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Neil Anthony Morrissey (born 4 July 1962) is an Englishmarker actor. His best known roles include Rocky in Boon; Tony in Men Behaving Badly; the voice of Bob the Builder; and deputy head Eddie Lawson in Waterloo Road. In August 2009 he promoted a national tour of the play Rain Man.

Early life

Morrissey was born in Stoke-on-Trentmarker. Along with his brothers John and Stephen, the boys were placed under a care order and legally separated from their parents, Larry and May. They spent much of their childhood in separate foster homes, and Morrissey spent most of his time at the Penkhull Children's Home.

While studying at Thistley Hough High Schoolmarker in Stoke he advertised for foster parents to allow him to gain his A Levels. He gained the results required allowing him to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.



On leaving Guildhall, Morrissey paid off his student debts by landing parts in film productions. His first role in 1984 was Able Seaman Matthew Quintal in The Bounty alongside Mel Gibson, Anthony Hopkins and Laurence Olivier.In 1984 he also appeared in episide 5 (of series 5) of the police drama Juliet Bravo, shown on BBC1.Morrissey shot to fame in the mid-1980s as dim biker Rocky in the ITV drama series Boon. In 1990, he played the lead role of Noddy in the British spoof horror film I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle which involved many of the actors from Boon.

His most prominent role - as Tony in Men Behaving Badly - was created to replace the character of Dermot after Harry Enfield left the series. The series became one of the most popular UK sitcoms of the 1990s and turned Morrissey into a national star and a target for the tabloid newspaper. His ongoing romance storyline with co-star Leslie Ash led to the pair appearing in several advertisements for Homebase. In 1997, he starred in the Comedy Premiere The Chest and in 1998 two TV series: My Summer with Des and The Vanishing Man.

Circa 1999, Morrisey starred in a comedy drama called Shakespeares Birthday, in which he played a coach driver. One of his colleagues was played by Tony Selby.

Morrissey also starred in the John Godber film about rugby league called Up n Under and voiced several characters in the children's television series Bob the Builder, including the lead character, in which role he scored a Christmas 2000 UK number 1 single with "Can We Fix It?" In addition, he provides the narration for Morph (in recent years) and Maisy.

In 2002, Morrissey returned to TV screens in the drama series Paradise Heights which ran for two series. He then had a starring role in the BBC sitcom Carrie and Barry in 2004.

His West End theatremarker work includes Speed, Robin Hood, The Daughter In-Law and his critically acclaimed West End performance in A Passionate Woman. In 2005 Morrissey performed in Victoria Wood's musical adaptation of Acorn Antiques The Musical alongside Julie Walters, Celia Imrie, Duncan Preston and Josie Lawrence. Morrissey took over the role of Nathan Detroit from Nigel Lindsay in the London revival of Guys and Dolls from 6 March, 2006 until June 2006.

In 2006 he was the guest host for an episode of Channel 4's The Friday Night Project before taking on the role as presenter on the BBC Two car related game show Petrolheads.

In 2007 he appeared in British TV show Skins as the father of Cassie and made a guest appearance in Neighbours as a priest, remarrying long term characters Susan (Jackie Woodburne) and Karl (Alan Fletcher) on a boat in the River Thames.

On October 11 2007 he made his first appearance in the BBC's Waterloo Road as new deputy head teacher, Eddie Lawson. He was in this role for two series', and he made his final appearance in the role in May 2009.

He will play the role of Buttons in the Pantomime 'Cinderella' at Derbymarker LIVE Assembly Rooms at Christmas 2009

Spoof show

On 1 April 2006, a BBC Three spoof programme titled Neil Morrissey's Secret documented sides of Morrissey's life that were previously unknown to the world at large. It alleged he has a house, wife and two children in Jordan as well as a degree in Botany which he had been studying for 20 years. These studies were integral to his motivation to find a breakthrough in anti-ageing. According to the documentary he has invented a cream called 'The Essence' which contains extracts of a plant found only in a remote Jordanian village. In the documentary the cream's acolytes include celebrities such as Jane Seymour, Gloria Hunniford and Phillipa Forrester. The show followed Morrissey as he carried out his research which involved years of study and crossing continents, funded by his lucrative acting career. Ultimately Morrissey launches the cream only to have his friends concerned for his health, his laboratory broken into, and a trip to Jordan where he finds that the villagers whose trust he had gained through time spent with them, have abandoned their homes because of the fall-out of his discovery. This hoax was launched on April 1 and despite the suspicions caused by this date as April Fools Day, it still managed to convince some people that it was true.


The Ye Olde Punch Bowl Inn, The lease of which was part owned by Morrisey

Prudent with money, Morrissey has invested his earnings successfully in various projects, including production companies and his own television advertising and production company, Cactus Media Group.

He still lives in his two bedroom flat in Crouch Endmarker, has no mortgage, and bought his first 'flash' car in 2002. He has investments in Babington House, Somersetmarker; and has money in stocks and shares. He has also bought his mother a home in Stafford.

Morrissey's love of the Welshmarker poet Dylan Thomas led to him and his business partner Matt Roberts buying up numerous properties in the village of Laugharnemarker, including the Hurst Hotel, the New Three Mariners pub and Brown's Hotel in April 2004 for £670,000. In October 2006 it was announced that the business had put Brown's Hotel on the market in order to finance the redevelopment of the Hurst Hotel, and the expansion of the private members' club, Hurst House in Covent Gardenmarker, London. In July 2008, with delays encountered on the construction of Hurst House-at-the-Mill, a luxury hotel in Hertfordshiremarker due to open in 2009, the Laugharne based assets of the Hurst House group went into a packaged administration. The assets were subsequently bought by new investors backing Roberts, resulting in the end of Morrissey's association with Laugharne.

Neil Morrisey also part owns lease on the Ye Olde Punch Bowl Inn in Martonmarker, North Yorkshire as well as the on-site micro brewery Morrisey-Fox, until it went bankrupt on 22 October 2009 after his and Neil Foxes consistent mismanagement. In June 2009 it was reported his Welsh pub had failed and his company owed £250,000.

Personal life

Neil Morrissey married Amanda Noar in 1987 after meeting her when she guested in an episode of Boon; the couple have a son born in 1989, he also has five nieces and a nephew. The couple divorced in 1991. He then got engaged to actress Elizabeth Carling whom he had first met in 1989 when they were both working on Boon. They parted on good terms: she later guested alongside him on Men Behaving Badly. His dating history since is well documented by the British tabloids, including dating Rachel Weisz after starring together in My Summer with Des in 1998 - they lived together at his flat in Crouch Endmarker.

However, the tabloid interest grew to its height with Morrissey's affair with actress Amanda Holden at the height of his fame and when her husband, comedian Les Dennis was taking part in Celebrity Big Brother. The affair was the primary reason for Holden's and Dennis's separation and subsequent divorce. At the story's height, there were 35 photographers outside his home, and he had to ask a neighbour to buy him milk and other essential food supplies - he later asked the police to help him get to his car.

Morrissey has numerous tattoos. According to one version of how he obtained them, he applied them to each other with needles and Indian ink. On Neil's right arm is his Christian name and a blob that started off as his initials but had to be abandoned when it swelled up and he was rushed to the doctor for a tetanus jab. On his right is a squiggle that is a reversed version of The Saint. Morrissey himself says the tattoos were done by other boys at the children's home. The boys there saw he did not have a tattoo and so he was given the option of a tattoo or be beaten up. He took the option of the tattoo and now regrets not taking the option of a beating.

He has also appeared as the star in a "reasonably priced car" on Top Gear, and admitted his current car was a BMW 745i.

In 2006 Morrissey was awarded an honorary degree from the Staffordshire University.


  1. Interviewed BBC TV Breakfast, 12 August 2009
  2. Neil Morrissey: 'No, I'm NOT scared of commitment!'
  5. Morrissey buys Dylan Thomas' local BBC NEWS
  6. [1]
  7. Actor Morrissey to sell Dylan pub
  8. Interview: Neil Morrissey The Observer
  9. Neil Morrissey on Bob and behaving badly
  10. Neil Morrissey

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