Rough Diamonds

SOMEONE asked me yesterday to list my favourite interviewees. It’s an impossible question.
You can mention the likes of Robbie Coltrane, Helen Mirren, Michael Palin, Amanda Holden, Alun Armstrong and Ray Winstone.
But the list could stretch to hundreds – not all of them famous.
It’s also a particular pleasure to interview an unknown young actor heading for their first taste of TV stardom.
The likes, for example, of Swinton’s Rob James-Collier, who has proved such a hit as factory boss Liam Connor in Coronation Street.

I first spoke to him back in 2004 when, as plain Rob Collier, he was about to make his TV debut as womanising pub landlord Nick Christy in Down To Earth.
You can read that first feature here – and a subsequent chat with Rob here.
Which brings me to Ben Davies, 18, from Rochdale, who made his TV debut last weekend in Rough Diamond – another BBC1 Sunday night drama series.
He plays Jonah Price (pictured), a youngster from Manchester who arrived in Ireland to find his horse trainer father.
Might Ben also turn up in Weatherfield one day? You wouldn’t bet against it.
You can read about him here.