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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK

Russell Norman was not just a celebrated chef, but a talented actor too

Russell NormanRestauranteur Russell Norman owner of Polpo restaurant. Seen here in a James Bond themed photo session at a London studio, London England, UK 14/05/2012 © COPYRIGHT PHOTO BY MURDO MACLEOD All Rights Reserved Tel + 44 131 669 9659 Mobile +44 7831 504 531 Email: STANDARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY sgealbadh (press button below or see details at No syndication, no redistribution, Murdo Macleods repro fees apply.
‘Russell Norman became an English and drama teacher prior to his career in the London restaurant scene.’ Photograph: Murdo MacLeod/The Guardian

I was deeply upset to read of Russell Norman’s untimely passing (Restaurateur and author Russell Norman dies aged 57, 24 November). He was rightly celebrated as a groundbreaking restaurateur, writer and television programme-maker.

Perhaps it’s less widely known that he was also a talented actor, who as a young man excelled in drama lessons at the Heathland school in Hounslow, west London. As his drama teacher, I benefited hugely from his imaginative and insightful contributions to lessons, clubs and school productions in roles that ranged from a rip-roaring Bugsy Malone to a dark, brooding Banquo.

I was delighted when he became an English and drama teacher prior to his career in the London restaurant scene, where he exploited the theatrical potential in running successful restaurants. He was great company, an original mind and generous with his praise for his old teachers.
Tom Sweeney
Teddington, London

• Do you have a photograph you’d like to share with Guardian readers? If so, please click here to upload it. A selection will be published in our Readers’ best photographs galleries and on our Saturday letters spread in the print edition.

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