Prince Albert finally made an appearance on last night’s episode of ITV’s latest series Victoria, and what an entrance it was. Albert and his brother Ernest (David Oakes) arrive at Buckingham Palace at the most opportune moment - Victoria (Jenna Coleman) is entertaining her friends at the piano. In a breathy, love-at-first-sight situation, they say each other’s name, as they lock eye-contact. That is, until her dog Dash disrupts their moment. From then on, the rest is history. This was really the episode we’ve all been waiting for; the Queen meets her Prince to mark the beginning of a romance that will go down in the history books as one of the greatest.
But who exactly plays our Prince? The swoon-worthy Tom Hughes adopts a smouldering glare, ‘tache and German accent to convincingly win over the heart of our Queen, and viewers alike (sorry Lord Melbourne). Hughes has already come to prominence in his supporting roles in the BBC TV movie Page Eight, BBC legal drama Silk and Richard Curtis’ About Time. But here’s four of his best leading roles and career-defining moments.
Cemetery Junction (2010)
Directors Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant cast the little-known Hughes in Cemetery Junction, a coming-of-age comedy about boys who want to break away from their working class lives. Hughes lures his way into our hearts playing Bruce Pearson, a free-living, womanising teen who tries to navigate his life with his friends in 1970s Reading. The film features an all-star cast including Felicity Jones, Christian Cooke, Ralph Fiennes and Matthew Goode.
The Lady Vanishes (2012)
Hughes charms in this BBC’s remake of the Alfred Hitchcock film The Lady Vanishes, starring alongside Tuppence Middleton. While travelling by train, Iris Carr (Middleton) befriends the governess Miss Froy. But when Miss Froy suddenly disappears, other passengers deny she ever existed, aside from Max Hare (Hughes) who wants to believe the delusional socialite.
Dancing on the Edge (2013)
BBC Two drama Dancing on the Edge follows a black jazz band in 1930s London as they rise to fame and popularity, though find themselves entangled in a web of lies and deceit with the people closest to them. Hughes plays Julian Luscombe, a charismatic and smooth-talking young man who finds himself attracted to one of the female singers in the band. His role grows much more significant as the five-part series goes on, and his supporting performance as the eccentric socialite immediately makes this one of his stand out roles. He stars alongside a stellar ensemble cast including the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew Goode, Jenna Coleman, John Goodman and Anthony Head.
The Game (2014)
Hughes turned heads when he starred in BBC Two’s Cold War thriller The Game. The series follows MI5 operative Joe Lambe (Hughes) who returns to London in the 1970s to investigate a Russian plot that’s being brewed on British soil. When it is revealed that someone among a trusted group of MI5 agents may be a mole, Lambe investigates the potential threat, and doesn’t even rule himself out as a suspect. In what is his best role to date, Hughes is tight with intensity, bringing a smouldering vigour to his performance as the disillusioned agent, and doesn’t fail to impress.
We love you Tom Hughes.
Victoria airs on ITV, Sundays at 9pm.