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Russell Tovey
Born 14 November 1981 (1981-11-14) (age 28)
Essex, UK
Occupation Actor
Years active 1994–present

Russell Tovey (born 14 November 1981 in Essex[1]) is an English actor.



Tovey began his career as a child actor. Growing up in Billericay in Essex,[2] he attended Shenfield High School.

His TV career started in 1994, when he was cast in Mud, a children's series broadcast on CBBC [2]. In 2004 he originated the role of Rudge in Alan Bennett's play The History Boys at the Royal National Theatre as well as touring to Broadway, Sydney, Wellington and Hong Kong and playing the role on radio and film adaptations.[3][4][5][6]

In spring 2007, Tovey had a recurring role in BBC Three comedy Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive, playing Rob's gay producer, Ben. In the same year he made guest appearances in BBC Three comedy Gavin & Stacey playing Budgie, a friend of Gavin and Smithy's, in three episodes, and then in the Doctor Who Christmas Special "Voyage of the Damned". Russell T Davies, the show's executive producer and lead writer, had suggested Tovey as a future replacement for David Tennant,[7] before it was announced that the Eleventh Doctor would be played by Matt Smith. Tovey reprised his role as Midshipman Alonso Frame in the 2009/2010 Doctor Who Christmas special, The End of Time.

Tovey plays werewolf George Sands, one of three supernatural housemates in the comedy drama Being Human. The pilot premièred on BBC Three on 18 February 2008.[8] A six-part series was commissioned with the first episode broadcast on 25 January 2009.[9]

In March 2009, the actor played a leading role in A Miracle at the Royal Court Theatre as Gary Trudgill, a British soldier returning to Norfolk from abroad.[10][11] On 8 March 2009 he presented the Award for Best Actress to Margaret Tyzack for her performance in The Chalk Garden at the Laurence Olivier Awards in Grosvenor House.[12][13]

In 2009, Tovey has been working on the film Huge[14] and will star in two television pilots: Young, Unemployed and Lazy (a BBC Three sitcom)[15][16] and The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, a Channel 4 comedy with Spike Jonze and Will Arnett, written by David Cross and Shaun Pye.[17] [18]

He also appears in three forthcoming shorts Drop[19][20] (which premièred at the 2009 Rushes Soho Shorts Film Festival), Roar[21] and In Passing[22]. Roar premièred at the Palm Springs Film Festival on 24 June 2009.[23]

In a 2008 interview in Attitude, Tovey expressed his desire to play darker roles: "really dark, fucked-up characters... like drag queens, rent boys, someone who has been abused, a rapist", though noting that he doesn't consider himself "fucked-up".[24]


Tovey is also a playwright, he has had readings of his work at the Soho Theatre and National Theatre Studio. He had his play Walls produced at Battersea Arts Centre in London in 2003.

Personal life

Tovey is openly gay.[24] In an interview with The Scotsman, Tovey said, "I came out to myself when I was about 15 or 16, and to my parents when I was 18. When you come out to your parents, that's when it's properly official... The only thing I can give to young gay people is that when I was growing up there were no role models that were blokey, that were men. Everybody was flamboyant and camp, and I remember going, 'That's not me, so even though I think I am gay, I don't think I fit into this world.'"[25] He stands 5'9.75" (177cm) and is currently single.[25]

Selected credits


Year Programme Character Notes Broadcaster
1996 Spywatch Dennis Sealy All Episodes Look and Read BBC Two
2001 Agatha Christie's Poirot Lionel Marshall Episode: "Evil Under the Sun" ITV1
2002 Ultimate Force Weasel Episode " The Killing House" ITV1
2005 Messiah IV: The Harrowing Robbie McManus BBC One
My Family and Other Animals Leslie Durrell BBC One
2007-2009 Gavin & Stacey Budgie Episodes: 1.5, 1.6, 2.6 and 3.3 BBC One, BBC Three
2007 Annually Retentive Ben 5 episodes BBC Three
Doctor Who Midshipman Alonso Frame Episode: "Voyage of the Damned" BBC One
2008–present Being Human George Sands Pilot, Series 1, Series 2 BBC Three
2008 Ashes to Ashes Marcus Johnstone Episode: "The Smoking Gun" BBC One
Mutual Friends Estate agent Episode: 1.5 BBC One
Little Dorrit John Chivery Episodes: 1 to 8, 12, 14 BBC One
2009 Marple PC Terence Reed Episode: "Murder Is Easy" ITV1
2009 The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret Dave Pilot, 27-11-2009 Channel4
2009 Never Mind the Buzzcocks As Guest Episode 23:10, 02-12-2009 BBC Two
2010 Doctor Who Midshipman Alonso Frame Episode: "The End of Time" BBC One


Year Programme Character Notes Broadcaster
2006 The History Boys Rudge BBC Radio 3
2007 Rubbish Dan series 2 BBC Radio 4
2009 The Government Inspector Gendarme BBC Radio 4
The Admirable Crichton[26] Crichton Saturday Play (60mins) BBC Radio 4
Newfangle[27] Newfangle Satirical series, six episodes of 30mins BBC Radio 4
Last Night, Another Soldier[28] Briggsy Saturday Play (60mins) BBC Radio 4
The Richest Man In Britain[29] Dom Comedy series, six episodes of 30mins BBC Radio 4


Year Play Character Theatre Location
2000 The Recruiting Officer Chichester Festival Theatre Chichester
2001 Howard Katz[30] Cottesloe Theatre, Royal National Theatre London
2002 Plasticine[31] Spira
Boy having Sex
Royal Court Theatre London
2003 Henry V[32] Boy Olivier Theatre, Royal National Theatre London
His Girl Friday[33] Ralph Sweeney Olivier Theatre, Royal National Theatre London
2003–04 His Dark Materials[34] Roger Olivier Theatre, Royal National Theatre London
2004–06 The History Boys Rudge Royal National Theatre London
2005 The Laramie Project Sound Theatre London
2005–06 Hergé's Adventures of Tintin (aka Tintin in Tibet)[35] Tintin Barbican Arts Centre London
2006 The History Boys Rudge Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Hong Kong
St James Wellington
Sydney Theatre Sydney
Broadhurst Theatre, Broadway New York
2007 A Respectable Wedding[36] Groom Young Vic London
2008 The Sea[37] Billy Hallercut Theatre Royal Haymarket London
2009 A Miracle[11] Gary Trudgill Royal Court Theatre London


Year Title Character Production
2001 The Emperor's New Clothes Recruit Film4
2006 The History Boys Rudge BBC and Free Range Films
2009 Drop Ben Beautiful Train, short [19]
2009 Roar at the Internet Movie Database Tom Adam Wimpenny, short [21]
2009 In Passing Patrick Chris Croucher and Michael Berliner, short[22]


  1. ^ Russell Tovey at the Internet Movie Database. Accessed 24 November 2006
  2. ^ a b "Russell Tovey interview: A History Boy with a big future". The Daily Telegraph. 17 March 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2009. 
  3. ^ Russell Tovey at the Internet Broadway Database. Accessed 5 November 2006
  4. ^ The History Boys 2004, Royal National Theatre. Accessed 17 October 2006
  5. ^ "The History Boys". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 October 2006. 
  6. ^ "The History Boys: More is more". Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2006. 
  7. ^ "Davies suggests next Doctor Who". BBC News Online. 16 September 2008. Retrieved 19 February 2009. 
  8. ^ "BBC Three presents Being Human". BBC Three. 6 November 2007. Retrieved 5 February 2008. 
  9. ^ "Being Human commissioned for BBC Three". BBC Three. 24 April 2008. Retrieved 19 February 2009. 
  10. ^ "Theatre review: A Miracle / Royal Court, London". The Guardian. 5 March 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2009. 
  11. ^ a b "A Miracle". Royal Court Theatre. March 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2009. 
  12. ^ "Olivier Goss: What We Heard in the Ballroom???". What's On Stage. 8 March 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2009. 
  13. ^ "Tyzack and Jacobi scoop top honours". Official London Theatre. 8 March 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2009. 
  14. ^ UK comedy Huge starts shooting in London, Screen Daily, 17 June 2009. Accessed 27 August 2009
  15. ^ "Russell Tovey to star in BBC3 sitcom that never leaves the bedroom". The Guardian. 12 May 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2009. 
  16. ^ "Young, Unemployed and Lazy". Big Talk Productions. Retrieved 22 June 2009. 
  17. ^ "Spike Jonze to star in C4 comedy". Broadcast Now. 15 May 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2009. 
  18. ^ "Comedy Showcase". Comedy Showcase. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  19. ^ a b "Film Production". Beautiful Train Ltd. Retrieved 19 May 2009. 
  20. ^ "Drop". British Film Catalogue. Retrieved 19 May 2009. 
  21. ^ a b Russell Tovey at the Internet Movie Database. Accessed 2 July 2009
  22. ^ a b "In Passing (2009)". Chris Croucher. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  23. ^ "On the Job Program". Palm Springs Film Festival. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  24. ^ a b "About a Boy", Attitude, January 2008, ISSN 1353-1875 , cited in UK actor Russell Tovey — Talented, gorgeous, and gay to boot!!!, After Elton, 14 January 2008
  25. ^ a b "Russell Tovey: Star pupil". The Scotsman. 2 February 2009. 
  26. ^ "Saturday Play: The Admirable Crichton". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 19 May 2009. 
  27. ^ "Newfangle episode 1 of 6". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 19 May 2009. 
  28. ^ "Saturday Play: Last Night, Another Soldier". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 2 August 2009. 
  29. ^ ":The Richest Man In Britain Episode 3". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  30. ^ "Howard Katz". Royal National Theatre. Retrieved 24 November 2006. 
  31. ^ Plasticine by Vassily Sigarev, Nick Hern Books, 2002 ISBN 978-1-854-59690-1
  32. ^ "Henry V". Royal National Theatre. Retrieved 24 November 2006. 
  33. ^ "His Dark Materials Part I 2003–04". Royal National Theatre. Retrieved 24 November 2006. 
  34. ^ "His Girl Friday". Retrieved 24 November 2006. 
  35. ^ "Hergé's Adventures of Tintin". The Stage. 16 December 2005. Retrieved 5 February 2008. 
  36. ^ "The Big Brecht Fest I — The Jewish Wife / A Respectable Wedding". The Stage. 5 April 2007. Retrieved 5 February 2008. 
  37. ^ "The Sea". The Stage. 28 January 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2008. 

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