Paul Darrow

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Paul Darrow
Paul Darrow.JPG
Photo by Tim Drury.
Born Paul Valentine Birkby
(1941-05-02) 2 May 1941 (age 73)
Surrey, England, U.K.
Spouse(s) Janet Lees Price 19 April 1943 - 22 May 2012 (Aged 69)
Website
http://www.avon-paul-darrow.co.uk

Paul Darrow (born Paul Valentine Birkby on 2 May 1941) is an English actor best known for his portrayal of Kerr Avon in the BBC science fiction television series Blake's 7. He also guest starred twice on Doctor Who, playing Captain Hawkins in the serial Doctor Who and the Silurians which was transmitted in 1970 and Maylin Tekker in the serial Timelash which was transmitted in 1985.

Early years[edit]

Darrow was born in Surrey, England, and attended Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School before studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Career[edit]

The popularity of his role as Avon has tended to overshadow his extensive work in theatre and television. He also plays the character of Kaston Iago in the Kaldor City audios. He appeared in all but the first episode of Blake's 7.

Darrow's other TV appearances include: Emergency Ward 10, The Saint, Z-Cars, Dixon of Dock Green, Within These Walls, as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1975 BBC series The Legend of Robin Hood, as Mr. Tallboy in the 1973 TV adaptation of Dorothy L. Sayers' Murder Must Advertise, as Thomas Doughty in the TV film Drake's Venture, Dombey and Son, Maelstrom, Making News, Pie in the Sky, Hollyoaks and Little Britain. He provided the voiceover for Biblical quotations in Richard Dawkins's The Root of All Evil?.

Proud of his work on Blake's 7, Darrow has acted as the show's most prolific spokesperson, both in the UK and during the late 80s, in the U.S., when the show was frequently broadcast on US public television. In the mid to late 1990s, he purchased the rights to Blake's 7 and attempted to produce a big-budget follow-up miniseries, Blake's 7: A Rebellion Reborn. According to Darrow, it would have begun 25 years after the ending of the original series and might have included an aged Avon passing the torch to a new generation.

Darrow records voiceovers and straplines for five UK Jack FM stations in Oxfordshire, Bristol, Swindon, Berkshire and Southampton. He also provides the voice of the character Grand Moff Tarkin in the computer game Star Wars: Empire at War. He also voiced the character of Zarok in a PlayStation game titled Medievil. Darrow appeared in Emmerdale from 13 July 2009, playing Eddy Fox, a friend of Alan Turner's; he knows Turner as "Tank".[citation needed]

Darrow also provided the voice of a main character in the PC game Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising. The actress Glynis Barber, who played Soolin on Blake's 7, provided the voice for the main female character. The game was narrated by Tom Baker of Doctor Who fame.

In December 2011 Darrow voiced the character of Overseer Tremel in the Bioware MMORPG release Star Wars: The Old Republic.

In 2012, Darrow returned to the role of Kerr Avon in Big Finish Productions' Blake's 7: The Liberator Chronicles, a series of dramatic readings which take place during Series One before the death of Olag Gan. Darrow stars as Avon in The Turning Test and The Magnificent Four by Simon Guerrier and Counterfeit by Peter Anghelides.

Further reading[edit]

He is the author of Avon: A Terrible Aspect (ISBN 0-80651-112-5), a 1989 novel about Avon's father and Avon's own early life. Darrow's autobiography, You're Him, Aren't You? (ISBN 1-84435-236-6) was published in 2006. Darrow narrated the 2008 audio book of Terry Nation's classic children's story 'Rebecca's World, Journey to the Forbidden Planet'.

External links[edit]