John Gibson: What about Reuben, Mr Conti?

Donovan, Episode Two, Sunday 17 July 2005'In the second episode Donovan (TOM CONTI) and his team are investigating the death of Stephen Parker a successful businessman, who was found dead at his home. Donovan becomes increasingly intrigued by the dysfunctional relationship between Stephen s wife Sally Parker played by (CLAIRE KING) and their son Rob played by (JOE VAN MOYLAND). 'This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV. Once made available by ITV Plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the TX date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full terms and conditions of use available at www.itvpictures.com
Donovan, Episode Two, Sunday 17 July 2005'In the second episode Donovan (TOM CONTI) and his team are investigating the death of Stephen Parker a successful businessman, who was found dead at his home. Donovan becomes increasingly intrigued by the dysfunctional relationship between Stephen s wife Sally Parker played by (CLAIRE KING) and their son Rob played by (JOE VAN MOYLAND). 'This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV. Once made available by ITV Plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the TX date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full terms and conditions of use available at www.itvpictures.com
0
Have your say

It’s Tom Conti’s birthday tomorrow. He’s 70. Which reminds me of the last time we met in Edinburgh.

You can’t imagine him being anything other than a nice guy and you’d be right. Paisley-born of an Italian father and Scots mother.

He was clad in a black bomber jacket and blue denims. Was he a good Catholic? “Half-hearted, you might say. I left. My parents were not rosary swingers much.

“My father was Italian and Italians have a very realistic attitude to the Church,” says Tom, pictured above.

“I don’t like organised religion at all. Sikh, Tamil, Protestant, Catholic. . . the whole lot of them are just trouble.”

His Glaswegian wife was an actress and there’s an Edinburgh slant to how they met. “I was in a play here at the Lyceum and we met in my dressing room,’’ he recalled. “After the show, when we nipped into a cafe called the Quernstone just off Tollcross, I discovered over a cup of tea that we would be appearing together in a radio play.

“I couldn’t wait those five weeks till we met again for the play. You could say it was love at first sight. We got married the following year.

“That may seem hasty but I can assure we were canny. Call it Scots caution.”

Yes, Tom, but why can’t we see you again, Oscar-nominated, for arguably your finest performance in Reuben, Reuben? Unavailable as a DVD and, strangely, never seen on television far as I know.

Neigh bother

The best-laid plan to convert my window box into a verdant oasis depended on the unwitting co-operation of the mounted constabulary.

Their nags tried their hardest. Strained almost beyond equine endurance, I’m sure, to leave their mark in my path on the pavement en route to Easter Road.

And I always thought they liked their oats.

Possibly they’d been fed the wrong mix.