Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 11 December 2017

Interview: Actor Ian Kelsey On His Dramatic Recent Coronation Street Return & New Focus On Photography

Veteran Brighton-based actor Ian Kelsey has enjoyed an almost three-decade long career on both stage and screen, Kelsey is now turning his focus on photography; a hobby from his teens that is now consuming his working life.
Pic by Toby Smedley

"My dad taught me how to use a dark room when I was in my early teens and ever since then I have always had a camera to hand," Kelsey reminisces. 

"I don't know why, but I was always the one to remember to take a picture to document the occasion, whether it be a night on the razz in York or working on a beautiful location on a film set.

"The one thing I do miss with the advanced technology is the anticipation of waiting to receive the photos to be delivered back in the post. I am always looking for the next shot .. always." 

After Kelsey left school he spent the next six years building trains. He developed an allergy to cedar wood and re-trained as an actor at the Guilford School Of Acting, and landed a role in the Warner Brothers movie adaptation of Black Beauty.

He soon became a small screen regular with a three year stint on Emmerdale, before moving on to tread the boards as Danny Zuko, on tour and in the West End production of Grease The Musical.

It was during a recent lull in parts that Kelsey realised he enjoyed being at home and doing the everyday parental chores, such as the dreaded daily school run.

"It's hard sometimes when you're method of feeding mouths is by working away from home, and most of the time just to stay afloat, never mind saving anything, so that made me look at a way of keeping myself at home but able to turn down long tours for peanuts and still put food on the table. 

"That was the day I opened my twitter app and started Ian Kelsey Photography"

Kelsey was able to raid his contacts book and soon found his first major photographic commission.

"I got in touch with an acting pal who runs a drama school up in Manchester, it just so happened they were looking at getting headshots for all their students.

"I quickly realised it wasn't just about getting the lights and framing right, it was ALL about getting the people in front of the lens to relax. 

"I believe what I have learnt on stage and screen over the years has really helped in the process of getting the best out of the client and ultimately getting the best shot possible."

Kelsey's talent was duly noted by local band on the rise40 Shillings On The Drum

Having teamed up with local charity Brighton & Hove Impetus, for their current Connect4Loneliness campaign, the band turned their attentions away from asking Kelsey for a band photoshoot to asking him to catalogue the publicity images for the campaign itself.

"Band photography really excites me. I have to capture what they are all about in one shot," enthuses Kelsey. 

"40 Shillings on the Drum have a great vibe about them and their lead singer,Daniel Scully, is completely nuts when he picks up the microphone. Also they sound great!" 

Finding the right venue for the shoot proved simpler than first feared.

"I was looking for a studio to shoot a specific idea I had in mind, and after a chat with Toby Smedley, at Exposure Photography, in Lewes, he kindly offered his studio for free. 

"My (initial) idea didn't work out but we had fun shooting the band and the charity together."

40 Shillings on the Drum were more than happy with results.

Scully said: "Photography may be a new direction for Ian, but he has a natural ability behind the lens and captured just what we were after.

"We're so happy with the results that we're hoping to work together again in the near future."

Brighton & Hove Impetus CEO Jo Ivens added:

"We're so grateful to Ian for his recent photoshoot with the band in support of our 'Connect 4 Loneliness''campaign. 

"It was good fun and he put us at ease. Big thanks to Ian and best of luck with your career in photography."

Kelsey hasn't ruled out further acting roles, especially with heightened interest after his short term return to Coronation Street.

"I haven't given the acting game up so anything that drops in front of me that is good, I will still eat up. 

"I kept my eye on Corrie this time though, I never normally watch myself back, but what happened in the storyline was quite dramatic. 

""We had a lot of fun filming it and I really wanted to see how it came through the wash on the screen."

Check out Ian Kelsey's photography HERE. For more information on 40 Shillings On The Drum CLICK HERE. Keep up-to-date with Brighton & Hove Impetus HERE. All the above would like to thank Toby Smedley at Exposure Photography for the free use of his studio and equipment.

by: Mike Cobley


This year marks a brand new chapter for English alternative rock band, Mallory Knox, as their latest single, Black Holes, is turning heads, with frontman Sam Douglas describing the new music as “terrifying and exciting” and “the most energised Mallory has ever written”. 

Carleen Anderson has been hailed by the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, as 'phenomenal and one of a kind' and now, for Brighton Fesival 20018, she's joining ranks with virtuoso pianist Nikki Yeoh, and Mercury Music Prize-winning rapper Speech Debelle.

Brighton bound Catholic Action are a product of Glasgow's famously fertile music scene but have won fans across the UK thanks to a run of peerless pop tunes.

Roger Daltrey is set to release new solo album, As Long As I Have You, which features Pete Townshend's inimitable guitar on seven tracks as well as guest performances from Mick Talbot on keyboards (Dexys, The Style Council).

RadioReverb, Brighton's not for profit radio station, will be Broadcast Media Partner for Brighton Festival 2018, following last year's partnership.

As part of World Poetry Day, the world's first and only mobile poetic first aid service will be open to everyone at Jubilee Square, Brighton, on Wednesday 21st March 2018, 11am – 4pm. 

Snow Patrol will return later this spring with Wildness, their first album in seven years, which finds the band searching for clarity, connection, and meaning, while staying true to the melodic songwriting prowess that brought them to prominence. 

The sexual health and contraception (SHAC) team in Brighton will be using new visual aids to help overcome female patients' embarrassment and stigma about their bodies after receiving a donation from Brighton artist, Jamie McCartney.

“Sometimes you have to go to the edge of the world in order to come back again,” says Chris Difford on the rollercoaster ride his eventful life in the music business has provided.

Reef, the revitalised west-country quartet, have returned with Revelation, their first studio album since 2000's, Getaway.  
The Damned by Steve Gullick 2018

It's 2018 and the results of The Damned's collaboration with another legend from pop's golden age – Tony Visconti, is about to be unleashed on an unsuspecting public

Described as “the missing link between David Bowie and The Sex Pistols” Doctors of Madness exploded onto the music scene in 1975 with their theatrical, William Burroughs-inspired Sci-fi nightmare, they were misunderstood by many, but those who knew understood the importance of the band's dangerous, uncompromising approach to lyrics, to music and to performance.

In 2015 The Handsome Family became famous for providing the theme tune to Season 1 of HBO's hit TV drama series True Detective, introducing them to a whole new audience and a whole load of new fans. 
Charlie Craggs: Founder of Nail Transphobia

Brighton Dome joins forces with Brighton Women's Centre and Brighton Museum to celebrate International Women's Day 2018. Enjoy stalls, talks, tasters and specially commissioned work reflecting on the issues raised throughout the day.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...

Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd