One of Richard Armitage's first appearances on television was in an episode of Boon, a long-running drama series made by Central for ITV.
It's listed on his CV at the United Agents website, but with no date or role. However, an interview in The Sunday Mercury (17th December 2006) says that he appeared as "Man in pub".
The series, which ran on British TV from 1986 to 1995, starred Michael Elphick as Ken Boon, and later, Neil Morrissey. It was a light-hearted drama about a former fireman going into various business ventures. Its seventh and final series was broadcast in autumn 1992. One last episode, also filmed that year, wasn't shown until 1995.
Wikipedia's entry for Richard Armitage claims that his appearance in the show was in 1995, ie the final episode. But it seems that he doesn't appear in that episode. However, episode 6 of series 7, "Message in a Bottle" contains a scene in which someone looking very like him is seen several times in the background.
As the opening credits of the episode fade, a tall slim young man in a blue T shirt and jeans is briefly seen walking over to the bar in a pub. He's seen again in the background as the main characters speak, at the bar. He's then briefly glimpsed sitting at a table with a friend as Rocky (Neil Morrissey) and Alex (Saskia Wickham) play the fruit machine. Finally, after they've left the fruit machine, the same young man walks up to it and plays it. Although technically a non-speaking role, we hear him cry "Yaay!" as he wins. This character isn't listed in the credits for the episode, but it seems very likely that this is Richard Armitage, playing "Man in pub".
In the second part, a man of similar build wearing a yellow-green shirt and light coloured trousers is seen in the background in a couple of shots. He's only seen from behind, but it seems this too might be Richard Armitage.
The scenes in the pub were filmed at The Steamboat Inn, Long Eaton, in Derbyshire. The episode was first broadcast on 13th October 1992, but it seems to have been filmed in the summer of that year.
At the time, the 20 year old Richard Armitage was building a career in musical theatre. On 7th June, he appeared in Nine, an AIDS gala at the Royal Festival Hall in London. On 14th June, he appeared in Mr Wonderful, a Sammy Davis Jnr tribute at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. By mid-August, he was an ensemble member in the pre-London tour of a revival of the 1946 musical, Annie Get Your Gun. The show continued touring until 14th November before going into the West End, opening at the Prince of Wales theatre on 25th November. It seems that his appearance in Boon, if this is indeed him, would have been filmed during that summer, some time prior to August.
The clip consists of three extracts from the first scene after the opening credits. In the first extract, a young man in a light blue T shirt and jeans crosses to the bar. In the second extract, he is seen in the background at the bar, as the main characters talk in the foreground. At the beginning of the third extract, he's briefly seen sitting at a table (next to a woman in a white shirt) while Alex and Rocky are at the fruit machine. Then, as the angle changes and they leave the fruit machine, he walks over to it, plays it, and wins.
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