Karl Howman

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Karl Howman
Born (1953-12-13) 13 December 1953 (age 65)
Woolwich, London, England
OccupationActor, performer
Spouse(s)Clare Lightfoot (m. 1976)
Children2 including Chloe

Karl Howman (born 13 December 1953)[citation needed] is an English actor and voice-over artist. He is known for his role in the BBC television soap opera EastEnders as Buster Briggs which he played from 2014 to 2016 and also for the comedy sitcom Brush Strokes (1986 to 1991)


Born in Woolwich, London, England, he is best known to television viewers for his work as Jacko in Esmonde and Larbey's late-1980s BBC TV sitcom Brush Strokes and as the title character in the series Mulberry (also by Esmonde and Larbey).

However, Howman first worked with the two comedy scriptwriters on the final series of Thames TV sitcom Get Some In! in 1978 replacing Robert Lindsay (who left after the fourth series to star in Citizen Smith at the BBC) in the role of Jakey Smith. Howman co-starred with Lindsay in Claude Whatham's That'll Be the Day (1973), and also appeared in the sequel Stardust (1974).

Howman's other films include Exposé (1976), a film described as a video nasty, S.O.S. Titanic (1979) as 5th officer Harold Lowe, The Long Good Friday (1980), Babylon (1981), Party Party (1983), The Truth About Love (2005) and in the Porridge feature film (1979).

He also starred in the episode "Shadow" in the BBC series Blake's 7,[1] in the Minder episode "All About Scoring, Innit?" playing Danny Varrow,[2] and in the episode "May" of The Sweeney playing Davey Holmes.[3] He replaced Peter Davison in the BBC Radio 4 school-based comedy drama series King Street Junior when Davison left after the first two series. Howman appeared in the 1980 ITV series Fox, the last two series of the Judi Dench/Michael Williams comedy A Fine Romance, and in Babes in the Wood with Denise Van Outen.

Howman has provided voice-over for UK digital television station Nuts TV. He played a role in the ITV drama The Bill for four episodes in 2001.

He is well known for his recurring role in the commercials for the Flash brand of cleaning products and McEwan's Export Scottish Ale, the latter of which was later developed into the BBC Scotland comedy drama series Bad Boys in 1995 where Howman reprised his role.

Theatre appearances include Teeth 'n' Smiles (1975/6) and the character of Mr Paravavincini, a foreign visitor at a guest house in the first UK tour of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap (2011).

He also starred in the BBC Radio 7 audio show Coming Alive as Terry, an educated ex-convict who helps divorcee Sandra (Phyllis Logan) through many ups and downs with the Grove Hill Community Centre. Three series of six episodes, originally broadcast 2008–09.

On 25 September 2014, it was announced that Howman had been cast in long running BBC soap EastEnders.[4] Howman appeared as the character Buster Briggs. In his time on the show, Buster's storylines included his relationship with Shirley Carter (Linda Henry), his relationship with his two sons Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) and Dean Wicks (Matt Di Angelo), running a fish stall and having an affair with Kathy Sullivan (Gillian Taylforth). In July 2016, it was announced that Howman would be leaving the show after nearly two years.[5] Buster left the show after his relationship with Shirley and his affair with Kathy both ended with Howman's last episode airing on 23 September 2016.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Both of his daughters are actresses. Katy-Jo has appeared in various TV series, whilst Chloe appeared in BBC medical soap Casualty as Sister Rita Freeman. She chose to leave in July 2016 after just under three years.

Howman supports Charlton Athletic[7] and Ebbsfleet United.


  1. ^ "Blakes 7" Shadow (TV Episode 1979), IMDb.com
  2. ^ "Minder" All About Scoring, Init (TV Episode 1980), IMDb.com
  3. ^ "The Sweeney", May (TV Episode 1976), IMDb.com
  4. ^ "Karl Howman set to join EastEnders". EastEnders News & Spoilers. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  5. ^ Greenwood, Carl (28 July 2016). "Another EastEnders star quits Walford after two years". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  6. ^ "EastEnders airs Buster's final scenes as actor Karl Howman leaves the cast". Radio Times. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 October 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]