Kenny Ireland

George Ian Kenneth "Kenny" Ireland (7 August 1945 – 31 July 2014)[4] was a Scottish actor and theatre director. Ireland was best known to television viewers for his role in Victoria Wood As Seen on TV in the 1980s, and for playing Donald Stewart in Benidorm from 2007 until his death in 2014.

Kenny Ireland
Ireland in character as Donald Stewart from the comedy TV series Benidorm
George Ian Kenneth Ireland

(1945-08-07)7 August 1945
Paisley, Scotland, UK[1]
DiedJuly 31, 2014(2014-07-31) (aged 68)
OccupationActor, theatre director
Years active1980–2014[3]
Spouse(s)Marilyn Imrie (divorced)
Meg Poole (1980 until his death)
Children1 step-daughter
4 step-grandsons


Born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Ireland had been prominent in the theatre where he spent ten years as director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh. When he left the post in 2003 he controversially attacked the Scottish arts establishment for providing "theatre on the cheap" and the Scottish Executive for putting plans for a National Theatre of Scotland on "the back burner".[5] The National Theatre of Scotland was finally launched in 2006. He also appeared in an episode of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet as a journalist. In some early TV appearances (e.g. the BBC's "Five Red Herrings") he was credited as "Ian Ireland".

Ireland's directing credits include Guys & Dolls, A View from the Bridge, Romeo and Juliet, Phaedra, Macbeth, Lovers, The Anatomist, Clay Bull, Mother Courage, Much Ado About Nothing, Of Mice and Men, Private Lives, Oleanna, The Gowk Storm, Waiting for Godot, Dancing at Lughnasa, Oedipus Tyrannos and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

He also appeared in Acorn Antiques, the STV series Taggart, the 1983 film Local Hero, Dempsey and Makepeace episode "In the Dark", Series 2 of "Auf Wiedersehen Pet" the 1990 series House of Cards as Media tycoon Benjamin Landless starring alongside Ian Richardson as Francis Urquhart, and the David Leland film The Big Man with Liam Neeson. He was also in Heartbeat and made a brief appearance in the promo video for Tracey Ullman's "Sunglasses".

He appeared in the television series Benidorm as swinger Donald Stewart from 2007 until the end of the series that aired in early 2014. In June 2014, it was announced that he had brain cancer. His character did not appear in the 7th series of Benidorm in person, however the character's voice was heard on a telephone call, albeit provided by a sound-a-like.[6][7][8]


Ireland died of cancer on 31 July 2014 aged 68.[9]


Year Title Role Notes
2007–2014BenidormDonald Stewart65 episodes
2013Loose WomenHimselfInterview
2012Midsomer MurdersGeorge Dormer
2012DoctorsGodfrey Lang
2012This MorningHimselfInterview
2011All Star Family FortunesHimselfBenidorm vs. The Only Way is Essex
2009Beyond a JokeHimself
2005Rose and MaloneyMr. Hawkins the prison officer
2005New TricksGeorge Morton3 episodes
2005CasualtyJoshua Wright
2004HeartbeatZeph Pratt
2003My Dad's the Prime MinisterUnion leader
2003Monarch of the GlenMike Baxter
1999Loose WomenHimself
1999TaggartKenny Murdoch
1997Hamish MacbethTorquil McFarquar
1993Punch DrunkVinnie Binns6 episodes
1992El C.I.D.Angus
19914 PlaySammy Duncan
1990House of CardsBen Landless
1990Rab C. NesbittGavin Clark
1990Drop the Dead DonkeySound man
1990The Big ManTonyFeature film
1989ResurrectedDenzil ClausenFeature film
1989Hard CasesSlow Michael
1988Drowning by NumbersJonah BognorFeature film
1988Salome's Last Dance1st soldierFeature film
1987A Hazard of HeartsPadlettTV film
1987Life Without GeorgeSammy6 episodes
1985–1987Victoria Wood As Seen on TVDerek9 episodes
1984The Young VisitersAlfred SalteenaFeature film
1983Local HeroSkipperFeature film
1982MoonlightingTimber manFeature film
1980The Dogs of WarFilm crew memberFeature film
1972The Hound of the BaskervillesSir Henry BaskervilleTV film


  4. Hayward, Anthony (31 July 2014). "Kenny Ireland obituary". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  5. "Scots getting theatre 'on the cheap'". 24 February 2002. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  6. "'Benidorm' Star Kenny Ireland Fighting Cancer". 23 June 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  7. "Benidorm star Kenny Ireland battling cancer – Showbiz News". Digital Spy. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  8. "Benidorm Star Kenny Ireland is 'battling cancer' – Yahoo TV UK". 23 June 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  9. "BBC News – Benidorm actor Kenny Ireland dies from cancer aged 68". 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.Template:Cweb
  10. "Kenny Ireland – IMDb". Retrieved 31 July 2014.
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