The Unknown Actor of Hampton Wick

This debut biography by film buff Marcus Heslop pays tribute to Guy Standeven, a prolific actor and long-time resident of Hampton Wick.

During the tail end of the 1970s to the late 1990s, residents of Hampton Wick may, at some point, recall seeing an old, blue VW Beetle trundle up the High Street and park outside the shops. It may come as a surprise for readers to learn that the occupant of the vehicle was one of the most prolific actors in the UK. His name was Guy Standeven and his life and career have been documented in a new biography Who’s that Guy? The Sometimes ‘Knightmare’ Life of an Unknown Actor. The ‘Knightmare’ of the title refers to the TV series of the same name, which he appeared in, and also to the occasional nightmare experiences he faced during his 50-year career as a jobbing actor. Whatever struggles he faced as an actor, his sanctuary was Hampton Wick. 

Guy Standeven lived at 23B High Street with his partner Felicity Andrews. After a long day filming, he would drive home and join Felicity and friends in the Rose and Crown pub (now the Painted Furniture Company) and enjoy a glass or two of Gold Label Whiskey. 

He appeared in hundreds of films over the years but also did television, theatre, radio, voice-overs and print advertising. He even found time to appear in the music video for Kate Bush’s song Hounds of Love!

Guy was unique – despite being a professional actor he happily worked as an extra, even when playing a main role in the aforementioned Knightmare TV show. One of the wonderful things about him was his lack of airs and graces – he simply liked being in the environment he loved, however minuscule his contribution. What was more important to him though, was his home life in Hampton Wick. The calm and tranquillity of the area offered a comforting contrast to the hectic nature of a film set or television studio. 

Told with style and humour, and packed with trivia and unseen photos, it’s a fascinating story about a much-loved man who lived and survived on the fringes of fame. The book features contributions from many of his Knightmare co-stars, as well as others such as Harry Enfield, Patrick Murray and Carey Harrison (son of Rex) who share their memories of working with him. Who’s that Guy? That guy is Guy Standeven.

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