Derek Benfield

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Derek Benfield (11 March 1926 – 10 March 2009) was a British playwright and actor.

He was born in Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, and educated at Bingley Grammar School. He was the author of the stage farce Running Riot and played Patricia Routledge's character's husband in Hetty Wainthropp Investigates (1996–98).

Arguably Benfield's best known character portrayal was as transport company foreman Bill Riley in the UK television series The Brothers in the early 1970s. Before this, he starred as Frank Skinner in the 1970 cult sci-fi series broadcast on UK ITV, Timeslip. Some of his other television roles included Walter Greenhalgh from Coronation Street (1961–69), Albert the Clerk from Rumpole of the Bailey (1978–80), Breakaway (1980) and First of the Summer Wine (1988).

His film credits include small roles in Crossplot (1969), I Don't Want to Be Born (1975) and Lifeforce (1985). His plays included the farces Post Horn Gallop and Wild Goose Chase, both about the fictional exploits of the eccentric Lord and Lady Elrood and visitors to their castle.

He also appeared with Colin Baker as John Hallam in the Doctor Who audio play Catch-1782 produced by Big Finish Productions.


  • Wild Goose Chase, 1956
  • Running Riot, 1958
  • Fish out of Water, 1963
  • Down to Brass Tacks, 1964
  • Third Party Risk, 1964
  • The Party, 1964
  • Post Horn Gallop, 1965
  • Murder for the Asking, 1967
  • Off the Hook, 1970
  • A Bird in the hand, 1973
  • Panic Stations, 1975
  • Caught on the Hop, 1979
  • Beyond a Joke, 1980
  • In for the Kill, 1981

Personal life[edit]

Benfield was married to Susan, had two children Kate and Jamie and was grandfather to Daniel and Alexander.[1]

Television roles[edit]

Year Title Role
1996 to 1998 Hetty Wainthropp Investigates Robert Wainthropp
1993 Mulberry Alf
1992 The Brittas Empire - Series 2 Episode 7 - New Generations Farmer
1990 Agatha Christie's Poirot - The Cornish Mystery Dr Adams
1988 to 1989 First of the Summer Wine Mr Scrimshaw
1983-1984 Hallelujah Andrew Gibson/Arthur Walton
1981 Hi-de-Hi - Series 1 Episode 2 - Desire in the Mickey Mouse Grotto Girl's Father
1980 Minder Brown
1978-1979 Rumpole of the Bailey Albert Handyside
1972 to 1976 The Brothers Bill Riley
1970 Timeslip Frank Skinner
1961-1969 Coronation Street Walter Greenhalgh


  1. ^ "BENFIELD - Deaths Announcements - Telegraph Announcements". 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2012-04-09.

External links[edit]