Tony Slattery – On The Spot

Actor, writer, comedian and improvisationist Tony Slattery began his illustrious career in the notorious successful review show The Cambridge Footlights following in such famous footsteps as Peter Cook, David Frost, John Cleese and Jonathan Miller . Being the oldest review style club in the world, this was the springboard he needed to put Slattery on the entertainment map and in 1982 he made his acting debut in The Cellar Tapes alongside unknown actors who would go onto dominate the next generation of entertainment including Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson and Sandi Toksvig to name but a few.

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Just six years later in 1988, Channel Four commissioned a television adaptation of the popular BBC Radio 4 series Whose Line is it Anyway. Having loved the radio show though failed to ever appear on it, Tony was determined to get on the television incarnation of the series. After a successful audition, he became a firm fixture of the WLIA team alongside Josie Lawrence, Paul Merton and chairmen Clive Anderson. Whose Line Is It Anyway ran for eleven years on Channel Four and was among a very few shows to be totally unscripted. Slattery states that nowadays panel and entertainment shows attempt to create the illusion that they are unscripted but yet employ a team of writers who compose each and every utterance but WLIA was pure and unaltered comedy improvisation at its very best and always remained extremely popular because of it.




In terms of his career, Tony has never had a plan or a direction of where he wants to go or what he wants to do so takes every role as it comes and is up for trying just about anything. So in December 2005 he joined the long-running drama Coronation Street as Eric Talford, the bookmaker and love interest of Carol Baldwin. Unfortunately the character only lasted a year but it did give Tony a great accomplishment of appearing in such an iconic programme. After Coronation Street, Tony returned to improvisation and live comedy; something which he has become a master of and nearly forty years after making his Cambridge Footlights debut, the wired performer is as sharp as ever. It was a great honour to meet and interview the great Tony Slattery and wish him all the very best for the rest of his career.


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