John Hannah

About John Hannah

From Four Weddings to The Mummy to Rebus, John Hannah's choice of roles is never predictable. And as well as being a star of the big and small screen he also happens to be a dab hand with the old clarinet.

Working-class hero John Hannah was born near Glasgow, the son of a cleaner and a toolmaker. Not exactly the Redgraves, then, and he actually trained to become an electrician before a talent for the clarinet led him to enrol at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He then ran the gauntlet of bit parts before he rather indifferently took the role of a gay guy in a low-key British film of B and C-list stars.

Much to everyone's surprise, Four Weddings and a Funeral became a global sensation, airlifting Hugh Grant and John Hannah (and WH Auden) to the A-list. For John his touching narration of Auden's poem "Funeral Blues", was alone enough to secure him legions of adoring fans. Sudden success was all very well, but it also brought out Hannah's inner growly Scot: "I got resentful about getting offered jobs I would previously have had to fight to audition for," he says. But he swallowed his pride and embraced his new status as hot property, taking roles in films like Sliding Doors, and The Mummy, whilst also keeping several fingers in the TV pie - as well as British shows like McCallum and Rebus, he's also appeared in US hits like Frasier and Alias.

Though not a conventional lantern-jawed screen hunk, Hannah's intense eyes and effortless charisma have certainly made him a bit of a heartthrob. However, in a business notorious for high profile break-ups, it's heartening to know that Hannah has been married for over 12 years to actress Joanna Roth, whom he met during a Shakespeare production. Saying that, his first love is very definitely Noddy Holder, and if he ever turned up on Mastermind Hannah's specialist subject would probably be Slade.

There's rather less love for Scotland – or, rather blind Scottish Patriotism. Hannah makes no bones about that fact that he is a Londoner through-and-through, and, perhaps with a certain ex-007 in mind, says "I hate people who leave [Scotland] and still wear a kilt and fly a flag."

And his thoughts on the Scottish Parliament? "What benefit to Scotland is there in having a couple of hundred f**kers in suits telling people what they should do?" Blimey, put the man on Question Time we say, but on a time delay so you can bleep out all the swearing.