Derek James Fowlds
2 September 1937
|Died||17 January 2020 (aged 82)|
Bath, Somerset, England
(m. 1963; div. 1973)
(m. 1974; div. 1978)
|Partner(s)||Jo Lindsay (1976–2012; her death)|
Derek James Fowlds (2 September 1937 – 17 January 2020) was an English actor best known for his appearances as "Mr Derek" in The Basil Brush Show (1969–1973), Bernard Woolley in the sitcom Yes Minister (1980–1984) and its sequel Yes, Prime Minister (1986–1988), and as Oscar Blaketon in Heartbeat (1992–2010).
Fowlds was born on 2 September 1937 in Wandsworth, London, the son of Ketha Muriel (née Treacher) and James Witney Fowlds, a salesman. Fowlds attended Ashlyns School, a former Secondary Modern School in the historic town of Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire. After leaving school aged 15, Fowlds worked at a printer's firm as an apprentice and also spent two years in the RAF as a wireless operator.
After amateur acting, Fowlds trained at RADA and made his debut on the West End stage in The Miracle Worker. He appeared in various film roles, including Tamahine (1963), East of Sudan (1964), Hotel Paradiso (1966), Frankenstein Created Woman (1967), The Smashing Bird I Used to Know (1969), Tower of Evil (1972) and Mistress Pamela (1974), prior to becoming familiar to British television child viewers as "Mr. Derek" in the children's series The Basil Brush Show, replacing Rodney Bewes as presenter.
He played the role of Lord Randolph Churchill in the ATV series Edward the Seventh (1975). In Yes Minister and its sequel Yes, Prime Minister he played the naïve and callow Bernard Woolley alongside Paul Eddington's Jim Hacker and Nigel Hawthorne's Sir Humphrey Appleby.
From 1983 to 1985, Fowlds played the lead role in the sitcom Affairs of the Heart. He featured in a more sinister role in the 1990 political thriller Die Kinder. Fowlds then played old and curmudgeonly Oscar Blaketon in the long-running Yorkshire Television police drama nostalgia series Heartbeat set in the sixties for its entire eighteen-year run beginning in 1992. The character first appeared as the local police sergeant, then retired from the force and ran the post office before becoming a publican.
Personal life and death
Fowlds married, and later divorced, Wendy Tory, and later wed and divorced (in 1978) the Blue Peter presenter and dancer Lesley Judd. His partner of 36 years, Jo Lindsay, died in 2012. He was the father of two sons, including the actor Jeremy Fowlds. His autobiography, A Part Worth Playing, was published in 2015.
He died at Royal United Hospital in Bath on 17 January 2020 at age 82 from complications of heart failure and sepsis, which had followed pneumonia. His funeral was held at St Katharine's Church in Holt, Wiltshire on 17 February 2020.
|1962||The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner||Borstal Inmate||Uncredited|
|1962||We Joined the Navy||The Midshipman / Carson|
|1963||Doctor in Distress||Medical Student Gillibrand|
|1964||Hot Enough for June||Sun Bathing Man|
|1964||East of Sudan||Murchison|
|1965||Gideon's Way||Tim Coles||Episode 26: "The Nightlifers"|
|1966||Take a Pair of Private Eyes||Ambrose Frayne||6 episodes|
|1967||Frankenstein Created Woman||Johann|
|1967||The Solarnauts||Tempo||Pilot: "Cloud of Death"|
|1969||The Smashing Bird I Used to Know||Geoffrey|
|1969–1973||The Basil Brush Show||Mr Derek||64 episodes|
|1972||Tower of Evil||Dan|
|1973||Mistress Pamela||Sir Percy|
|1974||Thriller||Dicky||Series 3, Episode 3: "Death to Sister Mary"|
|1975||Edward the Seventh||Lord Randolph Churchill||Episode: "Dearest Prince"|
|1976||The Copter Kids||Captain Peters|
|1978||Robin's Nest||Ricky Hart||Series 2, Episode 2: "The Candidate"|
|1979||My Son, My Son||Newbiggen||1 episode|
|1980–1984||Yes Minister||Bernard Woolley||22 episodes|
|1982||Minder||Meadhurst||Episode: "Dead Men Do Tell Tales"|
|1983–1985||Affairs of the Heart||Peter Bonamy||7 episodes|
|1986–1988||Yes, Prime Minister||Bernard Woolley||16 episodes|
|1988||Inspector Morse||Kurt Friedman / Michael Robson||Episode: "The Settling of the Sun"|
|1990||Die Kinder||Crombie||6 episodes|
|1992||Over the Hill||Dutch|
|1992–1994||Firm Friends||John Gutteridge||8 episodes|
|1992–2010||Heartbeat||Sgt. Oscar Blaketon||342 episodes|
|2001||Lily Savage's Blankety Blank||Himself||1 episode|
|2012||Run for Your Wife||Man in hat|
- Anthony Hayward (17 January 2020). "Derek Fowlds obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
- "Derek Fowlds Biography (1937–)". www.filmreference.com.
- Who's Who on Television. Publisher: ITV Books Ltd./Michael Joseph Ltd. Published: 1985. Retrieved: 27 January 2013.
- "Derek Fowlds: Yes Minister and Heartbeat actor dies aged 82 – BBC News". BBC News. 17 January 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
- "Derek Fowlds: Yes Minister and Heartbeat actor dies aged 82". Sky News. 17 January 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
- "Derek Fowlds". BFI.
- "Search for releases". bbfc.co.uk. British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
- Sale, Jonathan (20 August 1998). "Education: Passed/Failed Derek Fowlds". The Independent. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
- Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 20 May 2001. ITV.