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




Share    


Shooshh is arguably Brighton's most popular beach nightclub. The pandemic left the club and its team with the constant challenge of reinventing itself to adapt to new rules wherever it was possible in order to survive.

Africa in the Lounge returns for another series of concerts drawing on musical traditions from across Africa. The next shows will be streamed live on Youtube and Facebook from Ooosh! studios in Brighton, on 23 and 30 April.
Credit Erin Hambly

Drug Store Romeos formed at college in Farnborough when childhood friends Jonny and Charlie pinned an ad about finding a bassist for their new band to the school's notice board - Sarah replied and quickly proved herself a better vocalist than either of them.

Multi-award winning theatre ensemble Rhum and Clay are bringing their latest critically acclaimed production, The War Of The Worlds, to Worthing this May.

The Blind Cupid Shakespeare Company has teamed up with Brighton based project Quarantine Kids Storytime to produce short form audio dramas of Shakespeare's plays. The collaboration aims to deliver classical content made accessible to young audiences and those new to the Bard.

Philippe Cohen Solal (Gotan Project) and Mike Lindsay (Tunng) continue their audio, visual and digital exploration of America's most celebrated Outsider artist Henry Darger, with the next instalment of the project.

The registered arts charity Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival has received two grants to help the organisation recover and reopen over the next few months. 
Credit Jamie MacMillian

Author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE took time out to explain what it's like to return for a second time as Guest Director, and what's in store for this year's very different, but as ever eclectic, Brighton Festival 2021.

Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie has teamed up with solo artist and Savages vocalist Jehnny Beth to release the album Utopian Ashes. 

Kavanagh are the epitome of unsigned, DIY rock'n'roll. With a fearsome live reputation, they have won two national Battle of the Bands competitions and have toured the UK. Based in Brighton, they featured on the I Am Not Your Slave compilation album of unsigned talent from the South East. 
Credit Taylor Jewell

In the final weekend of lockdown, Charleston invites audiences to tune in online for a bite-sized version of the annual Charleston Festival.
Credit Holly Whitaker

Drawing influence from a wide range of eras and genres, Brighton-based troupe Genn have released new EP Liminal. From the opening bass ostinato of its first track Feel to the hooky refrain of closer Falling Out, through rock'n'roll, psychedelia and funked-up, post-punk vibes, Liminal is a veritable rollercoaster journey.

Brighton, today, became the first UK city to launch a multi-arts festival since lockdown. 
Credit junodreamband.com

Quintet Junodream - who play The Prince Albert, Brighton, later this year - possess a rare flair for infusing their immediately compelling alt-rock with an abundance of creative sonic embellishments

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