Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Just to Be OK Is What I Crave; Actor on Child Porn Charges Tells of His Battles with Alcohol, Drugs and Insecurity

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Just to Be OK Is What I Crave; Actor on Child Porn Charges Tells of His Battles with Alcohol, Drugs and Insecurity

Article excerpt

Byline: VALENTINE LOW;LECH MINTOWT-CZYZ

AN award-winning actor who has been charged over child pornography has told of his feelings of self-loathing.

Chris Langham, star of the acclaimed BBC political comedy series The Thick Of It, said he felt he was "a bit of a disappointment," finds life "difficult" and would only be perfect "when I'm dead". In a revealing interview carried out after his arrest in November but before he was charged last week, he talks frankly of his flaws, including his onetime addiction to cocaine and alcohol.

Langham, 57, refused to answer any questions about pornography or the investigation hanging over him, but instead spoke openly about his lifelong attempts to deal with his failings.

He said: "I arrived in adulthood with a satchel of goods and one of the things in my satchel was [the feeling] that I'm not quite enough. It's not a problem, it's just the way things are. I just lack. I'm a lacking person who's a bit of a disappointment."

Langham was charged with a series of child pornography offences just days after receiving a Bafta for his performance as hapless and morally compromised government minister Hugh Abbot.

Police raided his home - a converted barn in Cranbrook, Kent - last November, seizing computers as part of their wide-ranging investigation into child pornography websites, Operation Ore. More than 7,000 people have been convicted of downloading illegal images since the campaign was launched four years ago.

Yesterday he appeared before Sevenoaks magistrates accused of 15 counts of creating indecent images of children. He is due to appear again next month, with a trial expected to take place later this year. He denies any wrongdoing.

In an interview with the Guardian, Langham told how a lonely upbringing as an only child and the traumatic experience of being sent to boarding school fuelled his troubles. At school he earned the nickname Puke because of his anxiety-induced vomiting, but he was too insecure to alert his parents. …

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