• Simon Roptell



James Charles as the Holy one In Quest for Steel. Releasing 2020.

I met James Charles almost seven years ago when I made my first 30 minute drama the 4th wall. It was also my first time chroma-keying or green screening and back then I worked from a 2 bedroom unit and was using green material on a wall and was hoping for the best. I was not dissapointed. The set up was a success and I was working with somebody whom I took an instant liking to both as a person and as a talent and during the shoot I became aware that he was a veteran of the very shows I grew up with. My diet had mainly been BBC drama's and comedies and James had appeared in many of my favourites including

Michael Palin's "Escape from Stalag Luft 112 B. (The story of the ONLY prisoner NEVER to escape from this prison camp.) We were both quoting this epic comedy between takes and he kept me fascinated by his stories.

That experience led me to write parts specifically for James and I have always considered working with him to be a pleasure and an inspiration.

He is generous, compassionate and cares deeply about the world and I am greatly indebted to such an artist.

I call him a great collaborator and friend.

Here he is as the fascist Adminstrator in the 4th wall. James sent me a short audition video of himself being dictatorial in his own garden and I could see the command and fear he held over the geraniums. Also appearing in these scenes is Stuart Tilse who was just as big a fan as I am and loved working with him.

Here he is again as the Commander in 2018's The Top Secret Adventures of Cara Chapman.

James and I also worked together in 2017 on the Top Secret Adventures of Clara Chapman. Here he plays the bumbling but patriotic Commander of the secret service wing Bumblebee. Featured also in the photo above is the fantastic Hannah Minnock.


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