Richard Briers: My Life In Travel

'We hit appalling turbulence over Denver and I was absolutely terrified'
Click to follow
The Independent Travel

Caravan holidays in Bognor with my parents and sister. I have never really liked caravans, but I remember it being quite fun. We were beside the sea, which was the most important thing for us - you can lavish thousands of pounds on a holiday but children don't give a damn unless they can build sandcastles and paddle in the sea.

Best holiday?

We used to rent a cottage in a place called St Just, near Penzance. We would take our daughters and go on cliff walks; it was wonderful. It was a very ordinary cottage, on a cliff top with 500 yards or so of gorse bush and then the Atlantic in front.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

The Lake District. We occasionally take the car and tour around there. We stay in a very posh hotel for the first night and then spend the rest of the time in a country hotel. However, we haven't had a holiday for two and a half years. It's all down to being so popular, because I keep working and there isn't time!

What have you learnt from your travels?

I'm a great fan of Al Jolson; one of his lyrics goes "your happiness lies right under your eyes, back in your own backyard", which is how I feel about travel. I don't want to do much more, because I'm not vastly amused by flying and I've more or less been around the world. At the age of 71, I've decided to just potter about.

Ideal travelling companion?

Somebody who makes me laugh a lot, like Peter Egan. We were in the sitcom Ever Decreasing Circles and we're still great mates. I toured with him while we were in Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, which was a hoot.

Worst travel experience?

During a tour of Kenneth Branagh's King Lear, we had to fly over Denver and hit appalling turbulence. Not only did the plane move up and down, but side to side as well - I was absolutely terrified.

Favourite city?

New York; I went about five years ago for a play. I loved it because I don't like walking uphill and Manhattan is almost completely flat. I wish I had been about 38 rather than in my 60s so I could have enjoyed it more.

Where next?

I'll be staying at home and trying to avoid travelling.

Richard Briers is the voice of Fiver in 'Watership Down', which is out now on DVD (Warner Home Video)

Comments