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Mr Whittington by Tessa Peake-Jones

Best known for her role as Raquel in much-loved comedy Only Fools and Horses, the ‘trific’ actor talks about the English teacher who opened her eyes to acting

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I spent most of my school life in the hallway, sent out of classes – I was a terrible talker. My reports always said either “Tessa distracts herself” or “Tessa distracts others” because I was so, so utterly bored. But never in English. I didn’t miss an English class and I think that says it all.

Mr Whittington taught me at Downer Grammar, up to and including O level. I left Downer in 1973 and the year after it became a comprehensive, which I believe is now called Canons High.

I didn’t really know about literature, or plays, until Mr Whittington opened my eyes to this world. We used to ...

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