Roy Barraclough

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Roy Barraclough
Born Roy Barraclough
(1935-07-12) 12 July 1935 (age 79)
Preston, Lancashire, England, UK
Occupation Television actor

Roy Barraclough MBE (born 12 July 1935 in Preston, Lancashire) is an English comic actor. He is best known for his role as the shifty, lugubrious landlord of the Rovers Return, Alec Gilroy in the long-running British TV soap Coronation Street, and for the double-act Cissie and Ada with Les Dawson.


Roy Barraclough began his career as a draughtsman, taking time off to work as an entertainer in a holiday camp on the Isle of Wight. Combining his day job with local amateur theatre for several years he was eventually offered a full-time acting contract by legendary repertory theatre producer Nita Valerie with her company in Huddersfield. Barraclough regularly appeared on stage and at times played piano in the pit, most notably for comedienne Hylda Baker.

He later joined the repertory company at Stoke (appearing alongside Ben Kingsley) and then Oldham in 1966, appearing alongside Barbara Knox, Anne Kirkbride and others. Whilst at Oldham he made his first TV appearances for Granada Television, including Coronation Street in 1964.

In 1969 he was cast as Harry Everitt in Yorkshire Television's first soap opera Castle Haven with Kathy Staff as his on-screen wife. Although the soap only lasted a year, Barraclough became a regular guest actor on YTV shows. It was whilst having lunch in the canteen there that he was asked to stand in for a missing actor on the first series of The Les Dawson Show. It was the start of a working relationship which would last many years both at YTV and the BBC.

Roy made a guest appearance in the '70s sitcom The Lovers (Series 1 episode 5) where he plays a grumpy barman. He played a similar role in the Rising Damp episode called "Pink Carnations" (series 4).

Throughout the 1970s he formed a partnership with comedian Les Dawson. They played two grotesque old ladies '...of a certain age...', Dawson playing Ada Shufflebotham, Barraclough playing Cissy, the more 'refined' of the two.[1]

Barraclough made occasional appearances in Coronation Street in 1972 and 1975, playing the rather sleazy Alec Gilroy, theatrical agent to night club singer Rita Littlewood. He returned permanently in 1986 and a marriage to Bet Lynch was included in his character's narrative. After several departures and comebacks, Barraclough finally left Coronation Street at the end of 1998.

Barraclough was later to appear in a sitcom, Mother's Ruin, in which he played a bachelor dominated by his belligerent mother (Dora Bryan); the show was not a success. He made a guest appearance in the 2005 Last of the Summer Wine episode 'Has Anyone Seen A Peruvian Wart?' playing opposite his friend Kathy Staff, and has appeared in a variety of TV shows including Casualty, Peak Practice, Funland and recorded a guest role in BBC1's Billy Goat.

On stage he has appeared in everything from musicals (The Boy Friend and Gypsy) to high drama (Death of a Salesman and A Different Way Home) and Christmas shows and pantomimes. He created the role of Santa in the lavish stage musical Santa Claus, which he reprised for several Christmases. He is the recipient of three Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards including the Reader's Award, a Liverpool Echo Theatre Award and a Royal Television Society Award.

In the 2006 New Year Honours, Barraclough was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to drama and to charity in the North West.

In 2009 he played the vicar in the BBC1 drama All the Small Things and from 2012 to 2013 he played Maurice in Last Tango in Halifax.


  1. ^ Stephenson, John-Paul (12 September 2013). "Interview: Steve Nallon #1 – “A celebration of Les”". Giggle Beats. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 

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