Francis Wright (puppeteer)

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Francis Wright (born 1958) is a British actor, puppeteer and writer.


Wright was educated at St Paul's School, and studied drama at the Arts Educational Schools, where he graduated with honours. From 1976-1980, he specialised in puppetry working with the Playboard Puppets (of Button Moon and The Spooks of Bottle Bay fame), touring schools and theatres, playing a wide variety of characters.

Film and television credits[edit]

Wright worked on a number of films and television programmes, beginning with ITC Entertainment's the Munch Bunch. He then became one of the two leading characters in a long-running series for BBC Schools called You and Me. His character’s name was Dibs — (the yellow one). He played that role for eleven years, until the series ended in 1992.

During that time, Francis worked on his first feature film, Dragonslayer, (starring Peter MacNicol and Ralph Richardson) in which his character, a vicious baby dragon, was decapitated by the hero.

His other credits include: the satirical puppet show Spitting Image; the Psammead in Five Children and It and The Return of the Psammead; the Phoenix in The Phoenix & The Carpet; Labyrinth; and the March Hare in the Hallmark Entertainment version of Alice in Wonderland.

He was featured as the Head in ITV'S Art Attack and Art Attack International, played a bat in Grotbags, and also co-wrote (with director Peter Eyre) and performed in three series of the children's comedy Bug Alert for Channel 4 and ITV. He inherited the role of Sweep in series 50 and 51 of the classic ITV children’s show Sooty.

Other series include Mortimer and Arabel (the first drama series performed entirely with puppets, created by author Joan Aiken), Jay's World, Gophers!, The Spooks of Bottle Bay and many others.

Other works[edit]

Wright also teaches personal presentation and communication skills. He took part in the reality shows American Princess and Australian Princess, featuring as an elocution teacher, and also featured on The Generation Game and taught Paul O'Grady to "speak proper". Recent projects include voice-over work for advertising, and narrating two 10-part series: B & B the Best (for BBC TV) and Kitchen Showdown with Rosemary Shrager (for ITV). In September, 2010, he played Thomas Becket in the 75th anniversary production of Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot.