Ricky Tomlinson

Ricky Tomlinson


9/26/1939, Bispham, Blackpool, UK

Birth Name

Ricky Tomlinson


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Ricky Tomlinson was born September 26th 1939 in Blackpool, England. He lived in Liverpool while growing up. 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…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Ricky: (his reaction to the "Royle Family" script) Caroline Aherne wrote it and she wrote it with me in mind. She wrote it with Sue Johnson in mind. She knew exactly who she wanted. She wrote them parts for us. When I read it I thought this is either going to win all sorts of awards or we're all going to get locked up in jail for 12 months because of the language and the situation.

    • Ricky: (about his 2 years in prison) It was a big part of my life. It taught me a lot and I learnt a lot, because for the first time in my life I had two years, in which to do anything I wanted. I had time on my hands something I've never had in my life. And so I'd fill the day by counting the bricks in the walls of the cell and watching the cockroaches or the mice or whatever and than I started to write, started keeping a diary and then started listening to Classical Music and started listening to Play for Today on Radio 4. I spent months and months in solitary confinement, didn't have to go anywhere or do anything in a way that time was very, very precious. It did it changed my life.

    • Ricky: (on his tough childhood) It was tough but it was tough for everyone, so we didn't know it was tough at the time. It's only when you look back with hindsight that you think 'blimey that was tough', particularly tough for me mum and dad. Particularly my Mum she had three jobs, you know, she used to scrub floors, and work in a factory, work in a laundry and that was just to make ends meet.

    • Ricky: (on why he wrote his autobiography) The reason I wrote it, was someone else was going to write one, an unauthorized one, so I thought I'm not going to have that. There's enough lies written about me and told about me so I'll do it myself. And that's why It's pretty honest, it's warts and all.

    • Ricky: (on the basic idea of "The Royle Family") I loved that. I don't know how they sold the bloody idea to anyone, because it's so different, so unusual... It's got nothing that any other show's got and yet it's got everything they haven't got. And I particularly loved the fact that it wasn't infront of an audience. I think working in front of an audience in TV is really inhibiting. When there isn't one, if you ad lib something and it's good you can keep it, which we do all the time.

    • Ricky: (on his meeting with Robert de Niro) Actually, I did meet Robert De Niro and it was a disaster! I was at a party... and I went up to De Niro at the bar, not recognising him, and asked him if he was in the buisness! I can't remember what he said, I was probably pissed...

    • Ricky: (on critics who called "The Royle Family boring) Well, I don't think it is. It's real life, warts-and-all stuff, and sometimes when you have realistic stuff, people can't take it.

    • Ricky: (On getting the role of Jim Royle) I'd met Caroline Aherne years ago at the Royal Television Society - one of these award things. She walked past me and said "Hiya! You're gonna be my dad!" and I didn't have a clue what she meant. Then a year later I got the call. I didn't have to audition or anything.

    • Ricky: (On a memorable Liverpool game): I remember standing on the Kop, and we were playing Manchester City in the Cup. Bill Liddle shot the ball up the left wing and it went into the goal. But the whistle went as the ball was in mid-flight. We all stayed behind, thinking Liverpool had equalised, waiting for extra time, but it came over the tannoy that the game was over.

    • Ricky: I never had acting lessons so I'm still an old ham, probably playing myself most of the time.