LONDON – News came in today that Jeremy Irons has finally finished sucking the hard boiled sweet (candy) that he began sucking in 1976.

The Reversal of Fortune and Dead Ringers star Jeremy Irons was today celebrating having finally finished sucking a boiled sweet that he began in 1976.

It was my Aunt Agatha who offered me the sweet. I think it was a barley sugar. I began to suck it like you do any sweet for the sweetness, the flavor, the fun, but my word the blighter was a stayer.

Throughout the 1980s Jeremy Irons saw his career take off with such films as The Mission and The French Lieutenant’s Woman despite the fact that he was still having to speak around the resistant confectionery in his mouth.

In a way I think it actually helped me become the actor I am today. It gave my voice a distinctive timbre and when I was making Dead Ringers I was playing two identical twin brothers, so when I was playing Beverly I would put the sweet in my left cheek and when I was playing Elliot I would swap.

On several occasions Irons sought medical advice and doctors were adamant that the sweet could be simply removed by spitting it out. Several indeed advised such a course of action, warning of a choking hazard, especially when the latest actor to take on the role of Alfred the butler slept.

I listened carefully to the advice and of course there were concerns, but in the end I felt it would have been a failing in me if I had got rid of it. That would have been the easy way out and  yet a betrayal of everything I stand for, and care for. Aunt Agatha passed away in 1989 and I was so happy that when she went she knew that I was still sucking the sweet.

However, early this morning, while Jeremy Irons was doing his 30 minute Pilates routine, it suddenly became apparent that something momentous had occurred.

The sweet at this stage had become almost wafer thin and I could stick it to the roof of my mouth very easily, when I was brushing my teeth or eating. I went with my tongue to unstick it but it wasn’t there anymore. Either I’d swallowed it or, and I like to believe this to be the case, it had dissolved completely.

Jeremy Irons is next to be seen in Assassin’s Creed.


In our continuing series of 47 films to watch before you are murdered in your dreams, we look at Ben Wheatley’s stunning Kill List.

Sometimes genre doesn’t really suffice. There are films that slip through the nooks and crannies, for example Ben Wheatley’s oeuvre. His career has been full of what might be called horror, but is really more creepy, weird, strange and utterly fascinating. His debut Down Terrace was a gangster epic played out in the stuffy confines of a pokey terrace house in middle England. Sightseers is a black comedy about a serial killing caravan holiday and A Field in England is the play Samuel Beckett would have written if he’d chosen the English civil war as his topic and magic mushrooms as his muse.

Kill List, his sophomore movie, mixes the domestic black humor of Down Terrace and Sightseers with a darker more gruesome horror. This is English Gothic at its grittiest. Hit man Jay (Neil Maskell) is kicking about the house arguing with his wife at a loose end until ex-services pal Gal (Michael Smiley) turns up with the offer of a job, or a series of jobs. But this thin story line leads us into the badlands of weird and with the occasional burst of ultra violence. This is the sort of thing that the rejuvenated Hammer should be doing, rather than Harry Potter’s Woman in Black. The malevolence that lies under the surface of an apparently benign English society is scratched to the surface and revealed with a gleeful nastiness.

Wheatley and partner in crime Amy Jump is moving away from the low budget shocks with his latest: a cinematic adaptation of JG Ballard’s High Rise starring Tom Hiddleston no less. On the evidence of his body of work so far, it could well turn out to be a marriage made in hell/heaven/hell again.

For more of our 47 Films Click Here.