Craig Charles recalls berating George Harrison and Ringo Starr at a dinner party

·4-min read
Craig Charles revealed that he took the mick out of George Harrison and Ringo Starr when he met them back in the '80s (Image: Getty Images)
Craig Charles revealed that he took the mick out of George Harrison and Ringo Starr when he met them back in the Eighties. (Getty Images)

Back in the early Eighties, when he was just 20, Craig Charles was known less for his acting and more for his political poetry. But as his star began to rise, he found himself coming face to face with his idols.

Speaking on White Wine Question Time, Charles recalled the time he met half of The Beatles back in 1984.

“I remember once, I was at dinner and sitting opposite me was George Harrison and sitting next to him, was Ringo Starr,” he told host Kate Thornton.

He continued: “And sitting on my right was Michael Caine. And sitting at the head of the table was Bob Hoskins. And sitting at the bottom of the table was Neil Jordan.

Watch: Craig Charles chats about meeting The Beatles

“I remember sitting there having dinner with them, just having idle banter. Ringo was still drinking back then and he was hilarious. I was just thinking, ‘Oh my God, I've arrived!’”

As a self-confessed Beatles fan, you’d have thought the 56-year-old would’ve been deferential in his treatment of Harrison and Starr, but he revealed that wasn’t quite how the night went!

Read more: Craig Charles admits that he handled fame badly at a young age

“They were all talking to me about Liverpool and asking me what Liverpool was like now,” he recalled.

'The Beatles' musicians George Harrison (left) and Ringo Starr having a drink together in a booth, circa 1985. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
George Harrison and Ringo Starr having a drink together in a booth, circa 1985. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

“I was taking the mick out of them saying, ‘Well, you'd find out if you ever went back there, George!’

“I was kind of berating him for abandoning Liverpool – ‘You left us, you left us George - what were you thinking? Liverpool is the centre of the universe!’”

Listen: Craig Charles reveals why shooting Red Dwarf is just hard work on the forthcoming episode

The actor, who will be taking The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club out on the road this year, said that even though it sounded like the most amazing night out, at the time he was quite blasé about it.

“I thought to be honest, at the time, that that was going to be an everyday occurrence,” he laughed.

“I was going to be hanging out with The Beatles and Michael Caine… And that was the way my life was going to go. I was so terribly young. It's only much later on, when you reflect on it, you think, ‘Wow, wasn't that sort of a special moment?’ because I was a massive Beatles fan.”

The Beatles posing together. From left to right: musicians George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, circa 1965.
Liverpool's most famous exports: George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, circa 1965. (Getty)

The actor and presenter went on to present a documentary about The Beatles called Beatleland on Radio 2 in 2012, but he says he often wonders if Starr and Harrison have as fond memories of his original meeting with them as he does.

“When I look back, I probably think that if I was George and Ringo, I'd probably been thinking what a t**t!” he laughed.

Read more: Ringo Starr celebrates 40 years of marriage to wife Barbara Bach

Hilariously, the Liverpudlian star hasn’t lived in his hometown for many years although he says he’s “getting closer” as he now lives in Cheshire. Prior to that, he’d been based in London.

Liverpudlian television actor and comedian Craig Charles poses in his native city of Liverpool. 14th March 1985. (Photo by Stephen Shakeshaft/Liverpool Echo/MirrorpixGetty Images)
Craig Charles poses in his native city of Liverpool in 1985. (Liverpool Echo/MirrorpixGetty Images)

“They say when you're tired of London, you're tired of life but I was just tired of traffic,” he joked.

He continued: “I moved back here [Cheshire] to do Coronation Street and then when I decided to leave Coronation Street, I did say to my kids, ‘Okay, next adventure. Where do we move into now?’ And they were like ‘But Dad, we've grown up here!’

“Because while I wasn't looking – I was on Coronation Street for 10 years - my kids had the temerity to grow up. This is their home, so we stayed really.”

Hear Craig Charles talk about what it was like to meet another one of his idol’s James Brown on the latest episode of White Wine Question Time out on 14 May. Listen now on Apple Podcasts and Spotify

Watch: Ringo Starr reveals his favourite track made by The Beatles

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