Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Matthew Kelly: Poor Sod

It is more than a decade since Matthew Kelly has given an interview to a national newspaper. “For very obvious reasons,” he says with a grim chuckle as he pours himself a cup of tea in a West End hotel. Kelly, a grizzled but still charismatically avuncular 65, would rather not talk at length about those obvious reasons: his arrest in his dressing room in January 2003 after unfounded allegations of child abuse in the 1970s. The charges were dropped six weeks later. “I can’t,” he says, “I just can’t. It’s too upsetting.”

He knows that if you google him, the first things you read about are not the three dozen or so plays he’s been in over the past 12 years. You don’t read about the extraordinary transformation from being Mr Dafty Trousers hosting primetime Saturday night telly to becoming a stage actor of note. You don’t read about the Open University degree in psychology he spent six years getting in the 1990s while he was also making You Bet! and Stars in Their Eyes.

Instead you read about the lowest point of his life. “That stuff,” as he calls it — which also involved child protection officers raiding his holiday home in Sri Lanka. No evidence was found against him, although he did receive a formal caution after some cocaine was discovered at his home in Chiswick, west London... 

The Times.

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