15 July 1946 |
Woking, Surrey, England, UK
Derek Griffiths (born 15 July 1946 in Woking, Surrey, England) is a British actor who appeared in numerous British children's television series in the 1960s to present and has more recently played parts in TV drama.
Griffiths was best known in his early years for his Play School appearances alongside the likes of Chloe Ashcroft, Johnny Ball and Brian Cant. A talented multi-instrumentalist, he voiced over and sang the theme tune to Heads and Tails, a series of short animal films for children produced by BBC Television, and also sang and played the theme tune to the cartoon Bod. Another memorable children's TV role was in Granada TV's early '80s series Film Fun, in which he played the entire staff of a cinema (the manager, the commissionaire (with the catchphrase "Get on with it!!"), the projectionist, the usherette and also himself) while also showing cartoons such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner. He appeared on Crown Court (1973) as an accused fraudster Raoul Lapointe, from the Belgian Congo. In 1975, Griffiths played Nanki-Poo in The Black Mikado at London's Cambridge Theatre. He was also the English voice of SuperTed (SuperTed was originally made in Welsh).
Griffiths' distinctive voice can currently be heard in the UK on the CBeebies programme Little Red Tractor alongside Stephen Tompkinson, and in the voiceover for 2010's on YouTube in the UK. He is the current voice of Amigo Loans in the UK.
In 1997, Griffiths originated the role of Lumière in the original West End production of Beauty and the Beast at the Dominion Theatre and played the role of the Child Catcher in the West End run of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium.
Children's TV work
- Play school (1971–81)
- Play away (1971)
- Cabbages and kings (1972)
- Various Look and read stories as singer, including:
- "Cloud Burst" (1974) as singer.
- "Ring-a-Ding!" (1975) stories & singer
- "Heads and Tails" (1978) as voiceover and singer.
- "The king's dragon" (1977) as singer.
- "Sky Hunter" (1978) as singer.
- "The Boy From Space" (1980) as singer.
- "Watch It!" (1980–83) regular continuity announcer on children's ITV segment for Yorkshire Television.
- "Dark towers" (1981) as singer.
- "Fair ground!" (1983) as singer.
- "Geordie racer" (1988) as singer.
- "Through the dragon's eye" (1989) as singer.
- "Earth warp" (1994) as voiceover.
- Bod (1975) where he composed the theme music for each of the main 5 characters.
- Dinosaurs: Fun, Fact and Fantasy (1982) as the voice of Dil the Crocodile.
- SuperTed (1983) as the voice of SuperTed.
- Muzzy (1986) as the voice of Bob and Corvax.
- King Greenfingers (1989) as narrator.
- The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends (1993) as Simpkin in animated short stories based on the popular book series.
- Christopher Crocodile (1993) as narrator.
- Mio Mao (2005) as narrator.
- Film Fun
- Little Red Tractor (2004) as the voices of Mr Jones and Walter
- Animal antics (1997) as narrator.
- "Sarah & Duck" (2014) Series 2 Episode 3: Cloud Tower as Cloud Captain
Comedy TV work
- Please Sir! (1968)
- Til Death Us Do Part (1972 Christmas Special)
- The cobblers of Umbridge (1973) as The people of Umbridge.
- Marty back together again (1974)
- Don't drink the water (1974) as Carlos.
- Battle of the sexes (1976)
- Hi, Summer! (1977)
- Rising Damp (1980) as the Boxing Referee
- Terry and June (1985) as the Prince.
- The Funny Side (1985)
- Porkpie (1995) as Benji.
- The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff (2012) as Pusweasel.
- Way to go! - Episode 2 (2013) as Elroy.
Other TV work
- Crown Court (1973) as Raoul Lapointe.
- Don't ask me! (1974)
- Casualty (1999) as Duke Baines.
- Holby City as Greg Martin (2004) and Ted O'Connor (2011).
- Doctors broadcast 15 May 2015, as shopkeeper Renton Miles.
- Silent Witness (TV series) "River's Edge" broadcast 2 February 2016, as DS Malcolm Guillam.
- Coronation Street from March 2016, as retired mechanic Freddie.
- Derek Griffiths appears in This Is Your Life
Derek Griffiths is also used frequently in advertising:
- Baker's Dog food
He also does the voices for the current jamjar.com adverts. In the past, he has won the Italian advertising Oscar for a series of comedy commercials.
- Up Pompeii! (1971) as Steam Slave
- Up the Chastity Belt (1971) as Saladin
- Up the Front (1972) as El Puncturo
- Rentadick (1972) as Henson
- The Alf Garnett Saga (1972) as Rex
- Don't Just Lie There, Say Something! (1973) as Johnny
- All I Want Is You... and You... and You... (1974) as Taxi Driver
- Are You Being Served? (1977) as the Emir
- The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It (1977) as Bus Conductor
- Watership Down (1978) as Voice of Vervain and Chervil
- Rising Damp (1980) as Alec
- Fierce Creatures (1997) as Gerry Ungulates
- Run for Your Wife (2012) as Actor on Swing
- Ko-Ko, The Black Mikado adapted from Gilbert & Sullivan. Directed by Braham Murray at the Cambridge Theatre, London (1975).
- Dick Whittington by Derek Griffiths. World premiere directed by Derek Griffiths at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1977).
- Athos, The three musketeers by Braham Murray and Derek Griffiths. World premiere directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1979).
- Frontignac, Have you anything to declare? by Maurice Hennequin. British premiere directed by Braham Murray for the Royal Exchange, Manchester at the Roundhouse, London (1980).
- Rick, The Nerd by Larry Shue. European premiere directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1982).
- Khlestakov, The government inspector by Nikolai Gogol. Directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1983).
- The bluebird of unhappiness by Woody Allen. Directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1987).
- Feste, Twelfth night. Directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1988).
- Oscar, The odd couple by Neil Simon. Directed by Ronald Harwood at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1989).
- Sergeant Kite, The recruiting officer by George Farquhar. Directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1992).
- Feste, Twelfth night at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon (1994) and the Theatre Royal, Newcastle upon Tyne (1994).
- Sebastien, Nude with violin by Noël Coward. Directed by Marianne Elliott at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (1999).
- Truscott, Loot by Joe Orton. Directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (2001).
- Harpagon, The miser by Moliere. Directed by Helena Kaut-Howson at the Royal Exchange, Manchester (2009).
- Rev. Tooker, Cat on a hot tin roof (2009).
- The Engineer. Miss Saigon (1990's)
- Dainty, Sophie (2015-12-16). "Coronation Street: Derek Griffiths joins the cast as Kylie Platt strikes up surprise friendship with a pensioner". Digitalspy.com. Retrieved 2015-12-21.
- Animal antics on Channel 5 web site (retrieved 19 January 2013).
- Murray, Braham (2007). The worst it can be is a disaster. London: Methuen Drama. ISBN 978-0-7136-8490-2.
- The Royal Exchange Theatre Company Words & Pictures 1976-1998, ISBN 0-9512017-1-9.