Derek Griffiths

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Derek Griffiths
Born (1946-07-15) 15 July 1946 (age 68)
Woking, Surrey, England, UK
Occupation Actor
Years active 1964-present

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.

Career[edit]

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 He was also the English voice of SuperTed (SuperTed was originally made in Welsh).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[edit]

  • 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.
    • "Watch It!" (1980–83) regular continuity announcer on children's ITV segment for Yorkshire Television.
    • "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.
  • Heads And Tails
  • Film Fun
  • Little red tractor
  • Animal antics (1997) as narrator.[1]

Comedy TV work[edit]

  • The cobblers of Umbridge (1973) as The people of Umbridge.
  • Marty back together again (1974)
  • Battle of the sexes (1976)
  • Hi, Summer! (1977)
  • Rising Damp, The Movie (1980) as the Boxing Referee

Other TV work[edit]

  • 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.
  • Holby City (2004) as Greg Martin, also again in Holby City in April 2011 as Ted O'Connor.

Advertising work[edit]

Derek Griffiths is also used frequently in advertising:

  • 3
  • Airtours
  • amigoloans.co.uk
  • Baker's Dog food
  • Disneyland
  • Hasbro
  • Quaker
  • Vimto

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.

Film work[edit]

  • All I want is you... and you... and you (1974) as Taxi Driver.

Theatre[edit]

In the theatre, Griffiths has been particularly associated with the Royal Exchange, Manchester. His roles include:[2][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.channel5.com/shows/animal-antics Animal antics on Channel 5 web site (retrieved 19 January 2013).
  2. ^ Murray, Braham (2007). The worst it can be is a disaster. London: Methuen Drama. ISBN 978-0-7136-8490-2.
  3. ^ The Royal Exchange Theatre Company Words & Pictures 1976-1998, ISBN 0-9512017-1-9.

External links[edit]