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An on-line interview with Mark Knight, who answered questions raised in the Knightmare Forum and presented to him by Kieran O'Brien.

Interview with Mark Knight

[Kieran & Steph/November 2001]

 

Here is an interview with Mark Knight, the actor of Lord Fear fame and also Sir Hugh de Witless, Rothberry, and Ah Wok. After signing the Guestbook on this site, Kieran sent him an e-mail and he kindly agreed to add him to his contact list for an on-line interview.

Ideas for questions were posted the Forum, and apologies if your questions weren't answered, we did not have that much time. Thanks go to Mark Knight for agreeing to this interview and for sparing us his time. Enjoy!

Transcript

Steph and Kieran say: Hello!

Lord Fear says: Hello mortal.

Kieran says: Greetings Lordness. Anything to say to the other mortals before we start?

Lord Fear says: Just remember, I do like the proper forms of respect.

Kieran says: By all means my Fearship.

Lord Fear says: Good.

Kieran says: Indeed. First of all we would like to ask you - Are you aware of why Knightmare was cancelled, when did they tell you it was and what reasons did they give you?

Lord Fear says: Tim Child had been trying to get an American pilot made of the series and also a CD game. After series 8 we all went home and our agents were told the next year that there would be no more Knightmare.

Kieran says: A CD game! That would have been nice! Why on earth we can't do that today I don't know. So you got no real explanation as to why?

Lord Fear says: No. The CITV people decided that the audience wasn't there any more.

Kieran says: Rats to that! It was still the top show on CITV, they must have made a major mistake when they decided that. Who was your favourite character? (Ah Wok, Lord Fear, Rothbery or Sir Hugh)

Lord Fear says: I liked Ah Wok but Sir Hugh was fun because he was such an idiot.

Kieran says: Yes, well he was right, if it smells bad it must be saved.

Lord Fear says: Exactly.

Kieran says: Who was the easiest of the characters to get into? Did you ever go into the wrong voice for a character?

Lord Fear says: They were all easy. I have no trouble doing accents.

Kieran says: okay then. :-) a sign of a confident actor.

Lord Fear says: I never did the wrong voice - we had plenty of time to prepare.

Kieran says: How were the spy glass sequences filmed? e.g.. were they live or pre-recorded?

Lord Fear says: They were all pre-recorded.

Kieran: How did they do the "seeking hand" you used in Series 6?

Lord Fear says: All pre-recorded and mixed on-screen with live action.

Kieran says: Did you use a blue background for the hand? If you want to go into the technical aspects of course...

Lord Fear says: Yes we used bluescreen (aka chroma-key) to remove the bits we didn't want seen.

Kieran says: Ah right. I wondered about that. You could always tell you were going to do that in the spy glass scenes, as you would have one bare hand. Was that on purpose?

Lord Fear says: Yes.

Kieran says: Do you keep in contact with any of your fellow actors on Knightmare?

Lord Fear says: Unfortunately no. I used to see Paul Valentine a bit but I live in another country now and have lost touch.

Lord Fear says: I used to see Cliff Barry a bit (I was his best man when he got married) but no longer.

Kieran says: Lord Fear as a best man?!!!!

Lord Fear says: Yep. A strange situation.

Kieran says: Very strange. Did you watch Knightmare before you joined it?

Lord Fear says: No. I knew of it and watched it when I knew I was going to audition for the part, but that was all.

Kieran says: I see :-) Do you have a favourite series at all?

Lord Fear says: Series 7 was great because I got to work with Cliff Barry who was a friend from another job. We used to work at the Museum of the Moving Image in London.

Kieran says: I know that place! Were there any particular rooms/challenges you liked? e.g.. Corridor of Blades or Black Tower of Goth etc

Lord Fear says: The blades were excellent.

Kieran says: Yes, a big Dungeoneer killer. :-)

Lord Fear says: Very satisfying.

Kieran says: Who did you used to hang around with whilst filming?

Lord Fear says: Paul, Cliff, Steph and a few others.

Kieran says: I see. Do you have any favourite teams? Or worthy victors?

Lord Fear says: No. I hated them all equally.

Kieran says: Anyone who stood out from the rest?

Lord Fear says: None. They were all pathetic losers.

Lord Fear says: Except the winners.

Lord Fear says: Who I hated.

Kieran says: I see, silly me, in thinking Lord Fear would like Dungeoneers ;-)

Kieran says: If Knightmare came back, would you like to play Lord Fear again?

Lord Fear says: In a heartbeat.

Kieran says: I guessed so. :-)

Steph says: How did they do your make-up for Lord Fear and how long did it take... less than 12 hours I hope ;-)

Lord Fear says: Only about 40 minutes.

Kieran says: Not too bad then, those finger nails looked like an hour each

Lord Fear says: Nope. Just a bit 'o glue and off I went.

Steph says: Did you have to have fittings for your helmet?

Lord Fear says: Yes. It was irksome.

Kieran says: oh nasty :-)

Kieran says: Did you always stick to the script for your characters or did you improvise?

Lord Fear says: I impro'd a lot in the smaller characters as we were interacting with live dungeoneers. Lord Fear was always scripted

Lord Fear says: All the smaller characters were impro'd.

Lord Fear says: We just had to get certain bits of info across and maybe bargain for an item

Kieran says: Yes, as it was pre-recorded, makes sense. Who wrote the Lord Fear scripts? Did you have any say in them?

Lord Fear says: Tim wrote them but I would make suggestions and tweaks sometimes.

Kieran says: I see :-) Never let the director/script writer have too much power aye?

Lord Fear says: Yes.

Kieran says: Did you find the spy glass sequences difficult? e.g.. talking to another character through the pool with them not really being in the pool etc.

Lord Fear says: Not really. It was acting which is strange enough as it is.

Kieran says: Yes, I KNOW what you mean

Steph says: How heavy was the suit of armour for Sir Hugh? Did YOU ride the horse?

Lord Fear says: I didn't ride Neddy. In fact I never met Neddy. He was filmed on Bluescreen before we started shooting that series and they mixed him in when we needed him.

Lord Fear says: The armour was all fibreglass and quite easy to wear.

Kieran says: awww poor Neddy! ;-) Other than Knightmare, what else have you been involved in, in an acting role?

Lord Fear says: I was a playwright and performer on the London Fringe for years. I toured in Shakespeare shows, I worked with the Medieval Players, I toured Germany twice with Educating Rita (I played Frank). I was also involved at the Shakespeare's Globe in Southwark (London) for over a decade. I gave thousands of lectures and workshops there and set up a team of actor-teachers.

Steph says: I loved Educating Rita! What kind of publicity stunts did you do for Knightmare? Did you enjoy them? Were you involved in the Knightmare fanzine/news letter, as Lord Fear had a regular column in it?

Lord Fear says: Very few stunts. Someone else wrote the Lord fear column - Sue Child, I think.

Kieran says: Ah no! Oh well, she did a good enough job, not quite the Fearship good though

Kieran says: :-) ;-)

Kieran says: Did you ever see the finished product of Knightmare? Do you have copies on video today?

Lord Fear says: We used to see instant playback in our dressing rooms and we had copies back then. I have no copies now though.

Steph and Kieran says: Oh right, I have them all, they are not hard to get hold of, but that is another story! :-) How did you find out about the actor opening in Knightmare for Lord Fear? Do you remember anything about the trial runs for the character?

Lord Fear says: I was in an actors' co-operative and the part was advertised. We applied for it, I did a reading, met Tim and Sue and got it. The character just came to me - the voice was a sort of upper class sneery thing with a bit of Oliviers's Richard the Third (now there's a villain I'd love to play).

Kieran says: Did you ever feel sorry for Lord Fear? e.g.. in him being the bad guy and always losing in some way @ end of season [usually being crushed by something].

Lord Fear says: No. He always made a comeback.

Steph and Kieran says: He tried his best, until he was crushed again :-) Did you prefer playing good guys or bad guys?

Lord Fear says: I liked playing all my parts.

Lord Fear says: Bad guys are fun though.

Lord Fear says: Being naughty is always more fun.

Steph says: I thought you would say that. Did you feel Lord Fear was given a hard time by his minions?

Lord Fear says: Yes. They were all idiots.

Kieran says: even poor Lissard? ;-)

Kieran says: You wore glasses for Rothbery, were they just clear lenses or did they have a prescription? Do you wear glasses in real life and if so, did you need contact lenses for Lord Fear, Sir Hugh and Ah Wok?

Lord Fear says: I wear glasses but I wore contacts for Fear. Rothberry's specs were clear lenses.

Kieran says: I see, I wear glasses too, nasty things! Have you ever been pointed at in the street as "Lord Fear" or recognised for your parts in Knightmare?

Lord Fear says: Nope. I was too heavily made up.

Kieran says: Yes, true :-) Do your friends/family ever joke about you playing Lord Fear and your other characters? Tease you for it etc?

Lord Fear says: They wouldn't dare. :-)

Kieran says: I bet they wouldn't! ;-) Okay, final question I think.....What was your favorite end of season? [crushed by dragon, crushed by troll, being frozen up or just a huge rant like Series 8?]

Lord Fear says: Ice was good but I loved the rant - it's great to let go like that!

Kieran says: Yes, those were the final words in Knightmare. :-(

Kieran says: Nice rant indeed!

Lord Fear says: Shame it's all finished now.

Kieran says: Yes, I think we all think that.

Kieran says: Anyway, thanks for your time.

Lord Fear says: You're welcome.

Kieran says: Any last comments to the "mortals"?

Lord Fear says: I hate you all.

Kieran says: Right, well, thank you very much for that.

Lord Fear says: Except Steph.

Lord Fear says: Don't mention it.

Kieran says: Makes us feel loved.....Steph says "awwwwwwwww thank you"

[Steph begins to sob]

Steph says: :-)

Lord Fear says: Stop sniveling girl or I'll give you something to snivel about.

Kieran says: Okay, maybe one day you can make it to Knightmare chat, until then, thank you and keep fearing about :-)

Lord Fear says: OK. Bye.

Steph and Kieran say: Bye :-)

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