Oxfordshire actor Rowan Atkinson will join an event at Soho Farmhouse featuring actor Ewan McGregor, sportsmen Azeem Rafiq and Declan Rice and figures such as Richard Ratcliffe, husband of detained British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin.

The GQ Heroes summit will explore the relationship between luxury, media, politics, music, art, television, wellness and mental health.

The event also features co-organiser of the annual Glastonbury Festival Emily Eavis, singer songwriter FKA Twigs, model Adwoa Aboah and broadcaster Clara Amfo among many others.


Oxford Mail:


Interviewed for the magazine Mr Atkinson, 67, said playing Mr Bean is like entering a “completely different world” and that he likes to think he is very different from the character.

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He has played the childish buffoon, who is often accompanied by his brown teddy bear and yellow Mini, since 1990 and the original sitcom has spawned films, books and an animated series.

In real-life Mr Atkinson lives in a modern glass and steel mansion in Ipsden in South Oxfordshire.

The actor bought 1930s Handsmooth House and its 16 acres of land for £2.6million in 2006.

But he shocked locals when he installed a high-tech mansion in place of the original quaint English home.

There followed a planning row with locals who called it a "space age petrol station".

Mr Atkinson lives with his partner Louise Ford who plays Kate Middleton in comedy soap opera The Windsors and who dumped comedian James Acaster for the Blackadder star.

Atkinson told British GQ the distance between his own personality and that of Mr Bean was actually very reassuring.

He told the publication: “Bean is such a weird man and – I like to think at least – far removed from my own personality, the distance I have to move in order to play him is actually very reassuring.

Oxford Mail:

“It’s like entering a completely different world and I’m very happy in his world.”

Speaking about his inspiration for the role, he added: “I feel as though it’s me as a nine-year old – or me as an 11-year old – because he’s essentially a child trapped in a man’s body. That’s how I’ve always seen him.

“He’s got the innocence but also the anarchic instinct and the unpleasantness, the uncompromisingness of children.

“They don’t take a particularly sophisticated view of the world and that is both Mr Bean’s strength and his problem.”

Atkinson also admitted he does not like Johnny English, the clumsy and incompetent spy he has played across three films.

He said: “(He is) just a fairly two-dimensional, self-obsessed individual who doesn’t really show any kindness or empathy.

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“He’s good but crucially – and this is where the comedy comes in – he’s not as good as he thinks he is.

“He thinks he’s better than he is and it’s that differential and discrepancy between his ambition and his capability. That’s where the joke lies.”

Speaking about the art of performing, Atkinson, who appears in new Netflix show Man vs Bee, described tragedy and comedy as “extremely close bedfellows, and you can’t really have one without the other”.

He added: “Every joke has a victim, whether fictional or non-fictional or notional, ideological or human and, therefore, there’s always someone suffering if there’s a joke.

“I suppose you have to accept that’s the way it is.”

Rowan Atkinson speaks at the GQ Heroes conference at Soho Farmhouse from July 13-15.

The July/August issue of British GQ is available via digital download and on newsstands on June 28.