Salford actor Christopher Eccleston has released a touching tribute to poet John Cooper Clarke, who he claims changed his life.

The actor, famous for his roles in Doctor Who, Shallow Grave and The A Word, showed off a message Cooper Clarke’s wrote to him in a copy of his recently-published book I Wanna Be Yours.

The image on Eccleston’s Instagram page, shows a message from the poet reading: “If I ever fall victim to laryngitis then you would be the only feasible understudy. Thanks for the message, God bless you.”

Eccleston captioned the picture: “I first saw and read John Cooper Clarke when I was 14 years old and he changed my perception of poetry, my accent, my thoughts, dreams, environment and self. How can it be that I’ve now met him and have this? Thank you life.”

Eccleston performed The Bard Of Salford’s ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ earlier this year in another message on his Instagram page, receiving over 10,000 views in just three hours.

Fans of Langworthy-born Eccleston thoroughly enjoyed his reading, with one saying “I could listen to you read the phone book”.

Another user added: “I honestly think you should do a couple of audiobooks or voice acting because you know how to engage people with that voice”.

Eccleston, born in Langworthy, revealed he has recently returned to the role of the Doctor for the first time since 2005 in a series of audio dramas.

In 2019 Eccleston released his autobiography ‘I Love the Bones of You’ to plaudits. In the book he discussed his battle with depression and suicidal thoughts, as well as his early life in Salford and how the city “shaped his desire to make drama forever entwined with the marginalised, the oppressed, and the outsider”.

Higher Broughton’s Cooper Clarke rose to fame in the 70’s with work such as Evidently Chickentown’. Eccleston once recited the poem for the 2001 film Strumpet.

Cooper Clarke received an honorary doctorate from the University of Salford in 2013, acknowledging “a career which has spanned five decades, bringing poetry to non-traditional audiences and influencing musicians and comedians”.

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