The Thoughts, Beliefs, Observations, Triumphs and Disasters of a Jobbing Actor…
While actor Ken Farrington has achieved lasting recognition for his roles in three iconic British TV soaps – Coronation Street, Family Affairs and Emmerdale – his sixty-year career has encompassed a great deal more and taken him from the classical stage to the cinema screen, from Shakespeare to Shaw and from Pinter to panto.
The son of a builder and decorator from Peckham, he struggled to keep out of trouble at school until he had the great good fortune to meet the English teacher who was to change his life. Michael Croft, the legendary founder of the National Youth Theatre, ignited a passion for acting in young Ken who never looked back.
Within a year of leaving RADA in 1959 he landed the part of Billy Walker, wayward son of Rovers Return landlady Annie Walker, in Granada TV’s groundbreaking new ‘soap’ Coronation Street. Originally contracted for six months, Ken would find himself returning to the Street off and on for the next 25 years. Meanwhile he continued acting on stage and screen with the likes of Anthony Hopkins, James Caan and Michael Gambon; his long list of TV guest appearances includes The Avengers, The Saint, The Tomorrow People and Danger UXB. For three years he played ruthless businessman Tom King in Emmerdale, his dramatic exit from the series on Christmas Day 2006 being one of the most talked-about in the show’s history.
Hush My Mouth is the autobiography of a man with a reputation for plain speaking, and deals frankly with Ken’s occasionally volatile relationships with his co-stars, his clashes with producers and ‘money men’, and his own personal demons.