Sir Derek Jacobi didn't want children

Sir Derek Jacobi credit:Bang Showbiz
Sir Derek Jacobi credit:Bang Showbiz

Sir Derek Jacobi never wanted children.

The 82-year-old actor and his husband Richard Clifford have been together for over 43 years but raising kids of their own was never in their plans, although they enjoy being around other people’s offspring.

Asked if they ever wanted to adopt or have children via surrogate, Derek said: “No. I like other people’s children and I have several godchildren but no, I don’t want my own.

“At the end of the day, I like to put them in the cupboard… away.”

Instead, the couple dote on their Irish terrier, Daisy.

Derek said: “She makes people smile, she has a lovely nature. And they are a doggy size, they’re not small and not huge, they are just the right size.”

Richard is 17 years younger than Derek but the ‘I, Claudius’ actor insisted that has not “been a problem so far”, though he is growing more reliant on his spouse as he gets older.

He said: “I am finding the older I get, the more I get, in a way, reliant on him.”

But Derek is taking measures to preserve his health and dedicated the beginning of the year to “maintenance” and routine health appointments.

He added to Reader’s Digest magazine: “I am coming up on 83 so little bits are dropping off.

“I dedicated January 2021 to maintenance… my back, teeth, eyes, all that carry on.”

The couple spent part of lockdown in France, which made some of Derek’s work as a narrator – including on the audiobook of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore’s life story - tricky.

He said: “We have a house in France and some of the recordings involved sitting in a wardrobe duvets.”

But things were much easier when they returned to their London abode.

He explained: “My other half has very cleverly fitted up a recording studio at the end of the garden – it’s very good.

“There is no need for a taxi or the tube. I just walk to the end of the garden.”