Jason Watkins (actor)

Jason Watkins (born 28 October[2] 1966 in Albrighton, Shropshire) is an English stage, film and television actor. He played the lead role in the two-part drama The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, for which he won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor. He has also played William Herrick in Being Human, Gavin Strong in Trollied, Simon Harwood in W1A, and Gordon Shakespeare in the film series Nativity.

Jason Watkins
Born (1966-10-28) 28 October 1966 (age 53)
Albrighton, Shropshire, England[1]
Years active1986–present
Spouse(s)Clara Francis


Following his training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art,[3] Watkins established himself as a stage actor. He is a member of the National Theatre company.[4]

He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 2001 (2000 season) for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in A Servant For Two Masters (Young Vic, subsequently transferred to New Ambassadors Theatre).[5] Other theatre work includes Rafts and Dreams at the Royal Court Theatre, Philistines and Landscape with Weapon (by Joe Penhall) at the National Theatre, London (2007) and A Laughing Matter (by April De Angelis) at the Liverpool Playhouse in 2003 (for which he was hailed as "magnificent" for his portrayal of the actor David Garrick).

In 2018 he played the predatory serial killer Ralph in a revival of Bryony Lavery's play Frozen at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.[citation needed]


Watkins's most prominent television roles have included the vampire leader William Herrick in Being Human; the crime suspect Jason Buliegh in Conviction; Bradley Stainer in Funland; and the dog-walking crime witness Francis Cross in Five Days. He also played Oswald Cooper in "The Great and the Good", an episode of Lewis;[6] Plornish in the 2008 BBC production of Little Dorrit; and Cabbage Patterson in the BBC adaptation of Lark Rise to Candleford. He had a cameo in episode seven of the second series of Life on Mars, as Gene Hunt's dissolute lawyer Colin Merric.[7]

In 2006 he played the (real-life) pioneering radiologist Ernest Wilson in a BBC pilot, Casualty 1906. Also in 2006 he played the part of Sir Christopher Hatton in The Virgin Queen, a four-part BBC drama. He then featured in the second series of the BBC's comedy Psychoville, as Peter Bishop, owner of Hoyti Toyti, an antique shop specialising in toys.

Since 2011 he has also appeared in the Sky1 sitcom Trollied as the store manager Gavin. In early 2012 he joined the cast of the BBC drama Prisoners' Wives, appeared as Detective Gilks in Dirk Gently and portrayed a smooth Church of England PR man in Twenty Twelve.

On 11 May 2013 he appeared in the Doctor Who story Nightmare in Silver, written by Neil Gaiman, featuring the Cybermen in their current design.[8] Also in 2013 he played an anaesthetist in The Wrong Mans. In 2014, he appeared as Simon Harwood in BBC comedy series W1A. A second series aired in 2015 and a third is being broadcast in 2017.

In 2014 he played the leading role in a two-part ITV drama entitled The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, about the innocent initial suspect in the 2010 murder of Joanna Yeates. He won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor in this role.

In 2016 Watkins played the role of Pastor Hansford in the four-part ITV drama The Secret. Watkins appeared in two episodes of The Hollow Crown and played the role of Malcolm Turner in the BBC sitcom series Love, Nina. He narrated the Channel 4 documentary series The Job Interview, appeared as Tony Michaels in an episode of Friday Night Dinner and was cast as Mr Humphries in the BBC revival of Are You Being Served?.[citation needed]

In 2017 Watkins played Solomon Coop, private secretary to the Prince Regent (later George IV), in the BBC One series Taboo. Also on BBC One, Watkins performed as Wilfred Lucas-Dockery, the governor of the prison in the third episode of the BBC's adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel Decline and Fall.[9] He played Simon in the second series of ITV drama Safe House in 2017.[10] In 2018 he played Roger in the BBC sitcom Hold the Sunset and Emlyn Hooson in the Russell T Davies miniseries A Very English Scandal.[11]

Watkins played Prime Minister Harold Wilson in the third series of Netflix drama The Crown and is providing the voice of Captain Orchis in the BBC adaptation of Watership Down.


Watkins's most prominent film role to date has been the vividly camp gay wedding planner Gregory Hough in the 2006 comedy Confetti. He has also played smaller roles in High Hopes, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Tomorrow Never Dies, The Golden Compass, Wild Child and Nativity! and its follow-up Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger. His son, Freddie, played his pupil in Nativity!.

Personal lifeEdit

Watkins is married to jewellery designer Clara Francis. In 2011 their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Maude died of sepsis. He dedicated his 2015 BAFTA award to her and campaigns for greater awareness of sepsis.[12] Watkins and his wife have two other children, Bessie and Gilbert. Watkins also has two sons from his first marriage.[3]


Year Ceremony Award Nominated work Result
2001 Olivier Awards[13] "Best Supporting Actor" Jason Watkins – A Servant To Two Masters Nominated
2002 Helen Hayes Awards "Outstanding Lead Actor" Jason Watkins – A Servant of Two Masters Won
2015 British Academy Television Awards[14] "Leading Actor" Jason Watkins – The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies Won
"Mini-Series" The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies Won
2016 Royal Television Society Awards "Best Drama Serial"[15] The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies Won



Year Title Role Notes
1987–1988 EastEnders Gerry Fairweather Appeared in eleven episodes as an Estate Agent
1991 Soldier Soldier Cpl Geoff Porter Appeared in episode "Battlefields"
1993 The Buddha of Suburbia Terry


Booze cruise 2 Lawrence
1993 The Good Guys (British TV series) Paul Appeared in the episode "All That Sparkles"
1993 Between The Lines Custody Sergeant Appeared in episode "Manslaughter"
1994 Casualty (TV series) Partridge Appeared in episode "Love and Affection"
2006 Blue Murder Barr Episode: "In Deep"
2007 Life on Mars Colin Merrick Episode 15
2008 Hotel Babylon Murray Guest role
2009–2012 Being Human William Herrick Recurring role
2010–2012 Dirk Gently DI Gilks Recurring role
2011–2018 Trollied Gavin Strong Main role, 67 episodes
2012 Miranda Dick Twist Episode: "It Was Panning"
2012 prisoners wives William (Gemma boss) 6 Episodes
2013 Doctor Who Webley Guest role
2013 The Wrong Mans Anaesthetist Guest role
2014–present W1A Simon Harwood 3 series, 14 episodes
2014 The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies Christopher Jefferies Two-part drama
2016 The Secret Pastor Hansford Four-part drama
The Hollow Crown Suffolk Episodes: "Henry VI Part I" and "Henry VI part II"
Love, Nina Malcolm Turner Sitcom series
The Job Interview Himself, narrator Documentary series
Friday Night Dinner Tony Michaels Episode: "The Two Tonys"
Are You Being Served? Mr Humphries[citation needed] TV special
2017 Inside No 9 Kevin Episode: "The Bill"
Taboo Solomon Coop Episodes 2–8
Line of Duty Tim Ifield Season 4, 2 episodes
Decline and Fall Governor Wilfred Lucas-Dockery Part 3
Safe House Simon Duke Series 2
2018 Inside The Tower of London Narrator
Watership Down Captain Orchis (voice) Recurring role
A Very English Scandal Emlyn Hooson[16]
2019 The Crown Harold Wilson Series 3
2018–present Hold the Sunset Roger Series 1-2
2020 Des Brian Masters (biographer) TV miniseries
2020 Midsomer Murders Joe Ferabbee Season 20 episode 6 "Send in the Clowns"
2020 McDonald & Dodds DS Dodds Series 1, 2 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
1988 High Hopes Wayne
1992 Split Second (1992 film) Coroner’s Assistant
1997 Tomorrow Never Dies Principal Warfare Officer
2004 Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Charlie Parker-Knowles
2006 Confetti Gregory Hough
Housewife, 49 Dr Roger Brierley
2007 The Golden Compass Bolvangar Official
2008 Wild Child Mr Nellist
2009 Nativity! Mr Gordon Shakespeare
2012 Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger Mr Gordon Shakespeare
2014 Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey? Mr Gordon Shakespeare
2017 Hampstead James Smythe
The Children Act Nigel Pauling
2018 We Are Where We Are Andy
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote Rupert


  1. ^ Laws, Roz (4 September 2011). "Vampire Jason Watkins reveals his Midland past and mild-mannered life off-screen". Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Jason Watkins". Twitter.[non-primary source needed]
  3. ^ a b Woods, Judith (30 April 2015). "Jason Watkins: 'After the Death of a Child, Work Has More Purpose'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Jason Watkins". Royal National Theatre. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Jason Watkins". Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  6. ^ "The Great and the Good". IMDb. 16 March 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  7. ^ https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0914327/ Jason Watkins @ IMDB
  8. ^ The Doctor Who Team. "BBC Latest News – Doctor Who – Confirmed for 2013: Cybermen and Stellar Cast". Doctor Who. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  9. ^ "Jason Watkins". IMDb. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  10. ^ "ITV announces brand new season of original event drama Safe House". Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  11. ^ "What time is Hold the Sunset on TV?". Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  12. ^ Walker, Danny (8 September 2015). "BAFTA-winning Jason Watkins opens up about losing his two-year-old daughter". Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Olivier Winners 2001". Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  14. ^ Jess Denham (10 May 2015). "Bafta TV Awards 2015: Georgina Campbell and Jason Watkins win Best Actor and Best Actress for hard-hitting dramas". The Independent. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  15. ^ Justin Harp (22 March 2016). "Emmerdale, Doctor Foster, Ant & Dec and Catastrophe win big at the Royal Television Society Awards". Digital Spy. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  16. ^ "A Very English Scandal Cast Credits". IMDb. Retrieved 28 May 2018.

External linksEdit