In a recent interview for The Prince's Trust to celebrate Black History Month, alumnus-turned-ambassador Elba was asked who his role model was as a youngster.
If you've seen Only Fools and Horses, you'll know just how special Barber's talent was, as he played Del Boy's sidekick Denzil Tulser.
Recalling the "big moment" Barber walked into his high school, Elba explained: "I was in my drama class, I loved drama class. It was a place of expression, I enjoyed being there, I enjoyed the sort of creative freedom. And this professional actor came in.
"His name was Paul Barber. He came in and sat amongst us and you know, we recognised him from TV and it was a big moment."
"I come from East London, it was a poor little neighbourhood and this big actor was in our midst," he continued. "You could touch him, he was right there."
💭 Kicking off our Q&A to celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth, Actor and @PrincesTrust Alumnus turned Ambassador @idriselba answers a question from Emmanuel, who started his own fitness and mental health business, CLAN Wellbeing, with support from the Trust. pic.twitter.com/WdrZEPm2n0
— The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (@ClarenceHouse) October 30, 2020
Barber also boasts credits in The Full Monty and Terry Pratchett adaptation Going Postal.
Idris further added: "He basically sat in our class, talked to us about his profession and who he was, and I just remember thinking 'wow man'. He didn't know it but he really, really inspired me to become an actor."
There you have it.
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