1. Russell was raised solely by his mother, a secretary who made ends meet by selling dishwashers on the side.
2. Russell made his stage debut at the age of 15, starring in the school production of Bugsy Malone.
3. Russell subsequently earned places at the Italia Conti Academy and the Camden Drama Centre, two of London's most prestigious stage schools. However, he was soon expelled from both for "smashing things up, crying and cutting myself, breaking down in tears". To be fair, with the benefit of retrospect, it just seems as though he was honing his stage show.
4. Before he took over our TV screens, Russell worked briefly as a postman.
5. Russell is most content when he's performing. "I've got that old-fashioned Judy Garland thing of getting on stage and going, 'Thank God I'm home!'" he admits.
6. In fact, Russell insists that he's much less gregarious when he's out of the public eye. "Outside of performing I'm not a particularly confident person. I'm shy, awkward, nervous, gauche," he claims. Well, as shy and awkward a man with three-foot-high hair can be, we presume.
7. Russell is a patron of Focus 12, the counselling charity that helped him to beat cocaine, heroin, tobacco and alcohol addiction.
8. Russell was arrested for stripping at the 2003 May Day protest in London, though he'd probably term the misdemeanour "denudating his apparel with temerarious spontaneity".
9. Russell's next ambition is to conquer the movie world. "I'll work in television for a year or so and then I'll make the transition to films," he vows.
10. Russell wants 'Asleep' by The Smiths to be played at his funeral.