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An Interview with George Newton, Star of Showground and This Is England

by Laura Redmonton

April 2014

Films starring George Newton on (re)Search my Trash


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An exciting new movie is in development in the UK. It is called Showground and stars actors from two of the UK’s best-loved TV series, Shameless and This Is England. The independent movie is also written and directed by actor Jody Latham, who played ‘Lip’ in the comedy-drama series Shameless.

We caught up with actor George Newton, who plays ‘Banjo’ in the This Is England movie and TV series.


What is the film about?


Well, it’s the story of a young boxer who’s had a rough time of things and is running away from his past. He falls into working at a travelling fairground, and tries to keep his head down.

Thing is, this young guy was brought up to be a fighter. His dad was a successful boxer, so he’s been sparring and fighting all his life and he’s really good. So when he runs away, he has to hide that side of himself to fit in. But the fairground owner Marco (who I’m playing) notices his skills and thinks “Hang on, I can make some money here.” So he ends up doing things he knows he shouldn’t do, just to survive. 


The story was based on Jody’s uncle’s fairground tales, as he worked on a travelling fair. It’s a slice of life that most of us don’t see, and that’s what makes it interesting. It’s a cracking script, and it’s basically the story of somebody trying to drop out of his old life and fit in somewhere new. But of course his past catches up with him in all sorts of ways. And being a young lad, he falls in love with the one person he’s not supposed to - my character’s daughter (played by Shameless actress Sarah Byrne). So there’s this Romeo & Juliet side to the story as well. And my character Marco – well, he’s not a nice guy!


So is this about Gypsies then?


Well, all sorts of people live on the road, and not all of them would describe themselves as Gypsies. These characters are not Gypsies, they’re travelling showpeople, there’s a difference. But of course people that live on the road tend to know each other, work with each other sometimes and so on. It’s a different mindset to people that live in houses all year round and do conventional jobs. There are films that use the ‘Gypsy’ theme to add a bit of romance or danger to a movie. But what we want to do is to be more accurate & respectful about the differences between groups of people that live on the road, and to show that in a more realistic way.


You’re working with different groups of people on this project – can you tell us more about that?


Yes, we’re getting lots of young people involved in this project. We’re all from the North of England & there is a cracking movie scene up here. A lot of things happen in London, but there is more to the UK than the South! We’re hoping to give students & disadvantaged young people a chance to take part in the movie. None of us were posh kids growing up, and we all recognise how hard it is to break into this industry, if you haven’t got the ideal background or parents with loads of money. So it’s really nice to have reached a point where we can all give something back to the next generation of talent.


So yeah, we’re working with media students & giving them the opportunity to take part. We’re also looking to local councils for support in enabling young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to take part in the movie, and to do projects connected with it. We’re all taking time out from our everyday lives to do this. Basically, it’s all very well swanning around being a movie star, it’s very nice. But if you can’t give something back and help people, you’re missing out on doing something that matters. It’s important to all of us, so we’re really looking forward to that part.


So, is This Is England ‘90 filming or not?


Well, rumours are rife! The machinery appears to be in motion, but truthfully none of us know until we get the call. We’re all really looking forward to meeting up on set again. We do keep in contact with each other and meet up, but meeting up with cast & crew on set is a different feeling altogether! It’s like going home to a big party, where all your aunties, uncles and little cousins are there.


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When you work with people on a unique production like This Is England over a period of several years, you become like a family. Shane is a wicked director, and I’m really proud of the movie & series. This is supposed to be the last ever series as well, which is also sad, as it will really be the end of an era. As an actor, you never know what the future holds, so you don’t count on things. But I’m sure I’m not the only one crossing my fingers for This Is England ’90. It’s a really special thing to be a part of.


Thank you! Is there anything you would like to add?


Not much really, just that I enjoy your blog, and I think it’s great that you write about unusual movies that people might not have heard of. I’ve discovered some great stuff on your site, and I’m definitely a fan. Thank you. [And thank you! - the editor]


You can follow the official blog here:


Follow the movie on Twitter:



And follow actor George Newton here:



© by Laura Redmonton

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Thanks for watching !!!



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