I'm Not Gambit!

When he was an insignificant actor, Gareth Hunt sometimes dreamed of what it would be like to be famous. Now he is famous as Gambit in “The New Avengers”. Is he happy with it?

"I sometimes like to be in the spotlight, but I don’t really like people looking at me wherever I go,” says Gareth Hunt, the assistant to John Steed in the new Avengers series.

Until recently, Hunt did not suffer at all from excessive interest, and he sometimes wondered what it would be like to be a big star. He lived in tiny dwelling and often had to borrow money from his neighbours at the end of the month to eat.

His acting breakthrough came only very recently with the role of Frederick in Upstairs, Downstairs. Then he reached a higher income bracket and had to hire a secretary to answer his fan mail. People looked at him on the streets and in restaurants. Young girls began to giggle when they saw him. And the neighbors by chance set an empty milk bottle in front of their door every time he went outside. Hunt was famous.

As Steed's virile assistant, Mike Gambit has amassed an increasing number of female fans. In England, he is called “television’s James Bond". In fact, Hunt is not against it.

"The bad thing is just," he says, "that people generally do not know my own true identity. They just know the character that I portray on TV. I have often heard whispered behind my back, 'Look, there's Mike Gambit.' And I want to turn around and scream, 'I'm not Mike Gambit!' I’m the complete opposite of him. I am Gareth Hunt and wish to remain so. Gambit loves expensive clothes and fast cars. He goes to parties with champagne and caviar. I feel most comfortable in jeans. Caviar and champagne don’t do much for me. Give me a beer and a generous portion of fish and chips."


Gareth says he holds his own in the kitchen. And he isn't adverse to doing the dishes after he cooked a meal. "It’s true," says his girlfriend Carrie, with whom he has lived for nearly three years. "Gambit is a male chauvinist who was not big on the emancipation of women," Gareth says with a grin. "I sometimes let myself relax at home, but usually I do a lot around the house. If the two of you go to work it's no more than usual. But we don’t divide it strictly. If Carrie sometimes turnd up late because she's tired, I'll just do the household chores. And the reverse also happens".

Although it can be predicted that the new Avengers series will be as successful as the previous one, Gareth is not going to play the role of Gambit to the bitter end.

"I believe that a year, two or three I’ll keep doing it," he says, "but in-between I would also sometimes want to be on stage. Otherwise, I would wind up only with the Gambit image." However, it is the best role in his repetoire. What interested him in the serial is mainly the technical side of things. "I've been interested in photography my whole life, and listened to the technicians on the set constantly about the camera settings, proper lighting and so on. I bought a good camera with my first Gambit paycheque and I’m thinking seriously about directing something soon."

With thanks to Denis of Steedumbrella for the translation. (Back to Gareth Hunt articles)