Emilia Fox plans to get every member of her famous acting family to sport a wacky hairstyle on Red Nose Day and support the Standard’s latest Comic Relief campaign.
The Silent Witness star, 40, called on the entire Fox acting dynasty — including her father Edward, brother Freddie and cousins Laurence and Lydia — to transform their hair to aid the fundraising effort. This year we’re calling on Londoners to “make your hair funny for money” on Red Nose Day, held on March 13, in a bid to raise thousands for Comic Relief.
Fox said: “I am going to do my utmost to get the entire Fox family to do something funny with their hair — wear a wig or backcomb it or whatever. I honestly don’t think any of them would be reluctant. It’s not hard to get actors to do something silly, is it? Especially not Freddie. He loves dressing up and showing off. And when it is for Comic Relief there is even more reason to get behind it.”
Fox’s father Edward starred in The Day of the Jackal while her mother is noted television actress Joanna David. Her cousin Laurence, married to Billie Piper, is perhaps best known for starring in Lewis, while younger brother Freddie, who has been linked to Prince Harry’s ex Cressida Bonas, stars in Channel Four’s Cucumber.
Speaking to the Standard, Fox asked Londoners to get behind the campaign, saying Comic Relief makes a “huge difference to the lives of others.”
She added: “It has raised an incredible amount of money for charities in the UK and Africa. It is lovely to be able to support the cause and hopefully raise even more money to go to people who need it. I would of course call on Londoners — and everyone — to support Comic Relief. By making your friends laugh you are making a huge difference to the lives of thousands of others. It’s not hard.”
As she donned a red wig for the Standard’s campaign, Fox said: “If I could have any hairstyle for the day it would be this fabulous and lavish classic birds nest that I am currently sporting. It is fabulous — it’s the colour and the amount of it and the style. I love it.
“Or, a similarly-coloured Mohican, shocking red. It would be fantastic. But I am not sure what the team at Silent Witness would say if I turned up for filming with a Mohican. We have had a lot of different hairstyles — but nothing as extreme as this.”
Fox, who has a four-year-old daughter from her previous relationship with actor Jeremy Gilley, said she often battles bad hair days on the school run.
She admitted: “I honestly have no idea how mothers have any time to make themselves up. It’s more a reflection on me than them as clearly I am not organised enough. I just don’t have the time to do anything with it. Every school run is a bad hair day for me.”
London-born Fox, who has starred as Dr Nikki Alexander in Silent Witness for 10 years, said coming episodes of the BBC crime drama would be a “treat” for Londoners as a lot of filming was done in the capital, including on the Underground.
Emilia Fox has hinted that the next Silent Witness two-partner contains “the hardest scenes” she has ever shot for the series.
Fox has played Dr. Nikki Alexander on the BBC One crime drama since 2004, but told Digital Spy that the next two episodes, which involve the death of a suspected paedophile and the case of a missing young girl, were the toughest ever to shoot.
“It’s quite a hard-hitting one,” she revealed. “I hope it’s dealt with authentically because I felt very invested in it. There were some scenes… I think they were the hardest scenes I’ve had to do in Silent Witness.”
The 18th series of Silent Witness will continue with two more two-parters, with the first concerning the Russian mafia and the second described by Fox as “a really good thriller in Essex nightclubs, dealing with criminal drug dealers”.
“It’s quite an energetic, raw one,” she said of the finale. “I think everyone has their antennae out for who Nikki might be involved with in this series – and that is taken right up until the last episode. There is a bit of a reveal for her personal life.”
Silent Witness will reach its 20th anniversary in 2016, with Fox crediting the show’s longevity to its unique premise and the two-parter format.
“The fact that they are standalone two-hour stories takes us into completely different worlds,” she suggested. “Each film has a different feel – different directors come on and bring their own energy and ideas to it.
“I think it keeps it an ever-evolving process and then the regular characters are the caretakers of those stories – so there’s the familiarity of those [characters] but also the ever-changing world around them.”
The actress, who has shot over 100 Silent Witness episodes, added that she has no plans to leave her role as Nikki.
“I’m very happy where I am,” she insisted. “But who knows? [The question is] does the audience still want Silent Witness? I really hope so!”
I’ve got two very different ways of getting ready to go out. If it’s for a work event, I usually work with a stylist and choose an outfit a couple of days beforehand, but sometimes I’ll go to a designer such as Kate Halfpenny, who will make me something bespoke in about two weeks. She often puts me in a corset, which I know gives me a better silhouette and posture, and that makes me feel more confident. As does covering up: I don’t like to expose too much.
On top of that, I usually have an oxygen facial on the day of an event – it instantly brightens my complexion. I will then get my hair and makeup done, which can take about an hour and half, during which I will drink a peppermint tea and light a candle to create a sense a calm. I never drink at work events – I am there to work, so I always treat it like work.
But if I am just getting ready for a night out with friends, I tend to throw on the outfit that’s closest to the top of the pile of clothes in my bedroom and, if I can find someone to make one for me, drink a dry martini. Then I do my makeup in the back of the taxi.
My handbag is a total disaster. I have all these bits of makeup in those little plastic bags that you get given when you fly, and I generally put on whatever first comes to hand – a bit of foundation, some eye makeup and some lipgloss – but that’s about it.
I have a complete lack of talent and skill when it comes to doing my hair and makeup, which I put down to my job.
• Emilia Fox stars in Silent Witness, Mondays and Tuesdays at 9pm on BBC1.
Emilia Fox’s daughter has a playroom on the ‘Silent Witness’ set.
The 40-year-old actress – who has played Dr. Nikki Alexander on the show for 10 years – loves taking four-year-old Rose, who she has with former partner Jeremy Gilley, to work with her because she is made so welcome.
She said: “Rose is very much part of the show – as soon as she was born she had a room which the props guys kitted out with toys. She still comes on set which works very well with the juggle – and it is a juggle for any parent. You need to be able to work well as a parent.”
Though Emilia has to work long hours on the show, she cherishes her time off between jobs as she can be with her daughter.
She said: “I work long hours but I might also have a few days off and that means I can be Mum from dawn to dusk.
“Before you’re a parent, when you’re unemployed, you’re like, ‘What am I going to work on?’ But now in those moments I think, ah Rose and I get to be together, which is lovely.”
And Emilia – who split from filmmaker Jeremy in 2011 – says the little girl is already showing signs of following in her footsteps.
She told OK! magazine: “She’s such an entertainer. She’s watching ‘Calamity Jane’ at the moment and knows all the songs and dance moves. But she might want to do what her dad does or something completely different and I’d support that.”
Emilia Fox ensured she stayed warm in a chilly Manchester on Monday morning – but still managed to look stylish ahead of an appearance on breakfast television.
The 40-year-old actress was outside BBC studios in Salford Quays, and she caught the eye courtesy of a rather sophisticated ensemble as she made her way inside with a small suitcase.
Emilia, best known for her starring role in Silent Witness, opted for a grey shawl coat that served as adequate protection from the winter cold.
Here she comes: Emilia Fox looked typically stylish outside BBC Breakfast in Manchester on Monday morning
The British star teamed her coat with a pair of khaki green skinny trousers, while strappy shoes completed the tasteful look.
Accessorising wisely, Emilia opted for a brown leather Mulberry handbag that casually hung from the crook of her left arm.
Opting for limited make-up, the actress showed off her distinctive features while preparing for a promotional interview with Silent Witness co-star Richard Lintern.
Stepping out: The 40-year-old actress was joined by Silent Witness co-star Richard Lintern (far right)
Looking good: Emilia proved to be a stylish sight in a shawl coat and khaki green skinny trousers teamed with strappy heels on Monday morning
Plenty to talk about: Emilia and Richard were on hand to talk about their long-running show
Emilia plays respected forensic pathologist Dr. Nikki Alexander in the show, and she recently admitted to observing a real autopsy while preparing for the role.
‘My fear was that I would faint or be embarrassing in that situation, but of course because it is so riveting, you don’t,’ she told the Express.
‘It seemed like a natural death. But what was fascinating was the process of going through the body until finally pinning down exactly what it was that had caused his death.’
Tasteful: The British actress accessorised wisely with a brown leather Mulberry handbag
She added: ‘I found it quite thought-provoking and upsetting afterwards but then I decided, ‘Actually, no, life is all about living it in the moment and making the most of it while you’re here.
‘This was backed up by a second autopsy I saw on a young man who had a tragic, untimely death.
‘That really reconfirmed to me that we must make the most of life.’
As the promotion for series 18 of Silent Witness is in full swing, you can also catch Emilia being interviewed by Steve Wright in his afternoon show starting tomorrow at 2pm:
Broadcaster Julia Bradbury and actress Emilia Fox chat to Steve and the team. Plus there’s amazing Factoids, the Non-Stop Oldies, and the latest lifestyle and entertainment news.
Another radio interview is coming up soon! It was recorded today, will air tomorrow at 12pm and sees Emilia and Richard as guests on BBC Radio Manchester. Don’t forget to tune in!
Becky speaks to Emilia Fox, who plays Dr Nikki Alexander and Richard Lintern, who plays Dr Thomas Chamberlain, in Silent Witness which returns to BBC One tonight.
Emilia Fox and Richard Lintern were on the BBC Breakfast Show this morning. Here’s a video clip of their interview:
Richard Lintern and Emilia Fox promise gore and humour in the new series of BBC crime thriller Silent Witness, back for its 18th season.
”We are encouraged…to include that humour to balance out the darkness of the series,” said Emilia Fox, who plays forensic pathologist Dr Nikki Alexander.
Richard Lintern, who plays Dr Thomas Chamberlain, said Tuesday’s episode begins with a triple shooting.