Eric Thompson

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For other people named Eric Thompson, see Eric Thompson (disambiguation).
Eric Thompson
Born Eric Norman Thompson
(1929-11-09)9 November 1929
Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England
Died 30 November 1982(1982-11-30) (aged 53)
Camden, London, England
Spouse(s) Phyllida Law (m. 1957–82) (his death)
Children Emma Thompson
Sophie Thompson

Eric Norman Thompson (9 November 1929 – 30 November 1982) was an English actor, television presenter and producer. He is best remembered for narrating The Magic Roundabout,[1] which he adapted from the French original Le Manège Enchanté.

Life and career[edit]

Thompson was born in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England, the son of Annie (née Jackson) and George Henry Thompson,[2][3] and grew up Rudgwick, Sussex, attending Collyer's School, Horsham. He trained to be an actor at the Old Vic acting school in London and joined the Old Vic theatre company in 1952.[1]

He worked mostly for the BBC, and was a presenter of the children's television programme Play School from 1964-67. He was best known as the narrator of The Magic Roundabout, for which he wrote the English language scripts, using the visuals from the French Le Manège Enchanté. These were transmitted between October 1965 and January 1977. Thompson rarely worked on television after his voice became well-known, but occasionally appeared in programmes such as Doctor Who in the serial The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve in 1966.

Personal life[edit]

Thompson married Scottish actress Phyllida Law,[4] whom he met while at the Old Vic in 1957. Their daughters Emma and Sophie Thompson have also followed an acting career.


On 30 November 1982 Thompson died of a pulmonary embolism in London three weeks after his 53rd birthday.


  1. ^ a b Stevens, Christopher (2010). Born Brilliant: The Life of Kenneth Williams. John Murray. p. 401. ISBN 1-84854-195-3. 
  2. ^ "Eric Thompson Biography (1929-1982)". 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Eric Thompson". The Scotsman. 31 March 2006. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Phyllida Law Biography (1932-)". 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 

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