1917: Dean-Charles Chapman praises Colin Firth's role in filming
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Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without spending hours in front of the TV watching every festive film possible. With an abundance of films in the TV schedule, viewers are spoilt for choice this year. Ranging from 75-year-old classic It’s A Wonderful Life to Richard Curtis’ Love Actually and the Muppet Christmas Carol, there’s something for everyone to get in the Christmas spirit.
If anyone knows what it takes to star in a Christmas classic, it’s Colin Firth.
Born and raised in Hampshire, Mr Firth has established a reputation as one of the world’s greatest actors.
His work has landed him an impressive number of awards — including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and two BAFTAs.
He has also starred in Christmas classic Love Actually alongside Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson and a host of other A-listers.
A soundtrack featuring the likes of Girls Aloud, S Club Juniors and Kelly Clarkson ensures the 2003 film has become a crucial part of any Briton’s festive period.
Mr Firth also appeared in Disney’s 2009 remake of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
He played Ebeneezer Scrooge’s optimistic nephew Fred in the animated film.
Yet it appears Mr Firth is the true Scrooge.
In a 2009 interview with the Daily Mail, ahead of the release of the film, he admitted he hates Christmas.
He said: “I have a profound loathing of Christmas — it’s sad really.
“At this time of year, I am careful not to switch on the radio because these novelty jingles make me homicidal and plunge me into the heart of Scrooge territory.
“I think Christmas turns us all into Scrooge. Everyone is trying to throw happy stuff at you, and that’s when I come over all humbug.”
Mr Firth argued A Christmas Carol is the “best” festive story of all.
He explained: “After its darkness, fear and regret, you’re ready for a bit of joy by the end.”
Mr Firth said that, despite Dickens’ description of Scrooge as a “squeezing, wrenching, gasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner”, the story is an admirable one.
He said: “Scrooge is an anti-hero, for some reason — people admire this terrible old curmudgeon.
“Kids may be scared of the story, but you have to tell them that it has a happy ending and that the ghosts are, in fact, acts of kindness to encourage Scrooge to change.”
Mr Firth gave an interview earlier this year in which he admitted he hates his “unglamorous” first name. Speaking to The Sun last month, he called it a name “you’d give your goldfish as a joke”.
His parents, he said, could never explain why they gave him the name they did.
Mr Firth said: “They called me Colin… and I never had a satisfactory explanation from my parents about why they named their firstborn that.
“It doesn’t really have a glamorous ring to it, does it? There are no kings called Colin, no poets that I can think of and, in all the books I’ve read, I haven’t come across a single hero called Colin.”
It seems the Hollywood A-lister had forgotten about Marks and Spencer’s Colin the Caterpillar cake — the true hero of any birthday party.
In a separate interview with Candis Magazine, Mr Firth added: “I did see an episode of Blackadder on TV in which there was a Dachshund called Colin — that was supposed to reduce you to fits of laughter.”
Just 27 babies were named Colin last year, according to data from the Office of National Statistics. In the Sixties, when Colin was born, it was a popular name — featuring among the top 25 boys’ names.
Love Actually is available on Netflix. It will also be shown at 10:40pm on Christmas Day.
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