Edward Tudor-Pole

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Edward Tudor-Pole
Tenpole Tudor 2.jpg
Tudor-Pole in Cardiff, 2013
Edward Felix Tudor-Pole

(1955-12-06) 6 December 1955 (age 63)
ResidenceLondon, England, UK
OccupationTelevision presenter and actor

Edward Felix Tudor-Pole[1] (also known as Edward Tenpole; born 6 December 1955)[2] is an English musician, television presenter and actor.

Originally gaining fame in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s as the lead singer of the punk rock band Tenpole Tudor, Tudor-Pole began an acting career following the group's split in 1982. Outside of his music career Tudor-Pole is probably best known in the UK as the presenter of the game show The Crystal Maze from 1993 to 1995 and in the US for his roles as Enaros in the 1997 fantasy film Kull the Conqueror and Mr. Borgin in The Harry Potter film series.

Ancestry and name[edit]

In interview with Phil Singleton, Tudor-Pole explained the history of his unusual name and said that it is "a bit bogus really." His family's original name was Pole, going back to the Norman Conquest. When his great-grandfather did some genealogical research and unearthed a connection to the royal house of Tudor, Tudor was added with the complete surname thereafter becoming "Tudor-Pole". [3]

Musical career[edit]

Tudor-Pole formed the band Tenpole Tudor in 1977, and eventually came to prominence after appearing in the film The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle as a possible replacement for Johnny Rotten in the Sex Pistols. He sang "Who Killed Bambi?", "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" and a cover version of "Rock Around the Clock" in the film and on the soundtrack. Tenpole Tudor returned in 1980, signing to Stiff Records and releasing two successful albums, Eddie, Old Bob, Dick and Gary and Let the Four Winds Blow. They had three hit singles, one of them UK Top 10 hit "Swords of a Thousand Men".

After parting ways with his band, he became a solo performer, and continues to play to audiences all over the country. His live acoustic shows tend to attract both ageing punks and new fans attracted by his TV and film roles, and exhibit a mix of punk rock, country-western and pure rock 'n' roll. Each of his tunes pays tribute to a variety of stars. Standard punk anthems stand side by side with influences as diverse as Status Quo, Freddie Mercury, Tammy Wynette and Shakin' Stevens. His last album, Made It This Far, was released in the summer of 2009.

Acting career[edit]

Tudor-Pole has appeared in numerous films and plays, as well as appearances on Top of the Pops, and was the presenter on The Crystal Maze, replacing Richard O'Brien from 1993 until the show's hiatus in 1995. He appeared in Between the Lines in 1992, playing a Liverpudlian villain. His film and play credits include The Rocky Horror Show (written by his Crystal Maze predecessor), Jim Cartwright's play Road at the Royal Court Theatre, The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980), Absolute Beginners (1986), Drowning by Numbers (1988), White Hunter Black Heart (1990) with Clint Eastwood, Princess Caraboo (1994), and several films by Alex Cox including Sid and Nancy (1986), Straight to Hell (1987) and Walker (1987).

In Kull the Conqueror (1997) he played Enaros, the antagonist of the film. The following year he appeared as a slumlord in the film version of Les Misérables, and as a blind man in Russell Mulcahy's horror film Tale of the Mummy. He also was seen in Quills (2000), The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004) as Spike Milligan, and The Queen's Sister (2005). Most recently he had a small part in an episode of Agatha Christie's Marple entitled "A Pocket Full of Rye", shown in 2009. His appearance in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) as Mr. Borgin, the owner of Borgin and Burke's store, was cut from the theatrical release, but is included in the extended edition DVD. He also appeared as a ranting street preacher in season two of Game of Thrones.

Personal life[edit]

Tudor-Pole was born on 6 December 1955 in Lambeth, London[4] to David W. and Shirley C. (née Brown) Tudor-Pole, and was educated at King Edward's School in Witley, Surrey. He later attended RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art). He is the grandson of the spiritualist, Wellesley Tudor Pole. He lives in London and has one son. He was also a keen biker for almost 17 years; his motorcycling skills can be witnessed in the early 1990s film Tunnel of Love, in which he played the lead role of "The Biker".[citation needed]


  1. ^ Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins, 5th ed. Adrian Room, p. 483
  2. ^ GRO Births Dec 1955: TUDOR-POLE, Edward, mmn = BROWN, Lambeth 5c 1516
  3. ^ "Ed Tudor-Pole in conversation with Phil Singleton", philjens.plus.com; accessed 9 March 2013.
  4. ^ England & Wales, Birth Index: DEC 1954 vol 5c, p.1516

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