Ken Stott

Kenneth Campbell Stott (born 19 October 1954) is a Scottish stage, television and film actor who won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1995 in the play Broken Glass at Royal National Theatre. He is more recently known for his role as the dwarf Balin in The Hobbit film trilogy (2012–2014), and as Ian Garrett in the 2014 BBC TV mini-series The Missing starring alongside James Nesbitt.

Ken Stott

Ken Stott on 20 April 2014 at the Hobbitcon II convention in Bonn, Germany
Kenneth Campbell Stott

(1954-10-19) 19 October 1954
Edinburgh, Scotland
Years active1974–present
Known forRebus (2000–2007)
Takin' Over the Asylum (1994)
The Missing (2014)
The Hobbit film trilogy (2012–2014)

His many notable roles in UK television include the role of Edward 'Eddie' McKenna in the Scottish BBC miniseries Takin' Over The Asylum (1994) co-starring with a young David Tennant, the title character DI John Rebus in the crime fiction-mystery series Rebus (2000–2007) and also as DCI Red Metcalfe in Messiah (2001–2005).

Early life

Stott was born in Edinburgh. His mother, Antonia (née Sansica), was a Sicilian lecturer whose own father had previously been a priest.[1][2] His father, David Stott, was a Scottish teacher and educational administrator.[3][4][5] Stott was educated at George Heriot's School. For three years in his youth he was a member of a band called Keyhole, members of which later went on to form the Bay City Rollers.

After attending Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London, Stott began working in the theatre for the Royal Shakespeare Company, but for some years his earnings from acting were minimal and he was forced to support himself by also working as a double glazing salesman. This is echoed in the character he plays in Takin' Over the Asylum.


Stott's early work focused on theatre with a notable leading role in the dramatisation of Dominic Behan's play about the Northern Ireland troubles The Folk Singer (Belfast Lyric Theatre). Stott appeared in small roles in BBC series such as Secret Army (1977), The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare (King Lear, 1982), and Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective (1986). He also featured in an advert for the British COI's "Drinking And Driving Wrecks Lives" campaign, playing a fireman. He eventually began to earn starring roles on television in the 1990s.[6] He created the leading role in The Prince's Play, a translation and adaptation by Tony Harrison of Victor Hugo's Le Roi s'amuse, for the National Theatre, London, 1996.[7]

His highest-profile television roles have included hospital radio DJ Eddie McKenna in BBC Scotland's Takin' Over The Asylum the leading character, DCI Red Metcalfe, in the BBC crime drama series Messiah (BBC One, 2001–05); DI Chappell in ITV police drama The Vice (1999–2003); as a drunk who fantasises about finding redemption by joining the Salvation Army in Promoted to Glory (ITV, 2003); as Adolf Hitler in Uncle Adolf (ITV, 2005) and as a fictional Chancellor of the Exchequer in Richard Curtis's The Girl in the Café (BBC One, 2005). 2006 saw him take over the title character in detective series Rebus, a television adaptation of the Ian Rankin novels which had previously starred John Hannah. In 2008 Stott was nominated for a Scottish BAFTA for his performance as comedian Tony Hancock in BBC Four's Hancock and Joan. He played the father of cookery writer Nigel Slater in the BBC One adaptation of Slater's autobiographical novel Toast, opposite Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie Highmore. In 2015, Stott played Arthur Birling in Helen Edmundson's BBC TV adaptation of J. B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls.

On the big screen, he has tended to play mostly supporting parts, such as DI McCall in Shallow Grave (1994), Ted in Fever Pitch (1997), Marius Honorius in King Arthur (2004), an Israeli arms merchant in Charlie Wilson's War (2007) and Trufflehunter, a badger loyal to Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008). However, he has had occasional starring roles in the cinema, most notably opposite Billy Connolly and Iain Robertson in The Debt Collector (1999) and Plunkett and Macleane of the same year. Most recently, he has starred as Balin in the live-action adaptation of The Hobbit, and played the role to critical acclaim. Stott played a supporting role as Dexter Mayhew's father in One Day (2011) starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess.

Stott has continued to act on stage, and in 1997 was nominated for Best Actor at the Laurence Olivier Awards for his role in the Yasmina Reza play Art in which had appeared with Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay. In 2008 Stott starred in another West End production of a Reza play, this time God of Carnage, alongside Tamsin Greig, Janet McTeer and Ralph Fiennes at the Gielgud Theatre. He starred in a revival of Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge at the Duke of York's Theatre in early 2009 and reprised his role of Michael in God of Carnage on Broadway (as a replacement for James Gandolfini) at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in New York.

He returned to the Duke of York's Theatre in 2016 to play " Sir" [ alongside Reece Shearsmith ] in Ronald Harwood's 'The Dresser' to great critical acclaim.

He is a popular choice for voice work, as narrator for series such as Trawlermen, a documentary following North Sea trawlers, and Send in the Dogs, following the work of UK Police Officers and their canine partners.

Personal life

Stott has a son, David (born 1985), by his marriage, which ended in divorce. He married his long time partner the artist Nina Gehl in 2016.[8] Stott is a supporter of Heart of Midlothian, with an irony in that the character portrayed by him, Ian Rankin's most well known character Inspector John Rebus, is in fact a Hibernian supporter.[9]


Year Title Role Notes
1977Secret ArmyBarojaTV series
1982King LearCuranTV film
1983The Beggar's OperaJemmy TwitcherTV film
1985TaggartDr. MacNaughtenTV series: 1 episode
1986The Singing DetectiveUncle JohnTV miniseries: 2 episodes
1988London's BurningCyrilFirst episode
For Queen and CountryCivil Servant
1990Your Cheatin' HeartFraser BoyleTV series: 6 episodes
1991All Good ThingsLawrence WilsonTV series: 5 episodes
1993Elvis and the Colonel: The Untold StoryTV
Anna LeeBernie SchillerTV
Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful LifeWoland the KnifemanShort film
Being HumanGasper Diez
1994Takin' Over the AsylumEddie McKennaTV series: 6 episodes
Shallow GraveDI McCall
Silent WitnessSergeant Bob ClaireTV series: 2 episodes
A Mug's GameMcCaffrey
RhodesBarney BarnatoTV miniseries: 5 episodes
1997The BoxerIke Weir
Stone, Scissors, PaperRedfernTV
Fever PitchTed, the Headmaster
1999DockersTommy WaltonTV
The Debt CollectorGary Keltie
Plunkett & MacleaneGeneral Chance
Vicious CircleMartin CahillTV
1999–2003The ViceDI Pat ChappelTV series: 16 episodes
NominatedBritish Academy Television Award for Best Actor
2000The Miracle MakerSimon PeterVoice only
2001MessiahDCI Red MetcalfeTV miniseries
2002Messiah 2: Vengeance is MineDCI Red MetcalfeTV miniseries
2003Promoted to GloryMikeTV
The KeyBillyTV
I'll Sleep When I'm DeadFrank Turner
2004Messiah 3:The PromiseDCI Red MetcalfeTV miniseries
King ArthurMarius Honorius
Messiah: The HarrowingDCI Red MetcalfeTV miniseries
The Girl in the CaféChancellor
The Mighty CeltGood Joe
Uncle AdolfAdolf HitlerTV
2006–2007RebusDI John RebusTV series: 10 episodes
2007Charlie Wilson's WarZvi Rafiah
2008The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince CaspianTrufflehunterVoice only
Hancock and JoanTony HancockTV
Scottish BAFTA for Best Acting Performance in Television
NominatedBritish Academy Television Award for Best Actor
2010ToastAlan SlaterTV film
2011The RunawayJoey Pasqualino
One DaySteven Mayhew
2012The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyBalin
2013The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
2014The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Man UpBert
The MissingIan GarrettTV series

NominatedBritish Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor[10]

2015An Inspector CallsArthur BirlingTV film
2016War & PeaceBazdeevTV series
Café SocietyMarty Dorfman
100 StreetsTerence
2017FortitudeErling MunkTV series: Season 2
2018The MercyStanley Best
TBAThe DigFilming

Awards and nominations


0 win, 3 nominations

British Academy Television Awards
Year Nominated work Category Result
2001 The Vice 2001 British Academy Television Award for Best Actor Nominated
2009 Hancock and Joan 2009 British Academy Television Award for Best Actor Nominated
2015 The Missing 2015 British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated

BAFTA Scotland Awards

2 win, 2 nominations

BAFTA Scotland
Year Nominated work Category Result
2009 Hancock and Joan 2009 British Academy Scotland Awards for Best Actor in Television Won
2015 The Missing 2015 British Academy Scotland Awards Best Actor in Television Won

Laurence Olivier Awards

1 win, 4 nominations

Laurence Olivier Award
Year Nominated work Category Result
1992 The Recruiting Officer at the National Theatre 1992 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
1995 Broken Glass at the National Theatre Lyttelton / Duke of York's 1995 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Won
1997 Art at the Wyndam Theatre 1997 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actor in a Lead Role Nominated
2010 A View from the Bridge as Eddie Carbone at the Duke of York's 2010 Laurence Olivier Awards Best Actor in a Lead Role Nominated

Royal Television Society

0 wins 1 nomination

Royal Television Society
Year Nominated work Category Result
2002 The Vice Royal Television Society Award Best Actor Nominated


  1. Banks-Smith, Nancy (7 February 2007). "Last night's TV". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  2. "Old family scandal reduces Rebus star to tears". The Scotsman. 2007.
  3. "Ken Stott biography". Retrieved 21 September 2010.
  4. "Ken gets a taste of the past". The Daily Record. 3 February 2007.
  5. Fulton, Rick (8 December 2005). "Born to be Rebus". The Daily Record. Retrieved 19 September 2010.
  6. "Ken Stott filmography". IMDb.
  7. Taylor, Paul (21 April 1996). "Theatre: The Prince's Play, Royal National Theatre". The Independent. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  8. Black, Claire (20 May 2009). "Ken Stott interview: View from the top". The Scotsman. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
  9. "Edinburgh A-list stirred by Scottish Cup final derby". BBC Sport. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  10. Ritman, Alex (8 April 2015). "BAFTA TV Awards: Benedict Cumberbatch Gets Third Nomination for 'Sherlock'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
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