Kevin Whately

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Kevin Whately
Kevin Whately as Inspector Lewis, Oxford, August 2015.jpg
Whately as Inspector Lewis
in Oxford in 2015
Born (1951-02-06) 6 February 1951 (age 70)
Years active1979–present
Television Auf Wiedersehen, Pet
Inspector Morse
(m. 1984)

Kevin Whately (born 6 February 1951) is an English actor. He is best known for his roles as Neville "Nev" Hope in the British comedy-drama Auf Wiedersehen, Pet , Robert "Robbie" Lewis in the crime dramas Inspector Morse from 1987–2000 and Lewis from 2006–2015, and his role as Jack Kerruish in the drama series Peak Practice , although he has appeared in numerous other roles.


Early life

Whately is from Humshaugh, near Hexham, Northumberland. [2] His mother, Mary (née Pickering [3] ), was a teacher and his father, Richard, was a Commander in the Royal Navy. [4] His maternal grandmother, Doris Phillips, [4] was a professional concert singer and his great-great-grandfather, Richard Whately, was Anglican Archbishop of Dublin. [5] The BBC documentary Who Do You Think You Are? , broadcast on 2 March 2009, also revealed that Whately is a descendant, on his paternal side, of Thomas Whately of Nonsuch Park (father of Thomas Whately), a leading London merchant, English politician and writer who became a director of the Bank of England, and of Major Robert Thompson, a staunch supporter of the Parliamentarian cause at the time of the English Commonwealth who later settled in Virginia, where he became a pioneer tobacco plantation owner. [4]

Whately was educated at Barnard Castle School, [6] and went on to study accounting and finance at Newcastle Polytechnic, graduating in 1969. [7] He then trained as an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama, graduating in 1975. [8] [9] Before going professional, Whately was an amateur actor at the People's Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne during the 1970s. His brother, Frank, is a lecturer at Kingston University in London. [10] [4]


Before turning to professional acting, Whately began his working life as a folk singer, and still plays the guitar, performing for charity concerts. [4] Along with other Auf Wiedersehen, Pet stars, he makes an appearance at the biennial benefit concert Sunday for Sammy in Newcastle. Before becoming an actor, he started training as an accountant.

His acting career includes several stage plays, among them an adaptation of Twelve Angry Men , and film appearances in The Return of the Soldier , The English Patient , Paranoid and Purely Belter .

Whately's television appearances include episodes of Shoestring , Geordie Racer , Angels , Juliet Bravo , Strangers , Coronation Street , Auf Wiedersehen Pet , Alas Smith and Jones , Look and Read , You Must Be The Husband , B&B , Peak Practice , Skallagrigg , The Broker's Man , Murder in Mind , Inspector Morse, 2003 Comic Relief Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Lewis , New Tricks , Who Gets the Dog? , The Children and Silent Cry . Whately provided one of the voices for the English-language version of the 1999 claymation Children's television series Hilltop Hospital . He has also done voiceovers for a WaterAid advertisement.

In 1985, Whately appeared in a 3-part Miss Marple adaptation ("A Murder Is Announced") for the BBC. His part, Detective Sergeant Fletcher, opposite John Castle as Inspector Craddock, was very similar to what became the career-defining role he took two years later, when he was cast as Detective Sergeant Lewis, the down-to-earth complement to the eponymous Inspector Morse played by John Thaw. Whately starred opposite Thaw in 32 episodes over 13 years in the hugely successful series that established him as a household name in the UK.

He reprised the role in the spin-off series Lewis , in which Lewis returns to Oxford as a full Inspector. With his new partner, the Cambridge-educated Detective Sergeant James Hathaway (Laurence Fox), Inspector Lewis solves murder mysteries while trying to rebuild his life after his wife's sudden death in a hit-and-run accident and to gain recognition from his sceptical new boss.

Richard Marson's book celebrating fifty years of Blue Peter comments that Whately auditioned as a presenter for the show in 1980 but lost out to Peter Duncan.

In 2010 Whately played the lead in the television film Joe Maddison's War about strained family and social relations in wartime. Directed by Patrick Collerton, it presented a view of World War II through the eyes of shipyard worker and World War I veteran Joe Maddison (Kevin Whately) who serves in the Home Guard during the Blitz.

Upon the conclusion of filming the seventh series of Lewis, at the end of 2012, both Whately and Laurence Fox announced that they would take a break of at least a year before appearing in any more episodes. ITV indicated a continuing commitment to the series and that they wished to produce additional episodes of the programme. On 4 November 2012, Whately performed in a radio drama on BBC3 called The Torchbearers, which chronicles the circumstances of several UK citizens whose lives are changed through contact with the Olympic Torch. [11] In 2013, the Live Theatre of Newcastle upon Tyne produced a series of performances of the unique, acclaimed one-person play, White Rabbit, Red Rabbit , which is enacted as a cold reading with no sets or costumes by a different performer each night. Whately was the actor for the sold-out performance of 10 March 2013. Following the end of the ninth and final series of Lewis, Whately announced his retirement from acting. [12] He had played the character Lewis over a span of 28 years.

Whately was the patron of the Central School of Speech and Drama Full House Theatre Company for 2011. [13]

Personal life

Whately lives in Woburn Sands near Milton Keynes with his wife actress Madelaine Newton, who starred in the 1970s BBC drama When the Boat Comes In . Madelaine starred as Morse's love interest in the Inspector Morse episode entitled Masonic Mysteries (1990; series 4, episode 4).

Whately enjoys rock music and plays the guitar; he has cited Pink Floyd and Dire Straits as bands he has particularly enjoyed. [4] He is a fan of Newcastle United [14] on the football field, but says that he prefers rugby league, [14] and as a cricketer admitted to Inspector Morse writer Colin Dexter that he would like to have played cricket professionally for England. Dexter devised the storyline for the Inspector Morse episode "Deceived by Flight" (1989; series 3, episode 3) in which Sergeant Lewis had to go undercover in a cricket team to investigate drug smuggling. [4]

In August 2014, Whately was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian expressing their hope that Scotland would vote to remain part of the United Kingdom in September's independence referendum. [15]



1980 Hawk the Slayer [16]
1982 The Return of the Soldier Hostile soldier's mate
1996 The English Patient Hardy
2000 Paranoid Clive
Purely Belter Mr Caird
2006 The Fourth King NarratorShort film


1978Out of the Past2 episodes
1979 Shoestring Bobby TreenEpisode: "The Partnership"
1980 BBC2 Playhouse Bob SmithEpisode: "The Dig"
Fair Stood the Wind for France Lancaster crewEpisode 1.1
Angels Norman Pollard3 episodes
Juliet Bravo PC Chris EvansEpisode: "Coming Back"
Strangers Michael HobbEpisode: "Retribution"
1981 Coronation Street Kevin2 episodes
1983 Shackleton Jameson AdamsEpisode: "Our Dead Bodies Must Tell the Tale"
1983–2004 Auf Wiedersehen, Pet Neville HopeMain role
1985 Miss Marple Detective Sergeant Fletcher3 episodes: “A Murder is Announced”
1987–2000 Inspector Morse Detective Sergeant LewisMain role
1987Smith & JonesEpisode 4.3
1988 Geordie Racer Ray Hilton10 episodes
You Must Be the Husband Hugo MansellEpisode: "A Bit Prickly in the Morning"
1990 Screenplay Neil BaldwinEpisode: "Night Voice"
1991Aspel & CompanyHimselfEpisode 8.8
1992 B&B Steve Shepherd
1993–1995 Peak Practice Jack Kerruish36 episodes
1994 Screen Two Sam HopkinsEpisode: "Skallagrigg"
Q.E.D. NarratorEpisode: "Food Fights"
An Audience with... HimselfUncredited Audience Member

Episode 14

1996Trip TrapIan ArmstrongTelevision film
1997 Songs of Praise Himself1 episode
GobbleColin WorsfoldTelevision film
Light Lunch HimselfEpisode: "Ooh Doctor, I Feel a Bit Peaky"
1997–1998 The Broker's Man James 'Jimmy' GriffinLead role
1999The People's PassionJudasTelevision film
Hilltop Hospital Dr MatthewsVoice

Episode: "Gracey Greyshell's Last Day"

Pure WickednessGeoff MeadowsMain role
What Katy DidDr. Philip CarrTelevision film
2001 Murder in Mind Nigel LiddyEpisode: "Neighbours"
Merseybeat Philip Kitchener2 episodes
2002John Thaw: An AppreciationHimselfShort television special
The BAFTA TV Awards 2002 HimselfTelevision special
Plain JaneDavid BruceTelevision film
Silent Cry Richard HerdTelevision film
The John Thaw StoryHimselfTelevision special documentary
Lads' Army Narrator
2003Little Wolf's Book of BadnessAkelaVoice

Short television film

Comic Relief 2003: The Big Hair DoNeville HopeTelevision special
Bible MysteriesNarratorEpisode: "David and Goliath"
Promoted to GloryMaj. Nigel HurstTelevision film
2003–2005 GMTV Himself3 episodes
2004 Richard & Judy Himself1 episode
The Legend of the Tamworth TwoWolfTelevision film
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Himself1 episode
BelongingJacob CopplestoneTelevision film
2004–2011 This Morning Himself2 episodes
2005DadOliver JamesTelevision film
Drama Connections HimselfEpisode: "Auf Wiedersehen, Pet"
ITV 50 Greatest ShowsHimselfTelevision special
Footprints in the SnowKevin HillTelevision film
ITV 50: The Golden YearsHimselfTelevision film documentary
2006–2015 Lewis DI Robert LewisLead role
2006 Today with Des and Mel Himself1 episode
New Tricks Andrew SimsonEpisode: "Congratulations"
TV's 50 Greatest Stars HimselfTelevision film documentary
Live! Girls! present DogtownBus DriverBBC3 Comedy, Series 1 Episode 1
2007Lewis... Behind the ScenesHimselfTelevision film
There's Something About... MorseHimself / Det. Insp. LewisTelevision film documentary
The Music of MorseNarratorVoice

Television film documentary

Kevin Whately: Morse & MeHimselfShort documentary series
LegendsHimselfTelevision documentary

Episode: "The Dankworths"

Who Gets the Dog? Jack EvansTelevision film
2008 The Alan Titchmarsh Show Himself1 episode
50 Greatest TV EndingsHimselfTelevision film documentary
ProfilingHimselfTelevision documentary

Episode: "Colin Dexter"

The Children Cameron MillerMain role
2009 Who Do You Think You Are? HimselfTelevision documentary

1 episode

Top of the CopsHimself / DS/DI Robert LewisTelevision film documentary
2009–2016 Masterpiece Mystery! Inspector Lewis10 episodes
2010 Breakfast Himself1 episode
Joe Maddison's War Joe MaddisonTelevision film
2011The A to Z of CrimeHimself / DI Robert LewisTelevision documentary

Episode: "U to Z"

2012The Unforgettable John ThawHimselfTelevision film documentary
Inspector George Gently Donald McGheeEpisode: "Gently in the Cathedral"
2013 The Railway: Keeping Britain on Track NarratorTelevision documentary series
Richard Briers: A TributeHimselfTelevision film documentary
The Crime Thriller ClubHimselfTelevision documentary series

Episode 1.3

2015The Sound of ITV: The Nation's Favourite Theme TunesHimself / LewisTelevision film documentary
Lorraine Himself1 episode
2016 Pointless Celebrities HimselfEpisode: "Law and Order"
Still Game Cameron HastieEpisode: "Job"
2016–2017 Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Himself6 episodes
2017Who Shot Simon Cowell?HimselfTelevision film
2017–2018Island MedicsNarratorVoice

Television documentary



Whistling Milestones Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Tunes of Glory Royal Lyceum Theatre / Scottish Tour
The FoursomeHarry Warehouse Theatre
RafflesCharles LambFar Eastern Tour
AccountsAndy Mawson Edinburgh / Riverside Studios
Operation Elvis Elvis Tricycle Theatre
Bad LanguagePhil Hampstead Theatre
Henry IV Prince Hal Tyne Theatre
Billy Liar Title RoleNational Tour
She Stoops to Conquer Tony Lumpkin Oxford Playhouse
Three Piece SuiteKeith Bishop Queen's Theatre
The Crucible John Proctor Leicester Haymarket
Our Own KindDaines Bush Theatre
1989 The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd Blackmore Leicester Haymarket
1996 Twelve Angry Men Juror 8 Bristol Old Vic / Comedy Theatre
1997 Snake in the Grass Ray Lucas Old Vic Theatre
1998 How I Learned to Drive Uncle Peck Donmar Warehouse
2013 White Rabbit Red Rabbit Live Theatre
2015GypsyHerbie Chichester Festival Theatre
ArthurArthur Theatre Royal Haymarket [17]

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  10. kingstonshakespeareseminar (24 January 2018). "Frank Whately: Edward Alleyn and the Rose + Conference Introduction".
  11. "BBC Radio 3 – Drama on 3, The Torchbearers". 4 November 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  14. 1 2 Roger, Sylvia (2 March 2009), "My Perfect Weekend: Kevin Whately: Grilled kippers, battered cod and a Newcastle family catch-up.", The Daily Telegraph , Telegraph Media Group Limited – [TMG]
  15. "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories". The Guardian. London. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  16. 1 2 "KEVIN WHATELY" (PDF). CDA Theatrical Agency. November 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  17. "Kevin Whately and Angela Griffin to lead cast in Arthur by Ben Weatherill as part of the Pitch Your Play at the Theatre Royal Haymarket" (PDF). Masterclass. 30 November 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2019.