I’ve always been taught the value of hard work by my mum and dad from an early age. They were market traders for a time and from about 7 or 8 years old I remember doing the stalls with them in and around London, usually in the early hours and pretty much always FREEZING cold. Both are seriously hard workers and I learnt from them if you wanted something it wasn’t going to come to you, you have to go out there and get it. My Dad used to always say to me “son, go and grab life by the bollocks” and that’s always stuck with me, which is why I’m fascinated by everything and if I believe in something I’m like a dog with a bone.
During school, I got a weekend job at a theatre lighting company after doing work experience with them, it was a brilliant learning curve and looking back now I believe this is the point when I started to take an interest in acting or it at least caught my attention.
After leaving school I managed to get an apprenticeship with BT, during my time there all I could think about was trying to get into acting and so after a year I knew I had to leave and find a job that would allow me more flexibility to pursue my dream.
Enter Billingsgate Fish Market, an amazing chapter of my life, which I can only look back at through rose tinted glasses. Started as a boy, left as a man, well at least I thought I did. My Dad used to work at Smithfield meat market and I knew the early hours would be great for allowing me to go to acting classes in the day and evenings, however because of the congestion charge and distance I felt Billingsgate may be the better option.
From the Fish Market to Actor to Business Owner
we meet entrepreneur
I drove up in my Peugeot 106 every day for nearly two weeks pestering the traders until Roger Barton aka ‘The Bastard of Billingsgate’ gave me an opportunity to be his shop boy. Well, they weren’t wrong about his nick name, I really liked the bloke as a person but as a boss he was TOUGH.
After settling into the market and I then started acting classes at the Actors Centre in London which I loved instantly, my first teacher was an American named Nathan Osgood, a great teacher and will always be a legend to me.
A year or so on I became one of the youngest licensed Fish Porters at Billingsgate and on the side, I decided to start my own weekend fish stall at New Covent Garden market next to my Dad who also had a pitch there. As well as this I had started a fish delivery round to restaurants and hotels. I remember having to deliver a Salmon late one Saturday to one of Gordan Ramsey’s places, which to me at the time felt like I had just climbed Kilimanjaro.
''All I could think about was trying to get into acting''