ONE of my favourite television personalities is the multi-talented actor and comedian John Thomson.

John is best known for his portrayal of Pete Gifford in the ITV comedy drama Cold Feet. Another role of his that I love is his character Louis Balfour, the Jazz Club host with the catch phrase ‘Nice!’ in the BBC sketch series The Fast Show.

John used to visit Urmston regularly and was often spotted around Eden Square and when I organised the opening of Mulino Restaurant John was my first choice for the guest list. When speaking to him he is always very open and honest about his life, he is also a very humble and a modest man.

I chatted to John recently and asked him how he was getting on during lockdown and here is what he had to say.

“I’m doing okay with lockdown. I stopped drinking about 14 years ago and sort of put myself into a kind of lockdown. I don’t suffer from any mental health issues myself and I’m not an ambassador for mental health issues at all but I can understand why people might suffer from them whilst in isolation at home. I’m an actor and as such I’m not always working so I am at home a lot in between jobs. I have time on my hands, especially during lockdown and so I though I would start doing videos. I wasn’t sure about doing them, I’m no better than anybody else, but I do have things to say that some people might find useful. I’ve lived and have experience of certain things. So I put a video on my Instagram account, just a chat about my drinking and how I stopped and the feedback was really positive with lots of people asking me questions so I’m doing more of them and i’ll answer them and chat about other things too. So, It’s not so bad staying at home, it’s not like years ago when we didn’t have all the entertainment we have today. It’s a global thing though and I feel sorry for those in other countries around the world who don’t have all the comforts we have in the UK.

John had a great explanation, on why he stopped drinking, that I think is a great piece of advice for anyone who this might resonate with. He said: "I stopped drinking because when I controlled it I didn’t enjoy it and when I enjoyed it I didn’t control it! I’d just had enough and that was it."

I asked if he had any advice for our readers during these unusual times.

‘Yes, get yourself a set of jump leads! While we are all at home our cars aren’t going anywhere and I think it’s a valued reason if your asked why your out in the car that it is essential to give your car a run out for half an hour a week to maintain your battery. Otherwise everyone is going to come out of lock down and get in their cars and... nothing! So the person with a set of jump leads will be your best friend.”

I have a lot of respect for John Thomson. He is firstly, a really decent gentleman and he puts his family first which I really admire but he is also an extremely talented and versatile entertainer.