Q a starring role for local boy made good

Ben Whishaw and Daniel Craig in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Columbia Pictures/EON Productions�" action adventure SPECTRE.
Ben Whishaw and Daniel Craig in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Columbia Pictures/EON Productions�" action adventure SPECTRE.

It’s set to be one of the biggest Bonds of all time - and some part of its success can be put down to a lad from Langford.

Ben Whishaw, in his second outing as the boffin Q, has received rave reviews for his geeky character whose job is to provide Bond with the gadgets to help keep him alive.

The 35-year-old actor was at the premiere of Spectre, the latest James Bond film, in London on Monday.

At the premiere he was quoted as saying: “I’m not completely sure I have the answer [as to why we all love Bond films] but perhaps it’s because everyone has grown up with them and they have this nostalgic thing... I like Q’s clobber but I love the acting bit with Daniel [Craig], Ralph [Fiennes], Rory [Kinnear] and Naomi [Harris]. And of course working with Sam Mendes.”

In its review The Guardian said: “Another person who has grown into his part, incidentally, is Ben Whishaw as the perennially stressed quartermaster and tech supremo Q: Whishaw has developed him as a very enjoyable comic character.”

And The Independent reported: “Even the minor characters are very vividly drawn. Q (Ben Whishaw) is more prominent than in Skyfall and shows a Paddington-like stoicism when he is forced out into the field.”

Ben, a former pupil of Henlow Middle School, began acting with the Bancroft Players Youth Theatre at Hitchin’s Queen Mother Theatre, and the Big Spirit theatre company when he attended Samuel Whitbread Community College in Clifton.

He graduated from the Roy al Academy of Dramatic Art in 2003.

He has since gone on to win acclaim for performances on stage and screen, receiving a BAFTA for his portrayal of Richard II in BBC’s The Hollow crown, based on WilliamShakespeare’s history plays.

He is also appearing in the Meryl Streep film Suffragettes and upcoming productions are said to include playing Freddie Mercury in a biopic of the iconic Queen leading man.

Meanwhile it has emerged that the actor’s paternal grandfather was a multilingual British spy who was planted inside the German army during the Second World War.

The Daily Telegraph tells how Jean Stellmacher, who was born in 1922 in Istanbul to a Russian mother and German father, was called up by the German army while at university in Istanbul.

The exploits of Stellmacher, who chose the name John Victor Whishaw, have been collected in a book, Piercing the Waves, by Stellmacher’s daughter, Ingrid, which will be published next year.

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