Blake Ritson

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Blake Ritson
BornBlake Adam Ritson
January 1978 (1978-01) (age 37)
Years active1996-present
Partner(s)Hattie Morahan
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Blake Ritson
BornBlake Adam Ritson
January 1978 (1978-01) (age 37)
Years active1996-present
Partner(s)Hattie Morahan

Blake Adam Ritson (born January 1978[1]) is an English actor and director.

Early life[edit]

Blake was born 14th January 1978 in London. Ritson attended the Dolphin School in Reading, Berkshire until 1993, before going to St Paul's School in West London on an academic scholarship. He then attended Jesus College, Cambridge,[2] where he studied English and Medieval Italian, graduating in 2000.[3][4] While a student he acted on both stage and screen,[5] playing Paul Etheridge in White Chameleon, Fleance in Macbeth, and Augustus in Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia (1996) at the National Theatre in productions directed by Richard Eyre and Trevor Nunn.[3]


Ritson is best known in recent years for portraying King Edward III in the TV miniseries World Without End (2012), the Duke Of Kent in Upstairs Downstairs (2010-2012), Mr Elton in the BBC 2009 adaptation of Emma and Edmund Bertram in the 2007 ITV adaptation of Mansfield Park,[6] Giles Vicary in the BBC series Red Cap and for playing sidekick Robert Presley in A Touch of Frost.[7] He also played the part of Justin in The League of Gentlemen, Idek in God on Trial, and the comic lead in For Elsie, an Oscar winning short film, which he also co-produced. He also played the main antagonist in David Goyer’s Da Vinci’s Demons (2013).

Ritson writes and directs with his older brother, Dylan Ritson.[8] The Ritson brothers' latest short film, Love Hate, starring Ben Whishaw and Hayley Atwell was completed in May 2009 and was selected for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Palm Springs Film Festival, London BFI Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Foyle, Omaha, Encounters, Berkshire International Film Festival, Sofia Film Fest (Bulgaria), Tofifest International Film Festival (Poland), West Hollywood International, LA Shorts Fest, Short Shorts Film Festival (Japan). It was the winner of the Jury Award at Palm Springs International Shortsfest and won the Best International Short award at Cinema St. Louis Film Festival. "Crisply shot and superbly acted, it's also a sly comment on repression and everyday insanity. It will be great to see what the Ritsons do next." (Empire)

The brothers first directed the short film Out of Time. Starring Mark Heap and Raquel Cassidy, the film won the Global Audience Award at the first CON-CAN Movie Festival[9] and was runner up at Minimalen and the Berlin Film Festival. It also screened at the London, San Paulo and Dresden film festivals. Their second short film, More More More, starring The League of Gentlemen's Mark Gatiss, was a runner-up in the Turner Classic Movies Competition. Their third film, shot in 2009 with Hayley Atwell as Hate, was entitled Love Hate.[10] The Ritson brothers have also shot a fourth short film, Good Boy, starring Jessica Hynes (née Stevenson), Reece Shearsmith, Nicholas Burns, Joanna Page and Blake Ritson's fiancee Hattie Morahan.[11]

The Ritson Brothers were selected for the front cover of Screen International's Stars Of Tomorrow 2009.

Ritson played the banjolele on Douglas Hodge's 2006 album Cowley Road Songs,[12] which was recorded in four days at the Blue Moon Studios in Banbury. He describes the banjolele as "a hybrid instrument between a ukulele and a banjo; teamed up with the gazoo it’s a winning combination."[3]

Personal life[edit]

Ritson is the brother of Dylan Ritson, with whom he directs and writes. Dylan also attended Cambridge, where he wrote and directed plays for Footlights and the Edinburgh Festival which received numerous awards and excellent reviews in the national press.[5]

Ritson's fiancée is the stage and screen actress Hattie Morahan, who was also the costume designer and script supervisor on one of the films he and his brother directed.[13]

Selected credits[edit]


1996Breaking the CodeChristopher MorcomTV
Different for GirlsYoung Prentice
1997Knight SchoolSir Roger de CourceyTV (2 episodes)
1999Shooting the PastNickTV
2000The League of GentlemenJustin SmartTV (2 episodes)
2001London's BurningDermotTV (2 episodes)
Me Without YouTim
Urban GothicDave MatthewsTV (1 episode: "The End")
Red CapLt. Giles VicaryTV
2002A BoxDelivery BoyShort
The CiceronesGuide 1 'Foreign'Short
AKAAlexander Gryffoyn
2003Adventure Inc.Byron HaycroftTV (1 episode: "Angel of St. Edmunds")
Red CapGiles VicaryTV (12 episodes)
2004Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed KingAngeloVoice
2005If...Ben SwalesTV (1 episode: "If...We Stopped Giving Aid to Africa")
Strauss: The Waltz KingOlder Johann Strauss IITV
The BillGavin MurrayTV (1 episode: "374")
2006The RomanticsPercy Bysshe ShelleyTV
CasualtyDaniel TaskerTV (1 episode: "Worlds Apart")
The Inspector Lynley MysteriesGraham MarshallTV (1 episode: "Chinese Walls")
Killzone: LiberationColonel CobarVoice
A Touch of FrostD.C. Robert PresleyTV (1 episode: "Endangered Species")
2007Mansfield ParkEdmund BertramTV
The Commander: The Devil You KnowJohn LittlewoodTV
2008God on TrialIdekTV
RocknRollaJohnny Sloane
2009Love HateRobShort
EmmaMr. EltonTV (4 episodes)
Dead Man RunningJarvis
2010Upstairs DownstairsThe Duke of KentTV (2 episodes)
2011The Crimson Petal and the WhiteBodleyTV (3 episodes)
2011El Shaddai: Ascension of the MetatronEnochVoice
2011For ElsieGlennShort
2012Upstairs DownstairsThe Duke of KentTV (8 episodes)
2012World Without EndEdward IIITV (8 episodes)
2013Da Vinci's DemonsGirolamo RiarioTV (16 episodes)


Radio and Voice Over Work[edit]


External links[edit]