My Secret Life: Brian Blessed, 76, actor

'I do love silk underwear'

My parents were… working class. My father was a coal hewer, he did the hardest work in the mines, 2,500ft down, 17 tonnes a day with his bare hands.

The household I grew up in… was rather like an Ovaltine advert. There was a huge fire, a kettle on the fire, the oven with the bread being baked every day, and there was the radio; it was very magical to hear all these wonderful programmes.

When I was a child I wanted to… go into space! To go to Mars. I wanted to explore and explore and explore. I wanted to go to the Lost World in South America – I was heartbroken to discover there were no dinosaurs; I still don't accept it.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at… I'm a master plasterer. I had to leave school at 14 when my father was crushed in the coal mines, and I became a plasterer. It's a great art.

At night I dream of… I have marvellous dreams! I meet Buddha, I meet Jesus, I meet Mohammed. I constantly dream of space, stars and planets: we are the children of stardust.

What I see when I look in the mirror… Someone who is adjusting their clothing.

My favourite item of clothing… I do love silk underwear. It's the warmest and it doesn't chafe. It keeps my privates warm; it's the first line of defence against the extreme cold. I do use a bit of Savlon in the areas that chafe, too.

My house is… a cottage villa, covered in growths, it's full of bushes and shrubs – I love gardening. There are huge Buddhas hidden in the bushes. The birds come into the kitchen, and the other day I had to get the bloody Shetland pony out – it crapped all over the kitchen, it was eating all the dog food.

My favourite work of art… My dream is to own a Hockney – I'm a Yorkshireman, and his vibrant colours are a good example of how the north-country people are vibrant and colourful.

My favourite building… The Acropolis in Athens.

Movie heaven… The finest film I've ever seen is the Russian War and Peace by Bondarchuk – you see that on a big screen and nothing else touches it.

The person who really makes me laugh… Paul O'Grady.

The last time I cried… Watching the Paralympians. They've changed the surface of the earth. They've given hope to everyone and everything.

My five-year plan… is to climb Everest without oxygen. I'll be the oldest man to do it. It will show that everything is possible.

What's the point? Adventure is the key to this millennium. If we stop taking risks, we die, and I can't do that.

A life in brief

Brian Blessed was born in 1936 in Mexborough, Yorkshire. He left school at the age of 14 and worked as a plasterer and undertaker before training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He has played a variety of memorable parts on stage, television and in film and is best known for his Shakespearean acting and comic roles in films like Flash Gordon and the Blackadder TV series. He is also a keen mountaineer. He lives in Chobham, Surrey with his wife Hildegarde Neil, with whom he has a daughter, Rosalind.

"Brian Blessed is currently working with phone and broadband supplier Plusnet, www.plus.net"

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Management Trainer

£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Exciting career opportunity to join East...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Scientist / Research Assistant

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious start-up company b...

Reach Volunteering: Chair of Trustees

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Do you love the Engl...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin