Playing Kerr Avon in the series Blake's 7, he shot dead the character Klyn in the final episode of the show. She was played by his wife Janet Lees-Price.

    • Paul Darrow has published three books up to now (2006):
      Avon: A Terrible Aspect (1995)
      The Novel of Queen: The Eye (1997)
      You're Him, Aren't You?: An Autobiography (2006)

  • Quotes

    • (about Terry Nation and his creation Blake's 7):
      Paul Darrow: Babylon 5, Farscape and any number of other TV series, whether set in the future or not, owe a little to his inspiration. Actually, I'd say they owe Terry a lot.

    • (In a web chat on 29th November, 1999, on the question which character aspects he enjoyed developing most in Avon):
      Paul Darrow: His honesty, his self-interest, his ruthlessness, his singlemindedness, his ability to survive in a hostile environment.

    • (In a web chat on 29th November, 1999, on the question if there is or was anything of Avon in him):
      Paul Darrow: Yes, quite a lot of Avon was me, because Terry gave me carte blanche to develop him as a character so I think Avon is Terry, Me, and Chris Boucher. I am now going to eat a chocolate biscuit!

    • (In his December 2005 video interview "Forever Avon", on the question about the possibility of a Blake's 7 revival)
      Paul Darrow: Well, it's been done really, hasn't it? The movie Serenity is a little bit - in fact, a lot like Blake's 7. Which is, I think was called Firefly originally, the series. Very good. Serenity is a very good picture. Yes, so I think that's your Blake's 7 of today. So I suspect that it wouldn't come back.

    • (In his December 2005 video interview "Forever Avon", on the title of his latest book "You're Him, Aren't You? - An Autobiography")
      Paul Darrow: It is called You're Him, Aren't You?, because that's what people do as you walk down the street, or going to Marks & Spencer, or whatever. They say, "Oh, you're him, aren't you". And yes, yes I am. So, I am him for all the rest of my life, and have been for the last twenty-five years since the show was on. I don't mind that.

    • (In his December 2005 video interview "Forever Avon", on his character, Avon Kerr in Blake's 7)
      Paul Darrow: A lot of people who watch the series, and I myself, would like to be like Avon in certain circumstances, because he survives.

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