If you watched My Family for any of the 11 years the sitcom was on between 2000 and 2011 then you’ll remember the youngest member of the clan, self-confessed geek Michael.
While the British public watched Michael grow up as they tuned in to see what mess the Harper family had ended up in next, they were also watching Gabriel Thomson, who portrayed the character, progress from childhood to adulthood.
We looked into what he’s up to now…
Who Is He?
The 29-year-old star made a name for himself in My Family, starring alongside Robert Lindsay and Zoë Wanamaker, who played his parents Ben and Susan Harper, as well as Daniela Denby-Ashe and Kris Marshall, who portrayed his old brother and sister Janey and Nick.
Michael was the only one of the Harper family’s kids to appear in each of the show’s 11 series and at times seemed to be the most intelligent of the clan, despite being the youngest.
The character, called Mikey by his dad, was usually the one who got his family out of trouble and was clearly the most sensible out of all of them.
In series four he had a girlfriend, Fiona, who was played by Rachel Hyde-Harvey, but in series 10 he came out as gay and was mightily relieved when his family accepted his decision. We then met his first ever boyfriend Scott, who was portrayed by Nathan Brine.
Gabriel’s life could have been quite different as he was once linked to the role of Harry Potter which eventually went to Dan Radcliffe.
He also starred in Hollywood movie Enemy at the Gates, playing Soviet spy Sasha Fillipov in 2001 film alongside Jude Law, Rachel Weisz and Ed Harris.
Gabriel bowed out as My Family’s Michael on September 2, 2011 when the final ever episode of the long-running BBC series aired.
He wrote on his Facebook page: “Goodbye Michael, it’s been emotional.”
A few years before My Family came to an end, Gabriel was cautioned by police in 2008 for possession of a class A drug when he was 21-years-old.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said at the time: “A 21-year-old man was arrested just after 3.30pm yesterday afternoon after reports of a disturbance in Battersea.
"The 21-year-old 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.”
But his agent later confirmed that “no charges of any nature are going to be brought. The police regard this matter as now closed, and so do we.”
Theatre Work And Films
Since the doors shut on the Harper household for the final time, Gabriel has been doing some acting in the shape of theatre work and films.
In 2011, he portrayed Romeo in the GB Theatre company’s production of Romeo and Juliet, and played Sebastian in Twelfth Night.
If that wasn’t enough, he also played Orlando in As You Like It and Dr Caius in The Merry Wives of Windsor.
In October 2012, the star - who hasn’t updated his Twitter page since July 2010 - apologised to fans on his Facebook page for his lack of updates, and joked that he didn’t think they’d be interested in his latest adventures - going to the market and walking the dog.
Gabriel went on to land a role in 2014 film The Lost Choices, which was sent in Kent and told the story of two boys who were subjected to various forms of abuse with the consequences playing out 20 years later.
Back To University
That movie turned out to be Gabriel’s last ever piece of professional acting work as he quit the big and small screens for the court room.
He wrote on Facebook: “Hey everyone!! Sorry I’ve been so silent for so long! I’ve been studying ridiculously hard as I’m afraid I’ve decided to leave behind acting and return to university :)
That being said, the last feature film I was involved with, and most probably the last film I’ll ever be involved with (at least professionally) was The Lost Choices, written and directed by the exceptionally talented Jamie Thomson, and released by Metrodome. Watch it!! (sic)”
Last year, Gabriel started a three-year philosophy course at King’s College London and revealed on his Facebook page that he was intending to study human rights law at a later date.
He wrote: “I’ll be studying philosophy with a view to getting into human rights law later down the line :)”
Speaking about his new career, he said: “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 which makes a difference and to transfer my acting skills into performance in the court room.
"I thought I would do a degree in Law but my teachers have really fuelled my passion for philosophy.”
If he’s as committed to his studies as Michael was then Gabriel should have a bright future ahead of him!