Half a lifetime has passed since Stephen Riddle’s name appeared in lights above the canopy of London’s Strand Theatre, where he played the leading role in No Sex Please, We’re British. The name of the theatre was subsequently changed to protect the innocent. Evidence of Stephen’s tv performances in productions such as Smiley’s People and Jewel in the Crown proved harder to erase, which some may consider regrettable.
A parallel career in copywriting enabled Stephen to watch major movies free of charge pre-release, while he earned not only a crust but several loaves writing advertising for them. He considers that the Creative Circle Award won by a radio commercial he wrote for the film The Money Pit is small recompense for the many Oliviers and BAFTAs for which he was never considered.
Recently Stephen dabbled in the real world, taking permanent employment in social services. He had hoped to give back a little to society, but could not recall what he had taken from it in the first place. Concluding that the real world he was exploring was in many ways less real than the world of entertainment, Stephen has returned to a life of freelance unemployment.
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