Paul Shelley

Paul Shelley (born Paul Matthews; 15 May 1942) is an English actor.

Paul Shelley
Paul Matthews

(1942-05-15) 15 May 1942 (age 80)
Alma materRADA[1]
Years active1968–present
Spouse(s)Eileen Nicholas (divorced)
Paula Stockbridge
RelativesFrancis Matthews (brother)

Shelley was born in Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, and trained at RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art). Since then he has mainly worked in the theatre as a classical actor. He has worked extensively with the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company and has appeared in several West End productions.

Television and film rolesEdit

His work for television includes A Tale of Two Cities (1980), the BBC Sunday classic serial in which he played the dual lead roles of Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton, Secret Army (1978–79) as Major Nicholas Bradley, The Fourth Arm (1979), Special Branch (1974), Blake's 7 (1979), Doctor Who (1982), Inspector Morse (1990), Paradise Postponed (1986) based on book by John Mortimer (audiobook-recorded by Paul Shelley as well) and its sequel Titmuss Regained (1991, also audiobook),, Revelations (1994–95), Heartbeat (2002) and Crossroads (2003).[2][3] In the popular ITV detective drama Midsomer Murders episode "The Creeper" (2009) Shelley performed as Inspector Barnaby's boss, Chief Constable Richard Lovell and appeared as Jed Grey in several episodes in BBC TV series Doctors (2010).[4][2]

Films include Oh! What a Lovely War (1969), Polanski's Macbeth (1971), It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet (1976) and God's Outlaw (1986).[5]

Theatre rolesEdit

Shelley played Duncan in Rupert Goold's production of Macbeth ("the Macbeth of a lifetime" according to critics) which after its sellout runs at Chichester Festival Theatre in summer 2007 was transferred to the West End in the autumn and then to New York from February to May 2008. During the Chichester season 2007 he also played Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night.[6]

Other notable roles are: at Shakespeare's Globe: Julius Caesar (title role), Antony in Antony and Cleopatra, three Tom Stoppard plays in the West End The Invention of Love (Oscar Wilde), Arcadia (Bernard), The Real Thing (Henry), at Royal National Theatre: The Secret Rapture (Tom French), Hedda Gabler (Tesman), The Crucible (Hale), Lady in the Dark (Kendal), at Royal Shakespeare Company: Romeo and Juliet (Tybalt), King Lear (Edmund), The Winter’s Tale (Leontes), Troilus and Cressida (Achilles), Les liaisons dangereuses (Valmont). Shelley has also often worked at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, as an actor and director, on such plays as Uncle Vanya and King Lear.[7] For nine months he played Arthur Kipps in the thriller The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre (2006–07).[8]

Shelley played Elyot Chase in Noël Coward's Private Lives at the Theatre Royal, York and returned there to direct Robert Bolt's A Man For All Seasons, in June 2008.[9] He played the Duke of Norfolk in A Man For All Seasons, on tour and at the Haymarket in 2005-06.[7] In a Donmar Warehouse production of T.S. Eliot's The Family Reunion he played Colonel Gerald Piper in a run from November 2008 to January 2009.[10] At York's Theatre Royal from 30 May-20 June 2009 Paul played Max in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming.[11] A Voyage Around My Father, by John Mortimer, with Paul Shelley playing the Father, was a Salisbury Playhouse production in autumn 2010.[12] Rose Theatre, Kingston in March 2011 showed Shakespeare's As You Like It with Paul Shelley in the dual roles of Duke Frederick and Duke Senior.[13] After that he played Ralph in Harold Pinter's 'Moonlight' at the Donmar Warehouse.[14] "Earthquakes in London" by Mike Bartlett and directed by Rupert Goold was on UK tour until 12 November 2011 with Paul Shelley as the father, Robert.[15] In June 2012 the Orange Tree Theatre showed The Conquering Hero with Paul Shelley as Colonel Rokeby.[7] He played Andrew in Mike Bartlett's adaptation of "Medea" on tour until December 2012.[16] Produced by Headlong. Theatre Royal Bath showed "King Lear" in July–August 2013 with Paul as the Earl of Gloucester.[17] From 21 January to 8 February 2014 Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh showed Eugene O'Neill's "Long day's journey into night" with Paul playing the father, James Tyrone.[18] "Brideshead Revisited" on UK tour April–June 2016 with Paul as Lord Marchmain.[19]


He is also an audiobook narrator and has recorded some thirty audiobooks, among them John FowlesThe French Lieutenant’s Woman, Kingsley AmisLucky Jim, several of Robert Goddard's novels, James Cameron's An Indian Summer, Nicholas Crane's Two Degrees West and Staying On by Paul Scott.[20] He has been called "the best reader there is" and has three times won the Audiofile Earphones Award.[21]

Personal lifeEdit

Paul Shelley has toured and taught at universities in the USA. He is married to actress Paula Stockbridge and has a son and daughter from his previous marriage to actress Eileen Nicholas. His elder brother Francis Matthews was also an actor, and sister Maura Matthews.[22][23]



Year Title Role Notes
1969 Oh! What a Lovely War Jack Henry Smith
1971 Macbeth Donalbain
1976 It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet Richard Carmody
1985 Lace II Christopher Swann TV movie
1986 God's Outlaw John Frith
1997 Caught in the Act Neville Goodenough DTV movie
2001 On Wings of Fire King Vishtaspa
2010 Great Performances Duncan Macbeth


Year Title Role Notes
1968 Nicholas Nickleby Frank Cheeryble TV Series
1968 ITV Playhouse Jack Sheppard Two episodes
1969 The Mind of Mr. J.G. Reeder Constable Burnett Episode: The Poetical Policeman
1970 Wicked Women Alfred Brierly Episode: Florence Maybrick
1970 The Borderers William Ker Episode: Where The White Lilies Grow
1970 Hark at Barker Hero Episode: Rustless on Music
1970 ITV Playhouse The Count Episode: The Style of the Countess
1972 Man at the Top Mike Slater TV series
1973 The Pathfinders Flight Lt. Tony Hurst Episode: Nightmare
1973 New Scotland Yard Kenny Aldridge Episode: Diamonds Are Never Forever
1974 Special Branch Palliser Episode: Jailbait
1975 Churchill's People Norman man-at-arms Episode: Silver Giant, Wooden Dwarf
1978 The Comedy of Errors Ephesus Townsperson TV movie
1978 Accident Eddie Knight Episode: Purple One
1978-1979 Secret Army Major Nicholas Bradley TV series
1979 The Fourth Arm Major Hugh Gallagher TV series
1979 A Man Called Intrepid Bo TV series
1979 Blake's 7 Major Provine Episode: Countdown
1979-1980 Turtle's Progress Alex Corton TV series
1980 Breakaway Peter Bradford Episodes: The Family Affair
1980 A Tale of Two Cities Sydney Carton/Charles Darnay TV series
1981 When the Boat Comes In Bauer Episode: Flies and Spiders
1981 Guerre en pays neutre David TV miniseries
1982 Doctor Who Persuasion Episodes: Four to Doomsday
1986 Paradise Postponed Fred Simcox TV series
1990 Inspector Morse Stephen Radford Episode: The Sins of the Fathers
1991 Titmuss Regained Dr Fred Simcox TV series
1992 The Good Guys Graham Hedley Episode: Relative Values
1993 Soldier Soldier Lt Col Horwood Episode: Base Details
1994 The 10 Percenters Aubrey Episode: Galaxy Quest 8
1994-1995 Revelations Edward Rattigan TV series
1995 99-1 Rappaport Episode: The Lost Ones
1996 In Suspicious Circumstances George Storrs Episode: The Golden Goose
1997 Frighteners Bill Turner Episode: Rose Cottage
2002 Heartbeat Ralph Harrison Episode: A Girl's Beat Friend
2003 Dot the i Presenter
2003 Crossroads Stafford Wynter
2005 Doctors Alan Bellamy Episode: "Home Front"
2009 Midsomer Murders CC Richard Lovell Episode: "The Creeper"
2010–2012 Doctors Jed Grey Recurring role
2010 Great Performances Duncan Macbeth
2017 Midsomer Murders Walter Oswood Episode: "Death by Persuasion"


  1. ^ "Paul Shelley — RADA".
  2. ^ a b "Paul Shelley".
  3. ^ "Paul Shelley | TV, Documentary and Other Appearances". AllMovie.
  4. ^ "The Creeper (2010)". BFI.
  5. ^ "Paul Shelley". BFI.
  6. ^ "Paul Shelley: an actor's life". HeraldScotland.
  7. ^ a b c "Paul Shelley | Theatricalia".
  8. ^ ""The Woman In Black" extends a year to 1 Sep 2007". London Theatre. 8 June 2016.
  9. ^ "The man for all seasons". The Northern Echo.
  10. ^ Benedict, David (2 December 2008). "The Family Reunion".
  11. ^ "Theatre review: The Homecoming / Theatre Royal, York | Theatre review". The Guardian. 11 June 2009.
  12. ^ "A Voyage Round My Father | Theatre review". The Guardian. 7 September 2010.
  13. ^ "As You Like It, a Curtain Up London review".
  14. ^ "Moonlight, Donmar Warehouse, London". The Independent. 14 April 2011.
  15. ^ "Review: Earthquakes in London".
  16. ^ "Theatre review: Medea at Watford Palace Theatre". British Theatre Guide.
  17. ^ "Theatre review: King Lear at Bath's Theatre Royal - That's right,". The Independent. 3 August 2013.
  18. ^ "Long Day's Journey Into Night – review". The Guardian. 22 January 2014.
  19. ^ "REVIEW: Brideshead Revisited (Theatre Royal, Brighton, until Saturday, June 11th)".
  20. ^ "AudioFile, Discover the World of Audiobooks". AudioFile Magazine.
  21. ^ "Paul Shelley | Narrator". Penguin Random House Audio.
  22. ^ Gaughan, Gavin (15 June 2014). "Francis Matthews". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  23. ^ "Francis Matthews, actor who voiced Captain Scarlet, dies aged 86". 15 June 2014.

External linksEdit