'Face of the Fortnight'
He plays Alan in Births, Marriages and Deaths, a new four-part BBC2 drama which begins on 22 February. Alan is one of three mates who embark on a stag day that changes their lives. "Alan means well but goes a bit wonky," Ray says. "His head starts to go and he gets really nasty. Even though he's the baddie, I play him as the goodie. I think it's more interesting to play it the opposite way. Even Hitler had someone who loved him."
The actor has appeared in numerous television dramas, including Our Boy, Between the Lines and Minder. His film credits include Quadrophenia, Ladybird Ladybird and Nil By Mouth in which he played an alcoholic wife-beater.
"I've played all kinds of unpleasant people, but I never worry about public reaction," he says. "You have to create your image, make it for yourself and never compromise."
Ray lives in north London with his wife Elaine and their daughters, Lois, 16, and 13-year-old Jaime. "Elaine and I have been married for 19 years now," Ray says. "I'm lucky - I've found the right one. We have a laugh and spend a lot of time talking."
He is a huge football fan, and plays for the West Ham Celebrity 11 charity team with Nick Berry, Todd Carty, Glen Murphy and Leslie Grantham.
Ray has several films due out this year, including The Mammy, with Anjelica Houston, and Fanny and Elvis with Coronation Street's Gaynor Faye. His dream is to make it big in Hollywood, although he claims he'd never live there. "It would drive me up the wall," he says. "You're not allowed to smoke, but you go outside and there's big thick smog!"
AND NOT FORGETTING!
Ray used to be a boxer. "I boxed 88 fights from when I was 13 to 21 and won 80 of them," he says. "It helped with my acting because it's the instinct of looking across a room and knowing whether you can beat someone or not. You know right away and then you have to pull something out".
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