Derek Thompson (actor)
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4 April 1948 |
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Thompson has a twin sister, Elaine, who was born ten minutes after him. From the age of thirteen they combined to form the singing duo Elaine and Derek. They released one eponymously titled album, on the Parlophone label in 1961, before going on to appear in the feature film Gonks Go Beat (1965). They then formed folk trio Odin's People with Larry Johns, who recorded two singles in 1967.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s Thompson became a regular face in BBC and ITV dramas. Appearances included Softly Softly, Play for Today, Harry's Game and Rock Follies. Prior to appearing in Casualty he had a recurring role, as DS Jimmy Fenton, in the ITV police drama The Gentle Touch. In Bergerac, series 2, episode 7' he played Wyatt, a crooked financier. He had minor film roles in Yanks (1979) and Breaking Glass (1980), and also played Jeff, Harold Shand's treacherous lieutenant, in The Long Good Friday (1980). He also played a IRA hitman in the film Wild Geese II (1985).
Thompson began portraying Charlie Fairhead in Casualty in 1986. He is the only original cast member remaining on the show, although in 2004 his character went on a six-month sabbatical, which remains his most notable absence from the show in over a quarter of a century. Currently, he is permitted a certain amount of time off from filming per year, meaning that he is absent from more episodes than any other current cast member.