Stephen Mangan on new role at Classic FM: My career is quite confusing

British actor turned Classic FM radio presenter Stephen Mangan has said his “career is quite confusing”.

The 55-year-old London-born TV star, known for his roles in sitcoms Green Wing and Episodes, became the new host of Sunday afternoons on the radio station on January 7.

Speaking to the Radio Times about his new role and love for classical music, he said: “My gateway drug was being in the school choir and singing Mozart’s Requiem and lots of nice anthems on a Sunday.

Graham Norton Show – London
Stephen Mangan during the filming for the Graham Norton Show (Isabel Infantes/PA)

“At the boarding school I went to there were only girls in the sixth form so, if you were 15, the only way to interact with girls was to get into the choir… I associate choral music with latent sexual tension.”

He went on: “Opera has never been at the forefront of my listening tastes.

“Partly because it’s supposed to be an amalgamation of the best music, the best singing, the best acting, the best stagecraft, and as an actor, I’ve always felt slightly sniffy about some of the acting you see in operas.”

The comedian and actor is also a children’s author, stage actor, TV presenter and producer.

Asked if he feels he is viewed differently for trying his hand at many different professions, Mangan responded: “Yeah, it’s definitely – stay in your lane. I think being a jack-of-all-trades isn’t regarded as a positive thing.

Radio Times cover
Radio Times cover featuring Dior V Chanel – The New Look, AppleTV+ (Radio Times)

“When I first started out as an actor, I wanted to do nothing but stage work and I did for five years.

“I turned down all auditions for television, for films, but I couldn’t quite make ends meet, so I would do foreign commercials.

“One was filmed in Cape Town – I was in a Jacuzzi, with four women either side, and I was wearing a thong with a tiger’s face on. I had to look into the camera and growl…

“So I can understand the confusion about me; my career is quite confusing.”

Mangan is also known for starring in comedy shows I’m Alan Partridge, Free Agents and Hang Ups – and has presented on Sky’s competition series Portrait Artist Of The Year.