The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009


Hero time again. One of the greatest thespians of our age. The actor Ian McChin.

Now, techically speaking, I realise that isn’t his name. If you’re looking for him up in Spotlight, or typing his name into IMBD, you should use the name ‘Ian McNeice’. But in this house, and in any house in which I inhabit, he will always be known as Ian McChin. Because – and I can’t stress this too strongly – he has the most phenomenal double chin you will ever see.

I’m not mocking it. Quite the opposite. If, when I am his age, I have a double chin of similar size and consistency, I will consider my life to have been a life well-lived. There is no better way of emphasizing a dramatic statement than by accompanying it with a wibbly-wobbly second chin.

McChin’s been in loads of things, usually playing a Victorian gentlemen with gigantic sideburns – he’s brilliant in the BBC’s Harry Potterfield – but recently he’s moved towards playing ancient Romans. Well, let’s face it, when you look as good in a toga as he does, it’s a no-brainer. He was the regular highlight of Rome, playing the newsreader, vogue-ing his way through the events of the day in an historically authentic fashion.

The thing is, so few actors nowadays know how to be overweight properly. People aren’t fat now in the way they were in Victorian times. Back then, I’m guessing because of drinking port, men would develop spherical bellies whilst their legs remained spindly-thin. Like Mr Bumble, or Mr Pickwick, or Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Only Ian McChin and Richard Griffiths have shown true dedication by getting chubby in an historically correct manner.

He’s brilliant. More power to Ian McChin and his amazing double chin!

Next week: My other favourite actor, Michael Fenton-Vicars.

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