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Ferdinand Lyle
Simon Russell Beale
Played by Simon Russell Beale

The eccentric, fawning Egyptologist from the British Museum's Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities is initially called upon by Sir Malcolm to help translate some unusual hieroglyphics. His expertise and connections continue to prove useful to Sir Malcolm and his friends, and his heart proves more than generous.

Simon Russell Beale is an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre. His RSC performances include Konstantin in THE SEAGULL and Ariel in THE TEMPEST. His National Theatre productions include HAMLET, which won him the Evening Standard Best Actor award; Felix Humble in HUMBLE BOY (also West End); George in JUMPERS (also West End/Broadway); Benedict in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING; Andrew Undershaft in MAJOR BARBARA; Sir Harcourt Courtly in LONDON ASSURANCE; Stalin in COLABORATORS; Timon in TIMON OF ATHENS; and Lear in KING LEAR, directed by Sam Mendes.

Other theatre credits include Vanya in UNCLE VANYA and Malvolio in TWELFTH NIGHT at the Donmar Warehouse production at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), which won him Best Actor at the 2002 Olivier and Evening Standard Awards as well as a Village Voice Obie; Monty Python's SPAMALOT in New York and London; Leontes in THE WINTER'S TALE and Lopakhin in THE CHERRY ORCHARD, both directed by Sam Mendes at BAM, on a European tour and at the Old Vic; THE HOTHOUSE by Harold Pinter at the Trafalgar Studios; DEATH TRAP at the Noel Coward Theatre; and PRIVATES ON PARADE as part of the Michael Grandage West End Season.

Film credits include THE DEEP BLUE SEA, MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, TARZAN, and INTO THE WOODS. Television credits include A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME for which he won both the Royal Television Society Award and the BAFTA for Best Actor; two series of SPOOKS for Kudos Productions/BBC1; Falstaff in the BBC's 2012 productions THE HOLLOW CROWN: HENRY IV PARTS ONE AND TWO, which won him the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor; and LEGACY for Slim Film/BBC2.