Patrick Stewart on the teacher who spotted his talent
Had I sat that test, I might never have met Cecil Dormand, a teacher at the secondary modern where I ended up, who would change my life when I was 12, by putting Shakespeare into my hands for the very first time. "Cec", as we called him, was my form master and my English teacher. I suspect Cec had already intuited that I loved to escape into the world of fiction and out of my dull, uncomfortable and sometimes scary home life, living with an abusive father. Not long afterwards, Cec called me to the headmaster's office, where I met another influencer of my youth, Gerald Tyler, the county drama adviser. Many years later, I learned that Cec must have paid for me to go on the course himself. A few days before I left school, at the age of 15, Cec asked me if I had ever thought of taking up acting as a career. Cec said: "What the heck am I going to call him now? For decades he called me Sir!".Cec passed away a few weeks ago, at the age of 96.