As we count down the days until gorgeous period drama Victoria returns to ITV, we get to know one of its stars a little better.
Tom Hughes plays Prince Albert in the historical series and although we are familiar with the actress who plays his wife Queen Victoria, Jenna Coleman, Hughes is still a bit of a mystery to many.
He’s tipped to be one of the next big stars to emerge from British drama, so what better time to find out some trivia about him than in the run-up to series two?
1.He’s worked with co-star Jenna Coleman before
Think the pair have great on-screen chemistry?
Well, they’ve had a little practise, as they’ve actually worked together before on 2013’s Dancing on the Edge.
Granted, they weren’t exactly as close as playing husband and wife – Hughes was the aide to a super-rich businessman, while Coleman played a journalist’s assistant, leaving them with little plot crossover – but seeing a familiar face on the Victoria set must have helped.
Little did they know that a few years after the Stephen Poliakoff drama, they would go on to star as one of British history’s most famous couples.
2. In fact, the pair are said to be more than just a screen couple
Think the pair have really great on-screen chemistry?
Rumours of their secret relationship may have something to do with it.
Since the first series, reports have been circulating that Hughes and Coleman have been continuing their romance after the cameras stopped rolling.
They have been spotted hand-in-hand and Coleman was seen in Hughes’ hometown of Chester over Christmas, taking a walk with her co-star on Boxing Day.
Apparently, their relationship has been going on for two years now and they’re even said to be living together.
3. He can’t watch his scenes back while filming is still under way
At a BFI event earlier this year, Hughes could be seen burying his head in his hands as clips of the new series, which was filming at the time, were being shown.
Questioned about his reaction afterwards, the actor explained: “I wasn’t having a breakdown.
“Because we’re still filming, watching it back after the event there’s always a degree of detachment, it doesn’t really feel like I’m watching myself necessarily.
“I don’t go through what one may imagine, that terrifying moment of feeling exposed because I feel very detached from it – aside from when I’m mid-working.
“I don’t like to watch anything that I’ve shot while I’m working on it, which is why I was closing my eyes and had my thumbs lodged in my ears.
“If I was to see what we’re filming mid-shooting, I think it might slightly take me out of the filming.”
4. He’s had stints as a model and a musician
Ok, the modelling might not be quite so surprising – Hughes definitely looks like he could make a go of a catwalk career and appeared in the Burberry 2009 autumn/winter campaign with Harry Potter star Emma Watson.
However, he also tried out another of the performing arts before turning his attention to acting full time.
Until 2011, Hughes played the guitar in an indie band called Quaintways, also the name of a former nightclub in the city where he grew up, Chester.
Hughes had high hopes for the band which he formed with a group of childhood friends, but a couple of years in he landed a role in the Ricky Gervais film Cemetery Junction and his acting career took over.
5. He’s always been a heartbreaker
The man who helped Hughes learn his craft says his image isn’t something that was created by an agent – apparently, he’s always been devastatingly attractive.
Drama teacher Chris Tierney told the Sunday People of Hughes’ time at high school: “He broke girls’ hearts here. He wasn’t a love ‘em and leave ‘em type, just a guy who was very appealing and attractive to girls. They’d swoon in the corridors.
“Tom was very engaging. He’s very interested in you when he’s chatting. He doesn’t just talk about himself.”
Victoria returns on Sunday August 27 at 9.05pm on ITV.
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