Hugh Laurie, 62, returns to the nation’s screens tonight in ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’. The English actor plays Mr Dick in Armando Iannucci’s 2019 adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic. Hugh draws on his years of comedy experience to play the eccentric lodger of David Copperfield’s aunt. David is played by Dev Patel, while the rest of the talented cast is made up of Tilda Swinton, Peter Capaldi and other stars.
Over the years, Hugh has delighted viewers with his performances in classics such as ‘Blackadder’, while across the Atlantic he is known for US drama, ‘House’.
In more recent times, the actor has also been vocal on political issues, including the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Hugh skewered the Government over the Brexit referendum it held on June 23, 2016 in which Britons voted for Britain to leave the trading bloc.
A week before the Leave/Remain vote, the actor confessed his views about the binary choice Britain faced over its future.
He wrote on Twitter: “I hate this referendum, for turning a question of unfathomable complexity into Lord of the Flies.”
The Eton and Cambridge-educated star referenced William Golding’s 1954 novel, ‘Lord of the Flies’.
The book tells the story of a group of British schoolboys forced to fend for themselves on a tropical island.
Attempts by the youngsters to govern themselves fall into chaos after their plane crash lands.
Following the referendum, Hugh reacted further to the UK’s vote to end its 48-year membership of the EU.
In a more cryptic tweet, he said: “Congratulations exiters.
“Reverse is across and down, easy on the clutch.”
In another message posted on Twitter the morning after the historic occasion, he appeared to suggest the UK could stage yet another public vote on its EU membership.
The actor simply posted: “Best of three?”
He appeared to be referring to the fact that the British public had now voted on its relationship with Europe on two occasions.
The first time came in 1975 as Britain voted on its membership of the European Economic Community (EEC).
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Around two thirds of the public voted to remain in the EEC, a predecessor to the modern 27-member European trading bloc.
The turnout of that referendum was 64 percent compared to the 72 percent who voted at the 2016 public vote.
Many Remainers pushed for another referendum ‒ a so-called ‘People’s Vote’ ‒ after the 2016 result, arguing that the deal itself must be put to the people.
However, Brexit supporters saw this as a way of trying to overturn a democratically-made decision.
In his roles as an actor, Hugh has also experienced a brush with politics, having played Tory Cabinet minister Peter Laurence in BBC political drama, ‘Roadkill’, created by David Hare.
The star discussed his character and the state of British politics in an interview with Variety in October 2020.
He said: “He’s a character who really feels immune to the idea of shame.
“David’s theory is that public disgrace no longer exists; it just seems to have vanished from the vocabulary, certainly among the political class.”
‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ airs on Channel 4 tonight from 9:20pm.