Derek Fowlds

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Derek Fowlds
Derek Fowlds Allan Warren.jpg
Fowlds in 1974
Born (1937-09-02) 2 September 1937 (age 82)
Wandsworth, London, England
OccupationActor, presenter
Years active1962–present
Wendy Tory
(m. 1963; div. 1973)

Lesley Judd
(m. 1974; div. 1978)

Derek Fowlds (born 2 September 1937) is an English actor, best known for playing Bernard Woolley in popular British television comedies Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister, and Oscar Blaketon in the long-running ITV police drama Heartbeat, a role he played for 18 years.

Early life[edit]

Fowlds was born in Wandsworth, London, the son of Ketha Muriel (née Treacher) and James Witney Fowlds,[1] a salesman. Fowlds was educated at Ashlyns School, a former Secondary Modern School in the historic town of Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire.[2]


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 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 in 1975.

Perhaps his most famous role was that of Bernard Woolley in Yes Minister and its sequel Yes, Prime Minister alongside Paul Eddington and Nigel Hawthorne.

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 Oscar Blaketon in the long running ITV police drama nostalgia series Heartbeat for its entire run. 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[edit]

Fowlds was previously married to Wendy Tory and Blue Peter presenter and dancer Lesley Judd. He is the father of two children including the actor Jeremy Fowlds.

Television roles[edit]

Year Title Role
1964 Gideon's Way Episode 26: "The Nightlifers" Tim Coles
1967 The Solarnauts Pilot: "Cloud of Death" Tempo
1969–1973 The Basil Brush Show Mr Derek
1975 Edward the Seventh Lord Randolph Churchill
1978 Robin's Nest Series 2 Eps 2 "The Candidate" Ricky Hart
1980–1984 Yes Minister Bernard Woolley
1982 Minder Meadhurst
1983–1985 Affairs of the Heart Peter Bonamy
1986–1988 Yes, Prime Minister Bernard Woolley
1988 The Settling of the Sun Kurt Friedman/Michael Robson
1990 Die Kinder Crombie
1992–2010 Heartbeat Sgt. Oscar Blaketon
1992–1994 Firm Friends John Gutteridge
2001 Lily Savage's Blankety Blank Himself[3]


  1. ^ Derek Fowlds Biography (1937–)
  2. ^ Who's Who on Television. Publisher: ITV Books Ltd./Michael Joseph Ltd. Published: 1985. Retrieved: 27 January 2013.
  3. ^ Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 20 May 2001. ITV.

External links[edit]