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Bill Nighy on male prostitution offer: ‘I turned down gigolo job to sleep with old women’

The British actor admitted that he turned down the opportunity to earn money as a gigolo sleeping with senior citizens

Life wasn’t always quite so glamorous for Bill Nighy.

The British actor was given the opportunity to earn money as a gigolo sleeping with senior citizens when he moved to Paris to work as a writer at the tender age of 17.

"I was offered 250 francs by a photographer on the Trocadéro, where we used to go and beg for money, to sleep with what he described as old women," he told Richard Bacon on his BBC Radio 5 Live show.

But he politely declined, he said, because he was a virgin.

"I had never slept with anybody so I didn't feel qualified to accept the offer. I was also waiting for the future Mrs Nighy, so I didn't want to cheat on her before she arrived."

"We did sit there and count how many old women we would have had to have slept with to buy a Harley Davidson," he quipped. "At that time you didn't need a helmet."

On why he moved to Paris in the first place, he said: “I had a youthful fantasy [to write]. I enjoyed books more than I enjoyed anything else. They were the things that got me most excited.

"I got as far as the title, and I drew a margin, as that's what you did at school."

Nighy is currently on the promotional trail for up-and-coming BBC two film Turks & Caicos, in which he stars alongside Christopher Walken, Winona Ryder and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

He is set to appear opposite Carey Mulligan in the West End revival of David Hare’s Skylight later this year.