Extract from Chapter 16 of Sex & Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Life of Ian Dury available now.
“Before going into acting, Andy had studied visual arts at Lancaster University and had longed to be a painter. He was passionate about jazz, particularly Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane, and he is an accomplished tenor saxophone player. Since making the film, he has become a close friend of Chaz Jankel and the two performed together at a Hope For Haiti concert at in Halesworth, Suffolk, in March 2010. Like Ian, Andy also shot to prominence in his late thirties when he already had children and would experience firsthand the conflict of being a perfectionist performer with a young family at home. There was also an uncanny physical resemblance to Ian that would provoke an instant audience reaction.
“I could not think of anyone else who could do it,” says Paul [Viragh]. “It wasn’t the looks, I hadn’t heard him sing like that or anything, it was just something about the physicality. I knew. I have known him for years as a theatre actor and he has a phenomenally broad range on stage, as he has on screen, and so he knows all that performance thing. We went to The Blue Posts in Soho and I just said, ‘What do you think about doing Ian Dury?’ and he said, ‘Oh my God, that’s brilliant. I met Ian Dury and worked with him’.”