Words: Linn Branson
If you don't get out much, or rather, are not much of a cinema buff, the name of Jim Sturgess may have passed you by. But with a new prime time BBC 2 seven-part drama series starting, the face and name of the 38-year-old actor is about to reach right out to you in your own home.
Stephen Poliakoff's new drama set in 1946, Closer to the Enemy, which starts on November 10, sees Sturgess take the role of Callum Ferguson, an intelligence officer, whose last task for the Army is to ensure that a captured German scientist starts working for the British RAF on urgently developing the Jet engine.
It's not the Camden-based actor's first acting role, having appeared in films Across The Universe, The Way Back, Cloud Atlas, One Day and London Fields amongst others. Sturgess has also been actively involved in music, writing and performing his own material since the age of 15; playing with bands Saint Faith and Dilated Spies, and composing the music for two of his films, Crossing Over and Heartless.
Recently he has released five exclusive demo tracks in order to fundraise for a friend who has an aggressive form of MS. These demos, written under the Tragic Toys name, are a collaborative effort with La Roux keyboardist Mickey O'Brien.
Check out brief snippets of the five tracks here. Beware, however, they are brief to the extreme, so hard to get a handle on the full thing. But judging by some of Sturgess' previous songs - scroll down for a couple of examples - they are likely to be wordy and thoughtful.
The tracks can be downloaded for £2 each or £8 for all five - less than the cost of two drinks at the pub, and as their purchase is going to a good cause, why not make an early Christmas goodwill donation. Musicians such as Bristol's Ramona Flowers have supported the cause, and the The Rifles are donating a percentage from their tour merch sales. Buy via previous link or click here.
Writing on his website, Sturgess gives more background on the demos:
"I've decided to offer up some old unfinished demo's from the 'Tragic Toys' sessions we did a while back, as a way of trying to raise money for my friend Neil and as a way of giving something back.
As some of you may already know I've been trying to raise money for Neil who has been diagnosed with a very severe form of MS (Multiple Sclerosis) so that we can get him the treatment that he needs to give him a chance of survival and recovery from this devastating illness.
These tracks are 'exclusive unfinished demos'. Bedroom recordings done at home on the laptop as a way of mapping out song ideas before going into a studio to record them properly. Sketches if you like. Be gentle with them ...they're just demos.
Thanks for helping to save my mate. I truly appreciate it. And I know Neil and his family does too."
Whether these 'unfinished demos' will see light of day on the album he has planned, remains to be seen, but presumably they won't be around for ever in this form, so get in now and grab them.
Read more about Neil on his GoFundMe Get Neil Walking page.
For more on Jim Sturgess, see FACEBOOK