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Friday, 1 December, 2000, 12:28 GMT
From the beat to the Street
John Savident with actress Sue Nicholls
John Savident with actress Sue Nicholls, his co-star on Coronation Street
Actor John Savident earned his spurs on the British stage before finding fame on Coronation Street as the butcher with the booming voice, Fred Elliott.

A former policeman he has TV, theatre and Hollywood film credits to his name, in a career which has lasted more than 30 years.

He was born in Guernsey, where his father was a local fisherman. The family moved when Savident - whose real surname is Joseph - was just three years old, settling in Ashton-under-Lyne, near Manchester.

For six years Savident walked the beat as a policeman in Manchester, training with John Stalker who went on to become deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester.

While a policeman he was stabbed in the arm as he tried to break up a gang fight.

"I thought I'd had it," he recalled.

His involvement in acting began with amateur productions, but when a producer overheard him in a pub discussing the possibility of turning professional he was offered the part of Robin Hood in a London panto.

Unmistakable

He has performed in the West End and at the Royal National Theatre, while film roles included classics Gandhi and A Clockwork Orange, and Remains of the Day.

He also appeared in the Hollywood films Hudson Hawk, starring Bruce Willis, and Loch Ness, starring Ted Danson.

On television he has enjoyed roles in series such as Blake's 7, The Professionals, Dr Who and The Bill.

But the 62-year-old is now a household name as butcher Fred Elliott, whose voice is unmistakable.

"I made Fred speak like the loud Lancashire people you used to meet in pubs - you could hear them from the other side," he once recalled.

"I've got that booming voice anyway. I'm forever getting told at home, `stop booming John'."

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See also:

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Street star 'stabbed'
23 Nov 00 | Entertainment
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