Unlikely Hero of the Week – John Dagleish

Chances are you just said “Who?”  And if you just said that, boy are you missing out!

John Dagleish is a brilliant young British actor.  I’ve seen him in exactly two things: Lark Rise to Candleford and Beaver Falls.  They are each British TV series.  And believe me, two more completely opposite shows have never existed.  But what makes each of them so wonderful?  Yep, you guessed it, John Dagleish.

I first saw John in Lark Rise to CandlefordLark Rise is a light period drama that explores life in rural Oxfordshire in the late-ish 19th century.  It is all about family values and lessons, simple lives and idyllic settings.  It’s exactly the sort of thing I love.

John plays Alf Arliss, a young man with a quick smile and a jovial attitude.  He’s not sophisticated or intellectual (like the kind of guys I usually go for) but he is thoughtful.  Throughout the 4 seasons of the show he goes through a lot of changes, learns a lot about life, and becomes an upstanding man.  Oh, and he sings!

Barry from Beaver Falls, on the other hand, is a grown up boy who may very well end up being an overgrown child forever.

Beaver Falls is low comedy.  It is crude, juvenile humor.  It is full of wanking jokes, fat jokes, pot jokes, and boob jokes.  It is chocked full of overblown stereotypes and cliché situations.  It is everything that a teenage boy would love.  I can’t stand this type of humor … usually.

I started watching Beaver Falls because John Dagleish was in it.  Dear Lord, I am embarrassed to say that I laughed SO hard at it.  On paper I should despise a show like this, but I roared with laughter and blushed with shame as I watched it.  Maybe it’s the way the British pull off stupid humor with so much more finesse than Americans can.  All I know is that I can’t wait for the second season to air this summer.

So yeah, on the one hand we have an upstanding young rural man trying to do the best for his family, and on the other we have a clueless stoner trying to score with a girl way above his league.  This is what I love about British actors.  Versatility!

I do know that John was classically trained in drama school.  Another big plus in my book.  He is at the beginning of his career as well.  I look forward to seeing more from him.

And look at those eyes!  Such lovely puppy-dog eyes.  In real life he’s probably just a dude like any other dude his age.  He doesn’t exactly have the svelte physique of a lot of the other cookie-cutter actors of his generation.  But he’s got character out the wahzoo, and that’s what counts as far as I’m concerned.

In fact, I think I might just have to write a romance novel with my unlikely hero John as the template for the hero.  I think that smile is capable of breaking hearts.

P.S.  I found this lovely interview with John while looking for pictures to go with this post.


2 thoughts on “Unlikely Hero of the Week – John Dagleish

  1. I actually haven’t watched Candleford…but just wanted to say that British actors and actresses almost all can sing and dance as well as act their socks off! They are cross trained from day one. I’m always amazed at it! Ever hear Dame Judi Dench sing Send in the Clowns? Seeing Daniel Radcliffe in How to Succeed in Business was an eye opener! (I only saw a clip on you tube, but would love if the whole thing would come out on DVD as I was a huge fan of the original) I think they are so much more versatile than their usual American counterparts, I admit there are exceptions to that, don’t want to seem one sided here! Another thing I like about British entertainers, they aren’t plastic good looking like most Hollywood stars. They look real for the most part. We have out big hair, implant, make up laden people too, but the very cream of the crop are usually quite down to earth and natural. I always thought that even when I was watching British programs on PBS in the states!
    Seeing his pics, I can see the charm of Mr. Dagleish! I’m sure he will go far! And if you want to see some other funny, silly programs I recommend the first couple seasons of Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. I haven’t seen the later series so can’t vouch for them, but if they ever come up cheap on Amazon, I just might have a look!

  2. Take a look at virtually any theatre program in the US and you’ll see that American actors are also “cross-trained” as you put it. The Brits aren’t really doing something terribly different. Our American schools are perhaps larger and it may be a bit harder for young actors to get as much stage time since departments can bigger and very competitive. That said, I love John Dagliesh, too, based on seeing him in Lark Rise to Candelford and have researched him because I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of him. A real talent and certainly not just another pretty face.

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