Having moved from London to the United States in his mid-20s, actor and longstanding Spurs fan Jamie Bamber shares in the excitement of his beloved Tottenham Hotspur taking a trip across the Atlantic.
“My godfather took me to my first Spurs match when I was eight and I’ve followed the club ever since,” says Jamie, star of Sky 1 drama The Smoke.
“I’ve lived in LA (Los Angeles) since 2007, but I don’t see any less of the Club in action than when I was in London. We’re usually involved in a live match on US television at least twice a month and I’m always up ready to watch at 7am on weekends with my kids, prior to their football practice!
“The prospect of Spurs coming out to North America for this tour is fantastic. I might be back in the UK filming during the summer, but if I’m not I’d really like to go and see the match in Seattle especially. I’ve heard lots of good things about the crowd there – many people liken it to a very English match day experience. They do an amazing parade to the crowd with flags and their colours before each match.”
Jamie is a familiar face both in the UK and US, with acting roles to date including Battlestar Galactica, Law & Order: UK, Hornblower, Peak Practice, Body of Proof, Dollhouse, House, CSI: Miami and Cold Case. His lead role in Sky 1’s The Smoke brought him to London for filming around Woolwich, Holborn and parts of the East End earlier in the year and the 41-year-old loved every moment of being back in his home city.
“It was a great privilege to go back home to London and lead a cast of fantastic actors – some really great up and coming, talented ones amongst them as well as established names,” he smiles. “We had a great playwright in Lucy Kirkwood, who has won numerous awards in the theatre world this year. It was a dream team from production staff to actors.”
Hoping for news of a second series at the time of writing, Jamie plays the role of a character called Kev Allison in The Smoke – a fireman based at a fictional Mile End fire station.
“In the first sequence of the first series, you see him (Kev Allison) trapped in a terrible fire in a council estate building and he gets very badly burnt,” explains Jamie. “He was attacked during the fire and perpetrators of this crime remain at large. He returns to work nine months later and the whole series is centred around this family of firefighters who have been torn apart by this incident.
“Everyone loves a firefighter. They are modern day, urban heroes for sure. We tend to take the fire brigade for granted, but in researching and acting in The Smoke, you really get an understanding for just what a tremendous job they are doing. They are individuals that put their lives on the line, get the job done in the toughest of circumstances and don’t judge other people. To have an insight into their lives was quite fantastic.”
While he was back in London filming for The Smoke, Jamie was able to visit the Lane for our home match with Manchester City on January 29 and also our away match at Arsenal in the FA Cup on January 4. Sadly both matches ended in defeat but they did little to dampen his enthusiasm for his team.
“2013-14 was a difficult season in some respects and obviously very sad to see the great Gareth Bale depart, albeit understandably given the sums of money that were being offered,” he reflects. “We will get back in that top four mix and challenging for trophies again soon though I’m sure and once our playing squad has really bedded down, having signed so many players last summer, we’ll be a much tougher proposition.”
The Hammersmith-born graduate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art usually makes it to matches at White Hart Lane at least a few times a season. During our successful UEFA Champions League qualification campaign of 2009-2010, he was back in the UK for key wins against the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City en-route to our top four finish.
“I’ll always remember that season, and the one after (2010-11) when we were in the UEFA Champions League,” comments Jamie. “From the Young Boys home and away games in the play-off match, right through to playing Real Madrid in the Quarter-Finals, it was some journey. I know every fan will be the same as me in wishing for those special nights to come back to White Hart Lane in the near future.”
By Andy Greeves