Michael French

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Michael French
BornMichael Clark
(1962-09-17) 17 September 1962 (age 51)
Bow, London, England
OccupationActor
Years active1993–present
 
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Michael French
BornMichael Clark
(1962-09-17) 17 September 1962 (age 51)
Bow, London, England
OccupationActor
Years active1993–present

Michael French (born Michael Clark, 17 September 1962) is an English actor, known for his roles as David Wicks in EastEnders, and consultant Nick Jordan in Casualty and former cardiothoracic registrar in its spin-off series Holby City.

Early life[edit]

French (took surname to get an Equity Card), was born Michael Clark to parents David (a greengrocer) and Sheila in East London, but grew up in Theydon Bois, Essex.[1] where he attended Theydon Bois County Primary School. He was soon appearing in school productions, while weekends and evenings were spent at dancing classes and rehearsals for shows put on by the local drama club.[1] He then attended West Hatch Technical High School in Chigwell, Essex where he was a main contributor to school plays.

At the age of 20, French landed a job as an entertainer ("blue coat") at the Holiday Club International in Majorca.[1]

When he returned to Britain, at the age of 22, French got his first acting break in the musical Godspell at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford, London. Bit parts on stage followed, including playing the Genie in Aladdin in a Christmas pantomime.[1]

He spent the next three years touring in small productions, before becoming disillusioned with his lack of success and taking a job as an Air Steward for British Airways.[1] However, he was unable to lose his desire to act and French quit his job as an air steward with British Airways and began taking acting lessons. He was trained at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and graduated in 1992.[1]

Career[edit]

After graduating from acting school, French was primarily employed in West End musicals. He was in West Side Story, Chicago, Joseph — playing romantic juvenile leads — and then played Javert in Les Misérables.[2]

French became well known for appearing in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. French was spotted by an EastEnders casting agent whilst on stage in the musical Les Misérables.[3] He was subsequently offered a role in the popular soap opera and first appeared in 1993, playing the womanising car-dealer, David Wicks. French quit the soap in 1996. 19 million viewers tuned in to watch the character's exit from Albert Square.[4]

He went on to appear as Nick Jordan in Casualty in 1998 and 2005, and its sister programme, Holby City. He also appeared in The Fabulous Bagel Boys (2001); as Gary Lescott in Dalziel and Pascoe (2005); Jeff Slade in Crime Traveller (1997) and Tom Gilder in Born and Bred (2001–2004).

Among his other stage credits include Art (2000) as Marc and Sacred Heart (1999) as Jerry. He also replaced John Barrowman as Billy Flynn in the London run of Chicago from 13 December 2004,[5] but resigned suddenly on 2 May 2005 amid rumours of differences with his co-star Brooke Shields.[6]

On 13 May 2008 it was confirmed French would be returning to his role of Nick Jordan for a third stint, but this time in the Holby City parent programme Casualty. French returned to EastEnders as David Wicks in 2012 after more than 15 years away for the departure of Pam St Clement, who played his on-screen mother, Pat Butcher. His return was aired on New Year's Day 2012 and he again departed the soap on 13 January 2012. French left Casualty in early February 2013.[7] He then returned to EastEnders as David Wicks, as a regular character, from the episode broadcast on 26 September 2013.

Filmography[edit]

YearShowRoleNotes
1993–1996, 2012, 2013–EastEndersDavid WicksSeries regular
1997Crime TravellerDetective Jeff Slade8 part series
1998CasualtyNick JordanSeries Regular
1999–2000Holby CitySeries regular
2001The Fabulous Bagel BoysDS Alexander Murchison
The Gentleman ThiefEllis Bride
2004The Afternoon PlayHardy Rose1 episode: Sons, Daughters and Lovers
2001–2005Born and BredDr. Tom GilderSeries regular
2005Casualty@Holby CityNick Jordan2 episodes: Deny Thy Father (Parts 1&2)
2006Holby CityRecurring; 16 episodes
Dalziel and PascoeGary Lescott1 episode: Wrong Place, Wrong Time
2008—2013CasualtyNick JordanSeries regular
2010Holby City1 episode: Downstairs, Upstairs

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ a b c d e f Sutton, Caroline (17 March 1996). "French connection". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  2. ^ ""People would shout 'We love you'. But I didn't like myself". Evening Standard. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Drama faces: Michael French actor profile", BBC. URL last accessed on 2007-02-13.
  4. ^ "FRENCH AND JOHNSTON; PARTNERS IN TIME", Sunday Mirror. URL last accessed on 2007-02-13.
  5. ^ "Michael French Resigns From London", Playbill. URL last accessed on 2006-02-11.
  6. ^ "and co-star isn't a fan either", Evening Standard. URL last accessed on 2007-02-13.
  7. ^ "Role is deja vu for French". The Sun Online. 13 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 

External links[edit]