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Interview: Babou Ceesay

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Oxfordshire has a new top cop on the streets in Babou Ceesay. The star of Severance and Getting On is the newest cast member of the hit ITV drama Lewis. Babou, who was born in Gambia, will become the latest partner to sit alongside Lewis in his police car.

Ceesay takes the role of Lewis’s sidekick this month in the popular spin-off of Inspector Morse. I had the pleasure of speaking to the charming Babou on a particularly snowy Friday morning and asked him a few questions about his latest career move and how he got to where he is.

Firstly, have you always wanted to act?

Many members of my extended family told me to go into entertainment and from ten I attended a British school in West Africa which had a very strong emphasis on theatre. In fact my biology teacher directed plays in his spare time, which led to me developing my first acting bug.

You’ve played quite a  range of roles - do you have a favourite one?

I really enjoyed being involved in Severance, my first ever serious acting job, and how great an experience it was. I have particularly vivid memories of the gory, bloody scenes that greeted me every day at the set and of one particular scene on the second day when I came face to face with a severed head and torso.

Are you excited about the new series of Lewis?

DI Robert Lewis has no need to worry as I’m very excited about the the new series. The crew of Lewis are fantastic and they have been so much fun to work with. I’ve particularly enjoyed visiting mortuaries and other places you wouldn’t normally want to be in a hurry.

Would you like to have been a police officer?

I would absolutely love to have been a police officer and you never know - it could still happen. I’ve had a good grounding to prepare myself for Lewis having been addicted to the Crime and Investigation channel for a long, long time. I have always wanted to solve crimes and kinda think of myself as a bit “Sherlock Holmes-esque.”

Any top tips for anyone wishing to get into acting?

I’m a graduate of a drama school and I think they’re so important for drama. They’re not the sole answer and I know many great actors who haven’t been to drama school but that the vast majority have. Their biggest strength are that they give you both the training and the exposure you need to make it in acting. One of my top tips is that if you’re not around to make things happen, they won’t and you can’t let anything get in the way of what you want to achieve.

Lewis is on ITV on Monday nights.

Photograph by Jon Holloway. 




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