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He was born in Rugby, Warwickshire, the son of Margaret Muriel (née Goodman) and Harry Thomas Pigott-Smith, who was a journalist. He was educated at Wyggeston Boys' School, Leicester, King Edward VI School Stratford-upon-Avon, and Bristol University. He trained as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Roles include appearances in the television dramatisations of The Jewel in the Crown and Mrs Gaskell's North and South, where he appeared in both television adaptations. In the 1975 version he played Frederick Hale, in the one of 2004 his father Richard Hale. He has appeared twice in Doctor Who, in the stories The Claws of Axos (1971), and The Masque of Mandragora (1976). He narrated TV documentaries such as the Battlefield series, which examines pivotal battles of the Second World War from an operations point of view.
His film career has included the 2004 film Alexander, The Four Feathers, Gangs of New York, Johnny English, The Remains of the Day, and V for Vendetta, and Quantum of Solace.
He is a regular stage actor in Shakespearean and Greek roles; for instance, he played Posthumus in John Barton's 1974 production of Cymbeline for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He appeared as Kenneth Lay in the play ENRON (2009).
He has appeared in many productions on BBC Radio 4.
- See: official site