Rafe Spall: I thought everyone's dad got asked for autographs

Rafe Spall, Timothy Spall
(Image credit: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock)

The BFG star Rafe Spall shares his experiences of growing up with his famous father, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet actor Timothy Spall

Rafe Spall grew up assuming everyone’s father got asked for autographs just like his own, Timothy Spall.

Rafe was only a baby when Timothy became a household name, starring in the comedy drama series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

Timothy Spall

Timothy Spall (Yui Mok/PA)


Now a very successful actor himself, Rafe, 33, told Radio Times: “My first memories are of him being very famous. I just thought that was normal.”

But fame was a 'dirty word' in the Spall household, and Timothy was reluctant to see his son follow in his footsteps.

With three children of his own between five years and seven months old, Rafe would also have concerns about his offspring becoming actors.

Rafe Spall with his family at the premiere of The BFG

Rafe Spall with his family at the premiere of The BFG (Ian West/PA)


“I’d give them the same advice my dad gave me,” he said. “That it never stops being precarious, so if you have other skills you can exchange for money, use them.

“I didn’t, so I had no choice.”

For his children’s sake, Rafe has also vowed not to strip on screen again after getting naked in 2013 comedy I Give It A Year.

Rafe Spall

Rafe Spall (Anthony Devlin/PA)


Instead, he recently starred in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG and will next be seen in the big-screen version of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows And Amazons.

“It’s nice to do things they can actually see. But the other side of being a parent is the parts I don’t take now,” he said, explaining: “Well, I don’t want to get my willy out again.”


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