Legendary actor's romance began in Harrogate

Legendary British actor Brian Blessed will renew a rather personal connection with Harrogate when he appears at the Royal Hall as part of the next Harrogate Film Festival.

Monday, 2nd December 2019, 4:16 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd December 2019, 4:23 pm

The larger than life star of films like Flash and TV shows such as I Claudius, is heading to the Royal Hall for a special one-man show, presented by Cause UK for the Harrogate Film Festival.

But thisgiant of a man with the booming voice has revealed the spa town is where he lost his heart to his wife, the actress Hildegarde Neil, who he married in 1978.

The pair met while filming around the area for the Yorkshire TV series, Boy Dominic.

Actor and explorer Brian said: “Hildegarde was the face of the ’70s, and she was this very beautiful woman with grey-green eyes and black hair. She was in every magazine and worked with the big stars.

“We were doing this series for Yorkshire Television filming around Harrogate, and I’ve climbed Mount Everest, I’ve done space training – you name it – and everyone was saying, for Christ’s sake, the pair of you are so in love, but I was filming with Hildegarde for about 15 weeks and we didn’t even hold hands!”

Brian added: “The time came, and I did eventually approach her and kissed her for the first time on her lips, and that required more courage for me than climbing Mount Everest! I was so shy.

“And we went to Harrogate to celebrate this moment. We went to a restaurant in Harrogate, and they’d prepared a lovely meal for us, and neither of us could eat it.

“I told the chef, ‘We’re so in love we can’t eat!’

“That was the start of our relationship and our marriage, and we’ve been married now for going on 50 years.”

The fearless Yorkshireman will enthral audiences with tales from his life, acting career and his explorations, promising a larger-than-life night of laughter and tears.

He said: “Harrogate has a wonderful sound to it,” he begins. “It sounds like it’s on fire, it sounds like it’s full of energy – HARROGATE!”

An Evening with Brian Blessed will take place on Sunday, March 15, 2020 at the Royal Hall at 7pm.

Tickets are available at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk/whats-on or call the box office: 01423 502 116.