Jacobi’s pain filming Last Tango


Published: Tuesday 30th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Sir Derek Jacobi has told how a recent injury made filming the new series of Last Tango In Halifax a struggle.

The 76-year-old Shakespearean actor is still recovering from a bad fall he had while on a luxury break in the Maldives with his partner, Richard Clifford.

He told Radio Times magazine: “I ruptured the quadriceps tendons on both my knees and it was terribly painful.

“Both my thighs weren’t attached to my lower legs so they had to drill through my knees and pull me together again.

“I was out of action for a long time. It was quite dramatic. There was no hospital on the island so they had to commandeer a speedboat to get me to one.”

Sir Derek said that filming the latest series of Last Tango In Halifax, in which he stars opposite Anne Reid as a couple in their 70s enjoying a romance, was sometimes painful.

“When we were doing Tango I couldn’t sit down or get up from a chair,” the I, Claudius star said.

“You will see me go to sit in a chair, but then they cut … it became quite funny. I was laughing then yowling.”

The actor, who has vowed not to retire, added: “It’s been just over nine months since the operation, and I’m bending and I’m walking, but I’m not back to normal yet because my knees hurt going up and down the stairs.

“It is a bit painful and I won’t be going back there (on holiday) in a hurry.”

The veteran stage and screen star also told the magazine that he will not watch himself on TV.

“I didn’t see Claudius till about 10 years after we’d done it. I hate the way I look and what I’m doing. I won’t watch Tango till we’ve finished it. I will watch it one day – probably in my extreme old age when I can’t move or speak,” he said.

He said of the unlikely BBC1 hit: “The great thing about Tango is that it’s not just two people in their 70s meeting up again – it’s two people in their 70s in a lovely and sexual relationship, really getting on in there.

“And nobody kind of turned a hair. It proved that old people can be as attractive and exciting and fun to be with as the kids.”

He said Vicious – the ITV drama in which he and Sir Ian McKellen play an elderly gay couple – showed that society had come “a long way from when I was young and things were very bad indeed for gay people”.

“I mean, Vicious is a bit of a Marmite sitcom – you love it or you loathe it. But enough people love it,” he added.

Published: Tuesday 30th December 2014 by The News Editor

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