Drama students recently had the unique opportunity to interview former Taunton School student and well-loved actor, Ian McNeice, in a virtual question and answer session.

Ian, who is best known for playing “Bert Large” in ITV’s Doc Martin is a classically trained actor, having studied at LAMDA and worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company for many years. During the virtual meeting, he regaled the students with tales from Hollywood, working with Anthony Hopkins, Daniel Radcliffe, Cameron Diaz and Jim Carrey, mentioning that it all started with his performance in “Charlie’s Aunt” at Taunton School.

Ian, who was a student at Taunton School in the 1960s, said, “I owe a great deal to Taunton School – it’s where it all began. I would encourage any young person interested in a career as an actor to get some proper training and persevere. It’s not easy, but I wouldn’t look back!”

Head of Drama Melanie Stamp said: “The pupils were so lucky to have this fantastic opportunity to interview a national treasure. He was so inspirational and interesting and we all really enjoyed hearing fascinating memories and anecdotes from his film and stage career. I was a little star struck (as were the students!) but the one thing I will take away was the passion he has for performance which was conveyed so clearly in the warmth of his speech when discussing his life”

The virtual interview with Ian McNeice can be viewed online here.

Drama plays a huge part at Taunton School and children from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply through the School’s Assisted Places scheme which supports talent and a willingness to learn regardless of financial means.

During lockdown, Taunton School has encouraged its community to keep in touch. Stories, photos and memories of school have flooded in from parents, staff and alumni. Some more prominent leaders of business and industry produced videos offering career advice and support for students. To visit the Old Tauntonian page click here.