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The Sun, newspaper (UK). February 10, 2001.

Don't tell Buffy by Phil Tusler

Silent Witness, Monday & Tuesday, BBC1, New.

It's enough to shock the Slayer as actor Tony Head becomes a bad guy! Phil Tusler reports.

For most of the year, Tony Head fights off demons as English librarian Rupert Giles in the hugely successful TV series Buffy The Vampire Slayer. But he ditches his good guy image this week in a new Silent Witness story, "Two Below Zero," part of the BBC's Crime Doubles series.

Starring Amanda Burton as forensic pathologist Sam Ryan, it is set in the dramatic landscape of snowy Norway and is the story of a serial killer who moves from a ski resort to the Home Counties, only for an avalanche to then start exposing bodies of teenage girls ...

Tony plays the prime suspect, Henry Hutton. "He's an ex-military type who becomes infatuated by young girls," says the actor. "He's not a paedophile, for which there can be no sympathy. He just fancies teenage girls.

"It's been a great area to explore as an actor because I didn't want my character to come across as being evil, pure and simple. I wanted to show there were different aspects to him."

For years, Tony was best known for the long-running Gold Blend TV commercials. But they didn't impress British casting directors, so he decided to try his luck in America.

Now, thanks to Buffy, which stars Sarah Michelle Gellar in the title role, his career has turned around. The series, currently on BBC2 and Sky One, has made the 46-year-old a star all over the world. And it means Tony no longer has to struggle to make ends meet for himself, his actress and aromatherapist wife Sarah Fisher and his two young children Emily, 11, and nine-year-old Daisy.

He says: "I can appreciate what I've got now because I've known what it's like not to have very much. Everyone thinks I made a fortune out of the coffee ads. But it was only two or three years down the line that I started earning any real money.

"I was always cautious with what I earned and I tried to live within my means because I didn't know where the next job was coming from. I feel you've got to have some failures, trials and disappointments in your life so you can appreciate when things go well for you."

When he can, Tony returns to his beautiful home near Bath. But even there, he can't escape the supernatural! For it seems the house is haunted by the spirit of a young girl who lived there years ago. Tony says: "I've felt the presence and my children say they've seen her. Luckily, we don't feel threatened by her in any way.

"But I keep meaning to find out more about her. We have seen old pictures of the house with a girl and a woman standing outside which could give us a clue.

"I don't know if the girl died in the house, but she's obviously still around somehow. It certainly gives the home a bit of extra character. I just wish I knew what it was all about!"

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Page created February 15, 2001. Original material Betsy Vera (bentley@umich.edu). This website is for information and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to infringe on copyrights held by others.

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