Jonathan Sothcott is the dapper movie mogul behind such cor blimey gangster flicks as Vendetta, We Still Kill The Old Way and The Krays – Dead Man Walking… but here are ten things you didn’t know about him.
He isn’t actually a cockney!
Despite the sound of bow bells practically acting as a soundtrack in most of his films, the softly spoken producer is more mockney than cockney, having attended prestigious Sussex public schools Buckswood Grange and Lewes Old Grammar. If these, and his Savile Row suits weren’t enough to prove his posh credentials he makes regular appearance in his chum Tom Parker Bowles’ Mail on Sunday food reviews, sampling posh nosh in fancy restaurants. Tally ho, geezer.
He used to run The Horror Channel
Sothcott is unapologetic about his love for horror movies and only last month released his latest, The Exorcism of Karen Walker. But in 2004 he was truly immersed in blood and guts when The Horror Channel launched on Sky with him in the chair as Head of Programming. One of, if not the, youngest British television executives ever in the UK, his passion for the genre combined with shrewd business acumen, built a solid foundation for the channel which continues to thrive 15 years later.
He is an author on the side
A young Sothcott wrote a biography of Hammer Horror actor Sir Christopher Lee two decades ago, but more recently he co-wrote The Films Of Danny Dyer (a subject he has perhaps more experience of than anyone else) with GQ journalist and stand up comedian James Mullinger. Sothcott and Dyer embarked on a book signing tour of England which saw thousands queueing up at the Lakeside shopping centre in Essex. The book, described by The Telegraph as “strangely delightful” is now a popular collectors’ item amongst Dyer fans and remains, perhaps unsurprisingly, the only one on the topic.
He nearly made a new Carry On film!
In 2016 Sothcott announced a new Carry On film: Carry On Doctors, with a script by sitcom writers Susan Nickson and Tim Dawson. A reboot rather than a remake, it was to be the first in a new series and names such as Sheridan Smith (who had appeared in How To Stop Being A Loser for Sothcott) and David Tennant were bandied about as part of a new Carry On team. Unfortunately, disputes and complexities surrounding ownership of the brand sunk the project, with Sothcott later noting that some things should be left in the past.
Before he made movies he produced documentaries
Sothcott’s journey to become king of the gangster movies included a spell making documentaries for DVD releases of classic films, as well as acting as interviewer on dozens of audio commentaries. Along the way, he worked with filmmakers such as Ken Russell, Peter Yates, Bryan Forbes, Brian Clemens and Ray Harrhausen. He produced a documentary profile of the late Euan Lloyd, producer of The Wild Geese and Who Dares Wins, fittingly entitled The Last of the Gentleman Producers, which was also the title of the eulogy Sothcott gave at Lloyd’s memorial service in 2016.
He made the first British urban horror film
Sothcott’s very first producing credit was on the UK’s first urban horror movie, Wishbaby, starring Eastenders and Harry Potter actress Tiana Benjamin. An edgy update of The Monkey’s Paw set on an East London council estate, the film was directed by cult horror composer Stephen Parsons but after a brief run on DVD was swallowed up in a legal dispute and has not seen the light of day since. Sothcott’s Hereford Films has recently announced a new urban thriller entitled Trappers.
His BFF is Martin Kemp
Sothcott’s one and only short film was directed by legendary Spandau Ballet/Krays star Martin Kemp and the pair have enjoyed a very public friendship over the last decade. Kemp has since directed two movies for Sothcott, Stalker and Top Dog, as well as appearing in half a dozen more. Sothcott even appeared on Kemp’s episode of Piers Morgan’s Life Stories talking about their relationship and frequently cites Kemp as his favourite person to work with. He’s also tight with another Eastenders legend, Billy Murray, who he refers to as his second Dad.
He produced a music video for Dapper Laughs
In what we can only presume was a slow week, Sothcott produced controversial comedian Dapper Laughs’ abortive Christmas single ‘A Proper Merry Xmas’ in 2015 which featured an ignominious unbilled cameo from frequent Sothcott collaborator Billy Murray as Dapper’s inebriated Dad.
His party days are behind him
Sothcott was no stranger to the Bizarre column in his party boy heyday, ligging at Sugar Hut with Danny Dyer or Vicky Pattison and emerging bleary eyes from West End clubs at 3am. Today, however, he is a dedicated family man, living the quiet life with his stunning partner Janine Nerissa and 4 kids.
He has a dog named after a Steven Seagal movie
You might expect the producer of Age of Kill and White Collar Hooligan to own a Rottweiler or a Doberman, but no, Sothcott’s dog is a white fluffy Maltichon: a cross between a Maltese Terrier and a Bijon Friese. All is not lost in the tough guy stakes, however, as the dog is named Nico after the big screen debut of everyone’s favourite pony tailed arse kicker Steven Seagal. It could’ve been worse for the little fella: at least his name isn’t Above The Law.