Phil Daniels: ‘I got paid £20k just to say a bank’s name on an advert’

Have you invested in property?

Over the years but not any more: I have just a flat now. In the 1990s I had a cottage in Devon I paid £325,000 for, which I had as a holiday let and to live in, and a place in Spain. 

Mainly they were for personal use. I made a little money on Devon and got my money back for Spain. And I have a narrowboat.

Have you ever had trouble paying your bills?

In the mid-1980s I had to get a second mortgage on a house I had in north London. I was a bit skint at the time and had to sell an amplifier and a couple of guitars for £800 to pay off something. There have been a few hard times; then things got better.

Do you invest in the stock market?

No. I had a go once and lost £16,000. I did a thing with Barclays where they did it for you and I had a portfolio. That year it all crashed. I took out the balance and decided not to do it again.

Does money make your happy?

I prefer having it, yeah.

What have been your best and worst financial decisions?

Worst, investing in the stock market. Best, after my first couple of films – I got £5,000 [£27,000 today] for Quadrophenia and I did Breaking Glass – I had a few quid and bought a flat on a mortgage in about 1981 in King’s Cross for £19,000.

Every time I bought another place it doubled in price. I was one of them lucky ones; it was the boom. 

The thing was, I bought a flat in the block my dad was caretaker for. So my dad became my caretaker. I tiled the bathroom once. He came in, saw it and said: “That’ll devalue the property.”

Have you done any lucrative tv commercials?

The most lucrative thing I did was a voice-over for a bank, five or six years ago, and I only had to say the bank’s name. I got £20,000 for that; took me 10 minutes.

What have been the best and worst things you’ve bought?

They say a boat has two good days: the day you buy it and the day you sell it. But I’ve enjoyed having it, so that’s been a good investment. 

Worst, I bought a Mini Clubman once and the door fell off as I was driving it down the motorway from where I’d just bought it.

How were you paid for Parklife?

I was offered a lump sum or royalties and picked royalties – without a doubt a good decision.

Have you had any film perks?

When I finished Quadrophenia, the director said: “I’ll buy you a present. Would you like your scooter from the film? The guy’s willing to sell it for £200.” I said: “No, it’s his.” Five years ago it sold for £36,000. I got a suede Crombie coat instead.

How did it feel playing real-life burglar Danny Jones in the Hatton Garden job?

Well, I’ve never thought of doing a diamond heist.

I was invited by Danny Jones to visit him in jail. But I didn’t go in the end. I mean, not seeing him wasn’t a problem. It wasn’t like a summons from the Krays.

Phil Daniels co-stars in the play Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre in London until June 4. (

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