Actor's real-life drama

6th January 2006 at 00:00
Hugh Leadon, 55, started teaching English and drama after leaving university, but has had several career breaks to work in the theatre, appearing in West End productions and taking his own productions on national tours.

He returned to full-time teaching in 2000 and works at Kelsey Park sports college in Bromley, Kent. He is single, earns around pound;40,000 and spends pound;530 a month renting a flat in west London but is looking to buy.

Despite spending much of his career in the theatre, Mr Leadon feels teaching is a vocation and often recommends it to pupils.

"Sometimes you can just spot the vocation in a pupil," he said. "It is a very rewarding job but it is hard work - I don't know how anybody ever catches up, there are just never enough hours."

On a typical day he leaves home at around 7am and three nights a week works at school until 9.30pm dealing with paperwork, lesson preparation and his additional responsibilities as head of faculty.

The other nights he leaves school at around 7pm, and although he rarely goes out in the evening, every few weeks he stops off for a beer with a friend on the way home.

Otherwise he goes out several times a month to the theatre and meets old friends. His evening meal is often a sandwich, or fast food eaten on the run. He tries not to take work home because he spends most weekends either visiting his elderly mother or taking out his small boat which is moored on a Welsh canal.

"It is an extremely long day and does leave me quite exhausted, but I do enjoy it."

After arriving home in the evening he tries to catch the evening news before going to bed, or read a book if he has time.

At weekends and school holidays he likes to travel to Spain to see friends and also switches off by doing some gardening.

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