Andrew has played many roles in his acting career for film, TV, and Hollywood productions, but he says his most important is his real-life role as a Lifeguard.

He explained: "You are responsible for protecting people and saving lives when needed.

My dad taught me to swim at an early age. He inspired me because he was a great swimmer and could swim further underwater and hold his breath longer than anyone I knew! I was 11 years old when I won my first 400m race at primary school. Swimming was not so supported at my secondary school, so it wasn't until a few years later that I got back into swimming and progressed to become a Lifeguard.

Lifeguarding can be a very flexible career - so it compliments acting. A Lifeguard can work full-time or part-time, be self-employed for private companies - like swim schools, swim teachers, or work seasonally - which is what I did. In Los Angeles, as an actor, I needed a specific type of visa (which covers actors, singers, entertainers, and athletes) that shows extraordinary ability in their field. Being a qualified Lifeguard fell under the sport classification, so it met the requirement and demonstrates what a valuable qualification the NPLQ is, especially internationally.


Earlier in my acting career, I was acting and lifeguarding alongside each other - I would like to get back to that. Working as an actor has given me a platform in life, and as a Lifeguard, an opportunity to promote water safety. I am now able to get more involved with lifesaving and the RLSS UK, and I will support and share their water safety awareness campaigns. It is only now that campaigns like 'float to live' are public knowledge. My dad's been telling me that since I was little. He used to say, if you get tired - lie back, float, and relax. 


The east coast of Scotland now has at least eight beaches with a Lifeguard service - the west coast has zero. I would like this addressed and will use my platform to highlight the situation and to get the situation changed.


Lifeguarding is a life skill and stays with you for life. Even now, when I am at the beach, pool, or any body of open water, I find myself spotting dangers and potential hazards. The other week, I was swimming at Saltcoats/Ardrossan Beach, and a boy aged about 11 or 12 was out of his depth. His sisters were calling him in, but he was showing off and shouting - how far are we allowed to go out? So, I swam out to him and said about the increasing currents and the water dropping in temperature every metre. I just said, don't go out too far pal, or the current will pull you right out to sea! He listened and said, I know I can feel it pulling me back. Sometimes just having a word can make the difference between a dangerous situation occurring and not. Prevention is always best. Fortunately, he listened to me and came back in.


The RLSS operate across the commonwealth, and the RLSS UK’s National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) is well-recognised around the world. I get the travel bug from my folks. When I was nineteen, my dad went to work in Bermuda for two years, so when we went over, I fell in love with their pink sands and blue waters. It was amazing for my family to experience a place like that. My dad sadly passed away suddenly in 2019 - he was only sixty-one. It was his heart, which is why I feel strongly that every home could benefit from an AED device and should know CPR.


No matter where the acting world takes me, lifeguarding will always be in my blood! There is something about being around water and the need to help people that stays with you. I was in Turkey in November 2019 when my training came in handy. While on my daily swim, I was swimming back, looked up and realised I wasn't getting any closer to shore. I put my head down and swam fast, but I wasn't any further forward! I was in a rip current! I remembered my training, relaxed, and began swimming parallel to the shore until I was out of the rip. I noticed two women in difficulty, caught in the same rip, and managed to help them out too.

When I returned to shore, I informed the on-duty Lifeguard what had happened and about the conditions.


The media is instrumental in supporting lifeguarding and lifesaving - its image and lifesaving campaigns. Our country has a lifesaving organisation, RLSS UK, which we should be proud of, and we should do everything we can to show our support, increase their impact and protect their future. Olympian Greg Whyte's recent 'Whyte Water' campaign challenge for RLSS UK and RNLI has inspired me, and I will be renewing my RLSS UK qualifications and following his example. 


You definitely get a sense of pride when you put on those red lifeguard shorts!

Read Andrew's interview for Cut Frame Magazine