15 July 1946 |
Woking, Surrey, England, UK
Derek Griffiths (born 15 July 1946, Woking, Surrey, England) is a British actor who appeared in numerous British children's television series in the 1960s to present, more recently has played parts in TV drama.
Griffiths was best known in his early years for his Play School appearances alongside the likes of Chloe Ashcroft, Johnny Ball and Brian Cant. A talented multi-instrumentalist, he voiced over and sang the theme tune to Heads and Tails, a series of short animal films for children produced by BBC Television, and also sang and played the theme tune to the cartoon Bod. Another memorable children's TV role was in Granada TV's early '80s series Film Fun, in which he played the entire staff of a cinema (the manager, the commissionaire (with the catchphrase "Get on with it!!"), the projectionist, the usherette and also himself) while also showing cartoons such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner. He appeared on Crown Court (1973) as an accused fraudster Raoul Lapointe, from the Belgian Congo. In 1975, Griffiths played Nanki-Poo in The Black Mikado at London's Cambridge Theatre. He was also the English voice of SuperTed (SuperTed was originally made in Welsh).
Griffiths' distinctive voice can currently be heard in the UK on the CBeebies programme Little Red Tractor alongside Stephen Tompkinson, and in the voiceover for 2010's Muller Shropshire Dairy Advert in the UK. He is the current voice of Amigo Loans in the UK.
In 1997, Griffiths originated the role of Lumière in the original West End production of Beauty and the Beast at the Dominion Theatre and played the role of the Child Catcher in the West End run of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium.
Children's TV work
- Play school (1964)
- Play away (1971)
- Cabbages and kings (1972)
- Various Look and read stories as singer, including:
- "Cloud burst" (1974) as singer.
- "Ring-a-ding!" (1975) stories & singer
- "Heads and tails" (1978) as voiceover and singer.
- "The king's dragon" (1977) as singer.
- "Sky hunter" (1978) as singer.
- "The boy from space" (1980) as singer.
- "Dark towers" (1981) as singer.
- "Fair ground!" (1983) as singer.
- "Geordie racer" (1988) as singer.
- "Through the dragon's eye" (1989) as singer.
- "Earth warp" (1994) as voiceover.
- Bod (1975) where he composed the theme music for each of the main 5 characters.
- Dinosaurs: Fun, fact and fantasy (1982) as the voice of Dil the Crocodile.
- SuperTed (1983) as the voice of SuperTed.
- Muzzy (1986) as the voice of Bob and Corvax.
- King Greenfingers (1989) as narrator.
- The world of Peter Rabbit and friends (1993) as Simpkin in animated short stories based on the popular book series.
- Christopher Crocodile (1993) as narrator.
- Mio Mao as narrator.
- Heads and tails
- Film fun
- Little red tractor
- Animal antics (1997) as narrator.
Comedy TV work
- Please, sir! (1968)
- The cobblers of Umbridge (1973) as The people of Umbridge.
- Marty back together again (1974)
- Don't drink the water (1974) as Carlos.
- Battle of the sexes (1976)
- Hi, Summer! (1977)
- Terry and June (1985) as the Prince.
- The funny side (1985)
- Porkpie (1995) as Benji.
- The bleak old shop of stuff (2012) as Pusweasel.
- Way to go! - Episode 2 (2013) as Elroy.
Other TV work
- Crown Court (1973) As Raoul Lapointe, the accused, in the three-part courtroom drama. Lapointe was found not guilty of fraud and obtaining monies by deception.
- Don't ask me! (1974)
- Casualty (1999) as Duke Baines.
- Holby City (2004) as Greg Martin, also again in Holby City in April 2011 as Ted O'Connor.
Derek Griffiths is also used frequently in advertising:
- Baker's Dog food
He also does the voices for the current jamjar.com adverts. In the past, he has won the Italian advertising Oscar for a series of comedy commercials.
- Up the chastity belt (1971) as Saladin.
- Up Pompeii! (1971) as Steam Slave.
- Up the front (1972) as El Puncturo.
- Rentadick (1972) as Henson.
- The Alf Garnett Saga (1972) as Rex.
- Don't just lie there, say something! (1973) as Johnny.
- All I want is you... and you... and you (1974) as Taxi Driver.
- Are you being served? (1977) as the Emir.
- The strange case of the end of civilization as we know it (1977) as Bus Conductor.
- Watership Down (1979) as Voice of Chervil/Vervain.
- Rising Damp (1980) as Alec.
- Fierce Creatures (1997) as Garry Ungulates.
- Ko-Ko, The black mikado adapted from Gilbert & Sullivan. Directed by Braham Murray at the Cambridge Theatre, London (1975).
- Dick Whittington by Derek Griffiths. World premiere directed by Derek Griffiths at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1977).
- Athos, The three musketeers by Braham Murray and Derek Griffiths. World premiere directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1979).
- Frontignac, Have you anything to declare? by Maurice Hennequin. British premiere directed by Braham Murray for the Royal Exchange, Manchester at the Roundhouse, London (1980).
- Rick, The Nerd by Larry Shue. European premiere directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1982).
- Khlestakov, The government inspector by Nikolai Gogol. Directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1983).
- The bluebird of unhappiness by Woody Allen. Directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1987).
- Oscar, The odd couple by Neil Simon. Directed by Ronald Harwood at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1989).
- Sergeant Kite, The recruiting officer by George Farquhar. Directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1992).
- Feste, Twelfth night at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon (1994) and the Theatre Royal, Newcastle upon Tyne (1994).
- Sebastien, Nude with violin by Noël Coward. Directed by Marianne Elliott at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1999).
- Harpagon, The miser by Moliere. Directed by Helena Kaut-Howson at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (2009).
- Rev. Tooker, Cat on a hot tin roof (2009).
- The Engineer. Miss Saigon (1990's)
- Derek Griffiths at the Internet Movie Database.
- The official Derek Griffiths website.
- Cat on a hot tin roof at Novello Theatre London.