‘My Family’ actor with drugs record bids to be human rights barrister

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By Jonathan Ames on

Gabriel Thomson was busted for coke seven years ago, but that’s not stopping him from going for philosophy first and then the GDL


A former child actor and sit-com star is jacking in the limelight in a bid to become a human rights barrister.

But Gabriel Thomson, 28 — who started his career in a telly advert for Frosties breakfast cereal before graduating to BBC One’s comedy “My Family” — is shunning a law degree and will read philosophy first.

Thomson (pictured far left) is also not going to let the tiny matter of a caution for spot of powder that doesn’t normally damp down greasepaint stand in his way.


According to a report yesterday in London local newspaper, the Islington Gazette, Thomson — who played the naïve but clever geek Michael Harper in “My Family” — has bagged a place at King’s College, London University with the intention of going on to the bar stream of the graduate diploma in law.

Thomson told the paper that after finishing the 11-season run of “My Family”, which kicked off in 2000:

I got to the point in my life where I wanted to do something useful. Making people laugh is important, but I wanted to pursue a career that makes a difference and to transfer my acting skills in to performance in the courtroom.

The now former actor received top grades on a humanities and social science access to higher education diploma at the City and Islington College’s Centre for Lifelong Learning in north London.

He went on to explain to his local newspaper:

I am passionate about human rights and plan to take further qualifications after my degree to become a human rights barrister. I thought I would do a degree in law but my teachers have really fuelled my passion for philosophy.

Thomson will be hoping that the Bar Standards Board (BSB) takes a benign approach to a seven-year-old brush with the law of a different type.

In June 2008, the Daily Mail reported that the then 21-year-old was ticked off by plod for possession of small amounts of both cocaine and cannabis.

At the time, the Mail reported:

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said ‘a 21-year-old man was arrested just after 3.30pm yesterday afternoon after reports of a disturbance in Battersea. [He] was arrested over suspicion of possession of class A drugs. He was taken to a south London police station where he received a caution under advice from the Crown Prosecution Service for possession of a class A drug.

Thomson did not mention the caution in his Islington Gazette interview. But he will be hoping that the BSB invokes leniency as it has with other students that have had even drugs convictions.