Adrian Scarborough

Adrian Philip Scarborough (born 10 May 1968) is an English actor.

Adrian Scarborough
Born (1968-05-10) 10 May 1968
ResidenceBerkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England
Years active1993–present
Spouse(s)Rose Blackshaw

He has appeared in films including The Madness of King George (1994), Gosford Park (2001), Vera Drake (2004), The History Boys (2006), The Kings Speech (2010), and Les Misérables (2012). He is also known for his roles in television such as Cranford (2007–2009), Upstairs Downstairs (2010–2012), The Paradise (2013), Crashing (2016), A Very English Scandal (2018), and Killing Eve (2019).

Scarborough is also an accomplished theatre actor and won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 2011 for his role in the Terence Rattigan play After the Dance. He will appear in Tom Stoppard's new play Leopoldstadt from January 2020 at Wyndham's Theatre in London.[1]

Early life

Scarborough was born and raised in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. He attended Brooksby Melton College and trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, winning the Chesterton Award for Best Actor for school graduates.[2]


Scarborough made his big-screen debut in 1994 in The Madness of King George.[2] His other movie appearances have included Sweet Revenge, Gosford Park, Vera Drake, Notes on a Scandal, The History Boys, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The King's Speech, and Les Misérables.

One of Scarborough's early television roles was J.G. Quiggin in the 1997 adaptation of A Dance to the Music of Time. He was also seen in the BBC series Let Them Eat Cake with Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. He played "Bouffant", the gay couturier/servant/confidante to Saunder's character, the "Comtesse de Vache".[3] His other appearances on television have included productions such as Cranford, the television film Into the Storm, Psychoville and as Charlie in the BBC comedy series Miranda.[4] He has appeared in three episodes of Midsomer Murders, playing separate characters in series 5, series 10, and series 18. He is also the voice of Abney in the BBC Children's Television programme Abney & Teal. He voiced Benjamin Bunny in The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends.

In 2007, he played the character Harry Hepple in an episode of BBC New Tricks series 4.4 Nine Lives.

Scarborough is particularly well known for his appearances with Julia Davis in the BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey as warring married couple Pete and Dawn Sutcliffe, who are friends and neighbours of Gavin Shipman's (Mathew Horne) parents in Essex. He is also identified for his role as the butler Mr. Pritchard in the BBC series Upstairs, Downstairs.[5][6]

In 2012 he appeared in the ITV series Mrs Biggs with fellow Gavin & Stacey star Sheridan Smith, playing the eponymous character's father Bernard (the real-life father of Charmian Brent, ex-wife of Ronnie Biggs). He played an alien known as Kahler-Jex in an episode of Doctor Who entitled "A Town Called Mercy", which aired on 15 September 2012.[7]

On stage, Scarborough has made frequent appearances at the Donmar, the Almeida, and in the West End and he has appeared in twenty productions for the Royal National Theatre. On 19 June 2011, he took part in The Barn Theatre presents... with Elliot Brown at the Barn Theatre, Welwyn Garden City[8] Most recently he has appeared in Hedda Gabler at the Old Vic, again with frequent collaborator Sheridan Smith.[9] In 2013, he played a role in Darkside, Tom Stoppard's radio drama based on Pink Floyd's album The Dark Side of the Moon.[10] In 2013 he starred in the ITV sitcom Edge of Heaven he played Bald Gary.

In 2015, Scarborough appeared as Clive Trueman in the BBC TV series Father Brown episode 3.15 "The Owl of Minerva". Scarborough also appeared in the Starz sitcom Blunt Talk as Harry, valet to Walter Blunt, a role which he reprised in the second season a year later.

In 2016, Scarborough appeared as Colin in the Channel Four sitcom Crashing and as Tony Pitt in the ITV series Midsomer Murders episode 18.4 "A Dying Art".

In 2017, Scarborough appeared in the film adaptation of Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach as Lionel Mayhew, as well as alongside David Tennant in Don Juan in Soho as his Chauffeur, for its run in the West End at Wyndham's Theatre.

He is due to portray Dr Willis in the Nottingham Playhouse production of the Alan Bennett play The Madness of George III from 2 to 24 November 2018, with Mark Gatiss playing the king.[11] It follows Scarborough's role as Fortnum in the 1994 film version of the play. In 2018 he plays the role of Hal Gallsworthy in the film Christopher Robin.

Personal life

Scarborough lives in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. He and his wife, Rose (née Blackshaw), have a son named Jake and a daughter named Esme.[12]


Selected work:


In 1993, he was nominated for the Ian Charleson Award and won the Manchester Evening News Award for his performance in The Comedy of Errors at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.[13] In March 2011 he won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a revival of the play After the Dance by Terence Rattigan.[14]


  1. "Leopoldstadt initial cast to include Adrian Scarborough and Luke Thallon". WhatsOnStage. 25 October 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  2. "Hunt is launched for missing drama award". This is Bristol. 19 June 2012. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  3. "British Comedy Guide - Let Them Eat Cake - Characters". Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  4. "Comedy - Miranda - Miranda Meets... Sally Phillips And Adrian Scarborough". BBC. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  5. "Adrian Scarborough - IMDb".
  6. Adrian Scarborough. "TV blog: Upstairs Downstairs: Playing Mr Pritchard". BBC. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  7. Jones, Paul (7 March 2012). "Doctor Who: Upstairs Downstairs star Adrian Scarborough cast in series seven". Radio Times. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  8. "King's Speech actor coming to Welwyn Garden City theatre". Welwyn Hatfield Times. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  9. "Q&A: Adrian Scarborough;". 10 September 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  10. "Pink Floyd album inspires Sir Tom Stoppard radio play". BBC. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  11. "The Madness of George III". Nottingham Playhouse. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  12. "The Gavin & Stacey star you pass in the street". Berkhamsted & Tring Gazette. 11 November 2009. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  13. Fowler, Rebecca. "Triumphant first acts". Sunday Times. 13 March 1994.
  14. "Olivier Awards 2011: The winners". 13 March 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
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