[img]http://hits.guardian.co.uk/b/ss/guardiangu-feeds/1/H.20.3/50584?ns=guardian&pageName=What+I+see+in+the+mirror%3A+Mark+Gatiss%3AArticle%3A1304379&ch=Life+and+style&c3=Guardian&c4=Beauty%2CLife+and+style%2CTheatre&c6=%3Cstrong%3EMark+Gatiss%3C%2Fstrong%3E&c7=09-Dec-05&c8=1304379&c9=Article&c10=Feature&c11=Life+and+style&c13=What+I+see+in+the+mirror+%28series%29&c25=&c30=content&h2=GU%2FLife+and+style%2FBeauty[/img]'Suddenly I have a shaving brush in my ear and I don't know where it's come from'
What I'd like to see is a 19-year-old in the first flush of youth, but I don't. I see a 43-year-old man with a heavy ginger beard. I'm doing a new ghost story called Darker Shores at the Hampstead Theatre and I've grown massive Victorian side-whiskers for it. I've discovered that really heavy sideburns were once known as Piccadilly Weepers. I have been living with them for months. My husband, Ian, likes them and I like them, but it's stepping dangerously close to tramp-beard territory, and the wiriness is starting to trap small animals.
My moustache is growing nicely, so I might be able to wax the ends soon, which is exciting. I've let my hair grow because I wanted it to have Victorian length. It's very long for me and, because it has weight to it, it somehow covers up my receding hairline. I might just grow hair all over my face and head and disguise everything.
Grooming-wise, it is now a constant battle as I progressively turn into my father. I have to keep on top of ear and nose hair – things you never believe will happen to you. Suddenly I have a shaving brush in my ear and I don't know where it's come from, and the more hair I take the out, the more it surges back.
I used to go to the gym regularly and swim an awful lot, but that was when I was unemployed and knew leisure intimately. I've started cycling more, but you have to offset the exercise against the damage done to your lungs by the traffic fumes.
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Guardian: What I see in the mirror: Mark Gatiss
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