Unmissable: David Morrissey delivers a powerful performance in The Driver

David Morrissey in The Driver: PA Photo/BBC/Red Productions.

David Morrissey in The Driver: PA Photo/BBC/Red Productions. - Credit: PA

As The Governor in The Walking Dead, David Morrissey gave arguably the finest performance of a distinguished career, encompassing TV, film and theatre.

Morrissey, a regular on the Suffolk coast with a home near Walberswick, has cemented a position as a leading man for top TV dramas in recent years – think Red Riding on Channel 4, Thorne on Sky 1 and The 7.39 on BBC1.

But many will now know him best as the terrifying one-eyed tyrannical leader of the Woodbury colony on the AMC adaptation of the hit graphic novels.

He embodied the post-zombie apocalypse pioneer, establishing a community and trying – at all costs – to keep it safe from the “walkers” outside the walls.

His downfall, brief resurgence and then comeuppance was brutal, bloody, but brilliant and helped save seasons three and four of The Walking Dead from becoming a tad repetitive.


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Part of a strong ensemble cast, Morrissey stood out, and not just because of his distinctive eye patch and trench coat look.

His spot-on US accent, sheer towering stature and ability to switch from sinister to sincere with ease was a joy to behold and the fifth season, which starts next month, will be poorer without him (unless he returns in a somewhat reanimated way).

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But there’s no need to panic, Morissey returns to our screens on Tuesday night in a new three-part BBC drama called The Driver.

With a strong cast also including Colm Meaney and Ian Hart, it promises to be something special.

The show focuses on frustrated taxi driver Vince (Morrissey) who, thanks to some criminal connections, ends up driving for a gang preparing to carry out a big job.

Morrissey excels at playing tormented and troubled characters who are trying to hold things together while their world falls apart around them, and this is set to be another fine example.

The Liverpool-born actor, who is now as likely to be found standing in for Simon Mayo hosting the BBC 5 Live film show as he is lining up in a big-budget film, spent time with cabbies in preparation for the part and also executive produces The Driver.

Fans of Morrissey can also enjoy a screening of his directorial debut, Don’t Worry About Me, on BBC2 tomorrow night at 12.25am.

The Driver starts on Tuesday at 9pm on BBC1.

What do you think? Send me an email to elliot.furniss@archant.co.uk or follow me on Twitter @Elliot_Furniss

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