A gentleman in a league of his own

A gentleman in a league of his own

15th December 2014


DALEKS invaded and visitors were transported back in time as Carmel College hosted an evening with acclaimed Dr Who writer and actor Mark Gatiss.

Around 500 people packed into the John Caden Hall for a one-off event that saw Mark in conversation with Peter Barron, editor of The Northern Echo.     

The event also attracted fans of Sherlock, the hit television show co-created by Mark and in which he plays Mycroft Holmes, brother to Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock.

He is also well known for the subversive comedy series The League of Gentleman, which he created with drama college friends, and most recently for appearing in Game of Thrones. He will soon be seen in the new Dad's Army film.

The evening was run by Teesside University on behalf of the Mayor of Darlington Gerald Lee to raise funds for the Butterwick Hospice, Stockton, and military recovery centre Phoenix House, at Catterick Garrison.

Coun Lee welcomed the audience to "this wonderful, wonderful school, which I am very proud to be associated with".

"Carmel has helped me in more ways than one and I appreciate everything they do," he added.

The evening was a fond trip down memory lane for Mark, who grew up in School Aycliffe and attended Heighington Primary School and Woodham Comprehensive, at Newton Aycliffe. His first stage appearance was in the Fire of London at Darlington's Civic Theatre and he did his early writing and performing at the now-closed Arts Centre.

Sharing his advice for budding young writers, he added: "You just have to have the confidence to show it to someone and not be afraid if they give you criticism. No-one's judging you, you can do what you like.”

The creation of Sherlock, which is enjoying global success and has already taken Mark to Brazil, China and India, was "a lightbulb moment" from a conversation between fellow Dr Who writer Steven Moffat over their shared love of Basil Rathbone as Holmes.

Finally, asked where he would head for in his Tardis, he said: "I would go to the future. I'd really like to see if we make it and what's around the corner."

News in December