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Meet The Two Doors Down Star from Holmfirth Images: Mihaela Bodlovic
February 2024
Reading time 2 Minutes

Kieran Hodgson, best known as Gordon from BBC One's Two Doors Down, has extended his sell-out tour, Big In Scotland

Living North catch up with the Holmforth lad ahead of his Bishop Auckland and Leeds shows.

Tell us about your background. 
I’m from Holmfirth in West Yorkshire, which is probably best known as the filming location for Last of the Summer Wine. I have to confess that my inspiration to become a comedian didn’t necessarily come from that programme! I went down south to go to university, and then tried to start a career in showbiz. I lived in London for 10 years and a few years ago I moved to Scotland – mainly for love (my partner got a job in Glasgow) but also partially for work (because for the last few years I’ve been in a Scottish sitcom called Two Doors Down). My life is from one sitcom to another, thus far.

How did you get into comedy?
I’m a show-off – and my two main talents in life are remembering things and doing funny voices, which are both quite useful for acting and comedy! But I knew that I wanted to do what I’m doing when I was six or seven years old when I was repeating bits of Blackadder and Fawlty Towers to my parents and making them laugh. I did impressions of my teachers in the school talent show when I was 11 and won – I’m still proud of that achievement! It was something I always knew I wanted to do, but I didn’t always think it would be possible. I started doing it properly at uni, in the traditional sketch-comedy way, and after that I did sketch-comedy with some friends, then started doing things on my own. It was a pretty traditional way into it I guess, but I’ve had no acting training!

What have been your greatest achievements and moments?
I’ve spent most of my time on screen as Gordon, everyone’e favourite lovable Englishman in Two Doors Down. I’m very proud of the fact that as the show has gone by Gordon has gone from being a fairly weird, and mainly comic-relief, character into being someone who gets to show a bit of emotion on screen. For some of the episodes in the most recent series, the writers trusted me and my limited acting experience with being things like sad or angry and this was a nice change to just being weird or stupid (which is what you tend to get given for these parts). The growth of Gordon is definitely something I’m very proud of. But at the same time as doing acting work on TV, I’ve been doing live comedy my entire career. Every couple of years I’ve put on a new live show and this is very trumpet-blowing but I’ve been nominated for an Edinburgh Comedy Award four times which, in my tiny puddle of showbiz, is quite a big-fish thing. I’m also very proud of my one line in Downton Abbey.

Tell us more about your time on Two Doors Down?
One of the joys of Gordon is that his accent is stronger than mine but he is in many ways, me. He’s the keen but naive Englishman in that mix who gets to be mystified on behalf of the English viewers. I suppose they must have seen in my audition tape a look of suitable mystification that got me the part – but originally I don’t think it was going to be me! I sent the video in and I didn’t hear anything for three weeks, and then I was phoned on a Thursday afternoon to say ‘can you come to Glasgow on Sunday to start filming on Monday morning and be there for two months?’ I think someone else was in mind but had dropped out. If I was a very petty man, I would hold onto that and still be telling people about it years after… but I’m not… I don’t mind at all! That’s how this strange profession goes and any opportunity that comes your way you have to be very grateful for.

Why is it important for you to represent Yorkshire on screen?
Yorkshire is through me like rock. Even though I don’t have the accent too strongly (and I feel very guilty and ashamed of that every time I open my mouth), it’s central to what I do comedically and in terms of acting. A lot of the comedy shows I’ve done on stage have been all about the amazing experiences I had growing up in Yorkshire. I’ve used my ability with remembering things and doing silly voices to bring to life my teachers, my friends, my Scout leaders and all of the wonderful Yorkshire characters that filled my upbringing. I even did a show about cycling and that had a climax with the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire. It’s a universe in a county and when I got the opportunity to make a short piece of television for Channel 4, the first thing I wanted to make it about was Yorkshire – it’s still on YouTube, it’s called God’s Own County. It’s just my attempt to pay tribute to this galaxy.

What can audiences expect from your tour – how has it gone so far?
It’s been going phenomenally well. It’s a show all about the contrasts of being an Englishman in Scotland and people can expect a lot of cheeky jokes about Scotland, cheeky jokes about England, accents from both, and hopefully a fairly coherent story about me trying to work out who on earth I am at this point in my life, which I think is a very common experience. The thing I think the show comes down to is that when you move to a new place, you try to become a new person, you try to fix yourself and be the best version of yourself in that new place, and sometimes that can be tricky because you tend to carry all of your failings with you.

A Yorkshire actor you’d love to work with?
Alan Bennett.

A podcast you recommend to Living North readers?
Nobody Panic by my friends Tessa Coates and Stevie Martin. They’re incredibly funny and I think everyone would enjoy it.

Favourite place to eat and drink in Yorkshire?
The Wetherby Whaler in Menston. But I knew it as Harry Ramsden’s when I was a kid.

Advice you’d give your younger self?
Stop being so lazy. Don’t play so many computer games. I’m quite stern with my younger self. There’s none of that positivity like ‘be yourself’ and ‘you’re great’, absolutely not. I think I wasted so much time when I was younger.

An item you couldn’t live without.
Does my cat count as an item? He certainly couldn’t live without me so we’re bound together forever.

Hopes and plans for the future?
My hope is always that my career doesn’t collapse within the next 12 months, and anything that isn’t a complete career collapse is a huge bonus. Beyond that I’m trying to write a book about Yorkshire at the moment, so ‘if’ I can follow my own advice to be less lazy then hopefully I’ll have something to show the world by this time next year – but that’s a big ‘if’!

Kieran will be performing at Bishop Auckland Town Hall on 28th February and City Varieties Music Hall in Leeds on 6th March.

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