UK Politics

Clacton: Bread's Giles Watling to stand for Conservatives

Giles Watling in Bread
Image caption Giles Watling played Oswald in the sitcom

An actor best-known for sitcom Bread has been chosen as the Conservative candidate in the Clacton by-election.

Giles Watling, who played Oswald in the 1980s show and is now a Tory councillor, was selected at an open primary in the constituency.

He was chosen ahead of fellow local councillor Sue Lissimore following a hustings at Clacton town hall.

The by-election was triggered by the defection of sitting Tory MP Douglas Carswell, who will now stand for UKIP.

The vote will be held on 9 October.

The open primary allowed anyone from Clacton, no matter which party they supported, to take part in the selection.

After his selection, Mr Watling was asked by BBC political correspondent Robin Brant whether an actor could be trusted to serve as an MP.

"'Of course', he responded, adding that actors have "been around for thousands of years."

Conservative Chief Whip Michael Gove was among 30 MPs from the party campaigning in Clacton on Thursday.

Mr Watling became a well-known face because of his role in Bread - a BBC One TV series during the late 1980s and early 1990s about the working class Roman Catholic Boswell family in Liverpool.

He played the character Oswald, a vicar who romanced and eventually married the only Boswell daughter, Aveline. He appeared in a total of 49 episodes and the 1988 edition which saw the couple get married was watched by 21 million viewers.

Other TV credits include roles in How's Your Father?, Grange Hill and 'Allo 'Allo.

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