BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 28 June, 2002, 17:07 GMT 18:07 UK
Berkoff deported from US
Steven Berkoff in Jonathan Creek
Berkoff recently guested in drama series Jonathan Creek
Actor Steven Berkoff has been forced to leave the United States for violating visa regulations - in 1997.

The British thespian was in the US to speak at a festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

But he was sent back to the UK on Tuesday after having been stopped by US Immigration and Naturalization Service agents at Detroit Metropolitan airport.

Speaking about the incident from London on Friday, Berkoff said that the US authorities had discovered he had overstayed his visa by one day five years ago.

While they throw the baby out with the bath water, they have alienated a great ally of the United States

Steven Berkoff

He said their reaction now suggested they had become over-zealous about security following the terror attacks on 11 September.

"Unbelievable as this may seem to humans who are half-civilised, this trivial infringement was enough in the post-September 11 hysteria to give this lowly clerk with a gun holster the right to play God," said Berkoff.

"The US immigration officer had explained that since September 11 every bit of information to do with one's previous visits has been downloaded and must be taken into account.

"So while they throw the baby out with the bath water, they have alienated a great ally of the United States."

Credits

Evy Warshawski, director of the Ann Arbor festival, said he had spoken to the actor once he had returned to the UK.

"He called to apologise, to tell me how sad he was over the incident. But he's not just sad, he's mad," Mr Warshawski said.

Actor Steven Berkoff
Steven Berkoff: Overstayed his welcome in 1997

"He kept telling them 'I'm not a terrorist, I'm an actor'."

A spokesman for the immigration department confirmed that Berkoff had been sent back to Britain because of a "deficiency in his documentation".

A spokesman for Berkoff's agent in the UK would not comment on the incident.

Berkoff is an acclaimed theatre actor and director, particularly in Shakespearian productions.

Last Christmas he made a guest appearance in BBC One's hit supernatural detective drama series Jonathan Creek.

He also has high profile film credits to his name, including roles in A Clockwork Orange, Rambo and Beverley Hills Cop.

He lives in the UK but has travelled regularly to and from the US for more than 20 years for his stage and screen work.

See also:

09 Apr 02 | Americas
12 Jun 99 | Tom Brook
16 Apr 02 | Entertainment
15 Apr 02 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes