The Life I Lead

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David Tomlinson built a career playing a certain type of Englishman – stiff, formal and a bit of a silly ass. He’s best remembered as Mr Banks in Disney’s classic Mary Poppins. But Tomlinson’s real life was just as fascinating as any of the parts he played.

His was a life that contained action and adventure – he was a World War Two fighter pilot who trained the men who fought the Battle of Arnhem. And it featured a certain amount of heartbreak – not least following the tragic death of his first wife and the later struggles to have his son Willie recognized as one of the first British cases of autism.

Above all, the man who portrayed one of cinema’s most famous patriarchs was defined by his relationship with his own father – a remote and eccentric character who was hiding an extraordinary tragicomic secret.

THE LIFE I LEAD sees Miles Jupp (Rev, The Thick Of It, The News Quiz) bringing David Tomlinson to life and retelling his remarkable story. It’s a richly comic and moving tale of fathers and sons across different generations, filling in the blanks behind a very well-known face.

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