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Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2
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The son of a Baptist preacher from smalltown Idaho, Aaron Paul left home at an early age for Los Angeles to make a name for himself on screen. And he landed a ton of roles – from Third Rock From The Sun to Veronica Mars – before finding his way to Jesse Pinkman, the conflicted anti-hero at the centre of Breaking Bad.
And Breaking Bad was one of those shows that jumped the boundaries of what television can usually do. It spoke to a dark core in American culture that was so compelling it made fans on both the left and right: what other show could call President Obama and Ann Coulter fans? Paul stood out as the heart of it, and it was his fate we held our breath for when the show ended (well, that and maybe hearing him say “yeah, bitch” one last time).
Now that Breaking Bad is over, Paul’s still going strong – he’s the lead in the new film Need For Speed, an adrenalized throwback to the films of Steve McQueen. He’s Tobey Marshall, a street racer who has to sprint across the country to avenge an old wrong.