Emma Spurgin Hussey: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

The Steeple Times asks the actress and ‘Poldark’ and ‘Doc Martin’ star Emma Spurgin Hussey: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”


The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?

“Don’t care what people think; do care how they feel”.


“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?

Talking of humility: “Be humble for you are made of dung. Be noble for you are made of stars”. This may – or may not – be a Serbian proverb.


Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2015?

What they’re doing to Raif Badawi (among other things).


Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?

When I was young I used to work at a stables and now I rather miss riding horses. It’s like the best bits of being on your own, combined with the best bits of being in company.


What might you swap all your wealth for?

I’ve just looked in my purse: I’ve got £2.80 and a piece of malachite so probably swap them for some sweets.


Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?

It doesn’t add up…


What phrase or word do you most loathe?

I never thought of myself as an especially irritable person until I started answering this question. For the sake of my blood pressure, I’ll just limit myself to one: I really don’t like it when people claim to have “issues”. They always say it so proudly and it always conjures up an unbidden Old Testament image of something unwholesome seeping out of them.


In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?

This phrase is most commonly used by people who are charitable to no one at all. Yes, you have to put your own oxygen mask on first but then you get straight on and help with other peoples’. I work in the arts, so I’ve only got a piece of malachite and £2.80, but I give what I can when I can – mostly humanitarian and environmental stuff – and I’m forever signing petitions and clicking to donate.


The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?

I haven’t consulted Debrett’s, but I imagine the etiquette for using either incendiary devices or mobile phones in public is pretty similar – at the very least it should be preceded by a “Do you mind if I…?”


Emma Spurgin Hussey
Actress Emma Spurgin Hussey (Photo Credit: Pooch Purtill and David Snowden – Oak Farm Studios 2015)


If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?

From the ranks of the living, I’d invite David Attenborough and my partner, Rory Wilton. Also Jane Austen, Aphra Behn, Franz Kafka, William Shakespeare, Ellen Terry, Mary Wollstonecraft – and my grandparents, Doris and Eric Goldhawk, as I rather miss them. How big is this carriage?


If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?

This is an upsettingly alliterative answer, but I’d probably like some sake and sashimi, somewhere I could see the sea.


What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?

I think before breakfast is possibly a bit ungainly. (Thank you for asking me this. I now know what a yardarm is).


A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?

24 hours is quite a long time. I’m sure I could manage all three.


Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?

Certainly not Mr Farage’s.


Who is the most positive person you know?

Depressingly it may be me.


What’s your most guilty pleasure?

Making up silly answers.


If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?



If you were a car, what marque would you be?

What happened to those little turquoise invalid carriages?


Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.

I am the bastard child of Cilla Black. Surprise, surprise, Cilla.


What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?

149 books; 2 cards; 3 postcards; drawing I did once of a cat on a boat; 5 videos (why?); some pieces of paper; a 55-year calendar (it runs out in 2033, in which year my birthday will fall on a Wednesday); 46 CDs; dust; a game called Bedlam, which claims it’s funnier than ‘Beetle’ and I’ve just discovered 3 DVDs I didn’t know I owned. 1 is Bagpuss and the other two Hong Kong Phooey. Thanks for having me but I think I’ll go and watch them now.


Emma Spurgin Hussey lives in Cornwall. She is an actress, writer, and director and runs the Bedlam Youth Theatre with her partner, actor Rory Wilton. She plays Mrs Zacky Martin in Poldark, can be seen in the forthcoming series of Doc Martin, and her first play for Radio 4, The Churchill Barriers, will be recorded in July. Follow her on Twitter at @ESpurginHussey.



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  1. Oh, how boring….not another provincial thesp proving her liberal pretensions by using Farage to show how ‘right on’ she is….give it a rest: it’s boring. And, I doubt Farage would want you at his party.

  2. I love the show and I must say I enjoyed Emma’s interview responses as much as those of her partner last week. More Poldark interviews please.

  3. and by the way, I had a psychic chat with Kafka and Warwickshire Willy and they both told me they were fed to the back to teeth with idiots asking them to join them in railway compartments…especially actors whom Will said were the bane of his life

  4. Poldark is a very watchable show and I think you’re wrong Peter Wayde to belittle Emma. She gave honest and fresh answers. That she dislikes Farage makes me like her more and more.

    No doubt you will be joining with William Cash – whom I assume is a friend of yours – in his campaign to become a UKIP MP. I’d put money on the lot of you failing. Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame as it is about to pass.

    • Fiona
      I never watch these sorts of progammes: I find them very much for the simple souls who find it troubling to read. I have no idea who William Cash might be so don’t make unwarranted assumptions. But yes, it would give me enormous joy to vote for any politician who promised to remove us from that dicatorship, the EU.
      Perhaps you are one of those delighfully simple souls who enjoys being told want to do by corrupt Eurocrats.


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