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Tell Us In 10: Jonty Stephens and Ian Ashpitel

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 15 January 2020, Last Updated 22 January 2020

In our profile series, Tell Us In 10, we ask cast members and creatives of top London shows to tell us all about themselves in just 10 questions.

This week we have the hilarious Jonty Stephens and Ian Ashpitel who play Eric And Little Ern and capture the brilliance of Morecambe and Wise in their fantastic homage to Britain’s best loved comedy duo.

Eric and Little Ern. Photo by Paul Coltas.

1. My route into theatre was…

Jonty: School productions then to Stratford College A-levels and onto Drama School. My first job was at The Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Ian: Via the Royal Navy and then Drama school.

2. My West End idol is…

Jonty: So many for various reasons. Watching Peter O’Toole in Jeffrey Bernard was a real stand out moment. A true theatrical giant.

Ian: Michael Gambon.

3. My colleagues would describe me as…

Jonty: Funny, but chaotic!

Ian: Cheeky.

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4. My favourite show present or past (that isn’t one I star in) is…

Jonty: Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell. The recent “Follies” production at the National Theatre.

Ian: A Lie Of The Mind which I saw at the Royal Court.

5. The career moment I’m most proud of is…

Jonty: Our Olivier nomination for Eric And Little Ern.

Ian: Kursk at the Young Vic.

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6. The hardest part about my role is…

Jonty: Trying to not corpse on stage with Ian!

Ian: The travelling.

7. If I didn’t work in theatre I would be…

Jonty: Working with wildlife, RSPB. Looking after the natural habitat etc.

Ian: Still in the Royal Navy.

8. Something people don’t know about me is…

Jonty: I had trials for Warwickshire Cricket Club as a kid.

Ian: I can read Morse code at 20wpm.

9. The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…

Jonty: Remember whatever you do, not everyone is going to like you.

Ian: Be yourself.

10. The one thing I wish I could tell my younger self is…

Jonty: Create your own work. Don’t wait for it to happen.

Ian: Create your own work.

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