1. My father
3. My mother’s family in Smyrna (she was still unborn)
5. With my mother in our garden at Zografou
7. From the rehearsals of "Ypallilos"
9. Radio days
11. Press clipping for “To kaplani tis vitrinas”
I was born in Athens on December 28th, 1955. My father, Dinos Dimopoulos was a film director and had already shot his first four films. Another forty-three were to follow. (Photo 01) My mother, Beatrice Deliyianni, an actress at the National Theatre, had already played in four plays and would play in another another forty-five. (Photo 02) Her brother Alekos and her sister Vera, were also acting at the National Theatre.
My mother’s family were refugees from Smyrna. They arrived in Athens in 1922 and spent their first years in the dressing rooms of the Panathenaic Stadium, until they settled in a brick-built refugee home in Vyron. (Photo 03) My father was born in Paleros, his parents in Epirus and he always carried the rigour of his origin. (Photo 04)
I spent my first years at Zografou, in a house with a rose garden. (Photo 05) My parents divorced almost after my birth.
We had no radio. The first time I saw snow I was so awestruck that I cried to my mother “cotton, cotton is falling from the sky”!
When I was five we moved from the house at Zografou to a one-bedroom apartment in Pangrati. At that time, when the first rains fell, you could smell the fragrance of the wet earth.
I spent my summers at Epidaurus. My mother was playing in the theatre and I sat spellbound in the 2,400 year-old marble rows and listened to the actors, the members of the ancient chorus and the solitary screech owl from the opposite pines. I met great actors, actresses and directors.
My father often took me with him to the studios of Finos Films to see the shooting. (Photo 06) There I also met some famous movie stars. Much later I would play in a movie next to one of them, Thanassis Vengos. (Here is a short clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDL1fgIrxns)
I first watched television when I was fourteen. We went to a friend’s house who had just brought a TV set from America. We watched the live broadcast of the Apollo 11 moon landing. I remember a blurred flickering black-and-white image. We bought our first TV much later.
I graduated from Athens College. I was a member of the Drama Club and in 1972 we produced Hourmouzi’s famous play “O Ypallilos”. (Photo 07) (sound clip Ypallilos)
I played the lead role and was a member of the directing committee together with other classmates who later became famous.
I wanted to be an actor. My artistic family and especially my father prevented that. In 1974 I went to England to study Architecture. I did not like it much and instead I turned to Graphic Design. I returned to Greece, did my military service, finished a Drama School and began working…
I changed quite a few jobs: graphic designer, copywriter, translator, screenwriter.
In 1981, Frieda Bubie hired me as an editor for the Greek edition of Reader’s Digest. There I met Mania, who later became my wife and her three-year-old daughter Niovi, who subsequently became my daughter… (Photo 08)
Next year I was hired as a radio announcer by the Hellenic Radio and Television (ERT). I read the news for about four years. (Photo 09) It was the time that Nikos Pilavios who was then Head of Children’s Programming in television was setting-up up a new, two-hour, live, daily children’s programme. It was to be called “Ouranio Toxo” (Rainbow) and Nikos asked me to present it. I accepted. And so began my involvement with television. (Photo 10)
Soon Pilavios left ERT and I became Head of Children’s Programming. At that time ERT was broadcasting two hours of children’s programmes daily and we managed to maintain this programme Greek by 76%. A production of which I am proud is a series of ten episodes based on Alki Zei’s novel “To kaplani tis vitrinas” (Wildcat Under Glass) directed by Petros Lykas (Photo 11) (You may watch the full ten episodes here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKr7e5GtTYY&list=PL9F47BF26607B25A9)
I stayed in ERT until 1990. I quit because I could not bear the unionists requiring party identities and allegiance.
For the next twelve years I wandered into other business fields. I was Director of Public Relations at a large insurance company, I founded Prospect Advertising, closed it down, went back to insurance as Communications Director…
Until one day I got a call from film director Manos Efstratiades, who was then Director of Television at ERT and who suggested I start Ouranio Toxo once again! From September 2001 to June 11, 2013 -the date of ERT’s violent closure- the show was broadcast daily and loved by many. In the meantime, I started my adventure as a writer, which I continue to this day.