I’m thinking that prior to his latest feat at Trinity Church Tower, Michael Kitchen may have abseiled down a fair number of rock faces while participating in Scouts, first as a Church of the Martyrs cub scout in Leicester and then later as an adult volunteer in Shaftesbury:
I went to my barbers – sorry, hairdressers – recently for a pre-2005 reunion haircut. I explained the purpose of my visit to him and casually dropped into the conversation that I went to school with Michael Kitchen, the famous actor. The hairdresser replied that MK was one of his mates from Scouts. Not to be out-done, I went on to say that I invited MK to a school reunion a couple of years ago, but he declined the invitation because he was too busy. The hairdresser then said he went to a Scouts reunion some 30 years ago and MK was there in the company of Joanna Lumley – who was lovely. Out-done big time!!
– Frank Smith, Michael Kitchen’s classmate at the City of Leicester Boys Grammar School from 1960-66, contributing to the alumni newsletter
I have the privilege of being the Scout patrol leader who had Michael Kitchen as his number two. – Alan Mitchell reminiscing about living in Shaftesbury
Michael Kitchen was also head choir boy at the Church of the Martyrs in Leicester. “Great soloist” according to two persons commenting on Facebook. Another fellow choir member who joined in 1959 posted on Facebook that MK was among the boys who helped initiate him by throwing him into the holly bush. “All good fun!”
Sadly, MK has done very little singing on screen.
Another local in Leicester had quite the celebrity encounter:
his mom was cutting my hair n he walked in with Joanna Lumley wow i turned to jelly bigtime
I wonder if this happened during the same visit to Leicester:
Sat next to him in Hazel Street Junior school, then years later I was part-time barmaid at the Huntsman on Narborough Road. It was late 70’s I would say, Easter Sunday lunchtime session. I was working and Michael, his then girlfriend and several other people came in. I recognised him immediately but chickened out of introducing myself. I assume he’d just come visiting for Easter. Incidentally, his girlfriend at the time was none other than Joanna Lumley!
Another ’70s encounter recalled by a local:
i worked in lewis`s in 1974 as a saturday girl,he bought some sausages from my stall,he was on tv then, as one of the eyre children,such a nice man.