Marcus Clarke (puppeteer)

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Marcus Clarke
Marcus clarke talking with his Puppets
Marcus Clarke talking with his puppets
Known forPuppeteer, voice acting

Marcus Clarke is a puppeteer and voice actor from Nottinghamshire. He is best known as the puppeteer and voice actor behind the BAFTA-winning CITV series Bookaboo and the principal puppeteer of Audrey II in the 1986 version of Little Shop of Horrors. Clarke has worked as a puppeteer in over 60 television series and has created a similar number of puppets. He was also a puppeteer and voice actor in two Muppet feature films and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.


Marcus Clarke was born in Forest Gate, East London. He spent several years in Canada, Care and in NCH orphanages before being settled in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire where he left West Bridgford School, his local comprehensive school with no qualifications. After a series of jobs behind the scenes in theatres, he became stage manager in a West End production of Little Shop Of Horrors, where he looked after Audrey II – the giant plant. He became interested in the art of puppetry. Clarke went on to audition for Jim Henson's TV Puppeteering Workshop, where he befriended Brian Henson.[1][unreliable source?]

Inspired in part by Henson, he and his partner, Helena Smee, formed a puppet creation company, "Hands Up Puppets", in 1986. To date, they have created more than 60 puppets and worked as puppeteers on a similar number of UK television series.[1][unreliable source?]

Recent work[edit]

Bookaboo, 2009 BAFTA-award-winning kids' TV series has Clarke puppeteering a "rock puppy" who is unable to play the drums before one of his friends has read him a story.[2] Designed to back the 2008 National Year of Reading campaign,[3] Bookaboo's friends are celebrities such as Meat Loaf and David Seaman.[4]

Since 2009, Clarke has been working on new projects, teaching puppetry classes and working with charities. He created a short film with young people at Clayfields House, a secure children's home in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire. Clarke is also on the Board of Funny Wonders Inc, a community interest company, co-organisers of the Buxton Puppet Festival.[4]

Since 2010 Clarke has also been an exhibiting contemporary artist. He created the art movement Puppet TV Graffiti to encompass his new art and craft of puppetisation and began creating and exhibiting puppetised contemporary artworks.[5] Exhibitions and hangings include.

Marcus Clarke created this puppetised, PuppetTVGraffiti work for his DogHorse Coat art exhibition.

2015 The DogHorse Coat Art Exhibition. Floor 1 Gallery, Nottingham Central Library, Feb 2 - 28th 2015[6]

2014 Homeless in the Puppetised City Art Exhibition, one man show, Nottingham. 13x works and video.[7]

2014 Surface Gallery International Postcard Show 1x postcard work.[8]

2012 FAB Fringe Arts Bath 2012. Mis-in-Formation. 3x works exhibited. Curator Diana Ali.[9]

2011 Surface Gallery Nottingham 'Salon des Refuse's' 2x works exhibited.[10]

1977 Mansfield College of Art. Various.[11]


Clarke has been nominated for and won a number of awards, including two BAFTAs for Pre-school Live Action. The first was in 2004 for PJ's Storytime[12] and the second in 2009 for Bookaboo.[13] Bookaboo went on to win Best Children's Programme at the Broadcast Awards.[14] and its category at the Prix Jeuness International. Clarke was also Milky Cat in The Christmas Milkshake Show nominated in the same category in 2009.[15] The young people in Clarke's puppet film, Clayfields House, won two writing awards from the Koestler Trust.[4] He was listed as one of the "prominent people in Nottinghamshire" in 2010 at the Nottinghamshire Archives.[16]



Year Role Film
1985 Audrey II principal puppeteer Little Shop Of Horrors
1988 Various puppeteering Who Framed Roger Rabbit
1992 Additional Muppet performer (voice), various puppeteering The Muppet Christmas Carol
1996 Additional Muppet performer (voice), various puppeteering Muppet Treasure Island


Year Character Show Location/Company
1986 Devil The Storyteller The Jim Henson Company
1987 Ultragorgan, little Gorgan Monster Maker The Jim Henson Company
1988 Dog and Cat Playbox Ragdoll Productions
1989 Hotdog Hotdog/Treasure Box Thames Television
1990 Dapple, Millie, Stubble Dappledown Farm Clear Idea Television
1991 Crabtree Tricky Business BBC Television
1995 Void the Android, Hopper, Dreeb Children's Channel On-Air Presentation Starstream Productions
1996 Sid WoW ITV
1997 Venus Venus on the Hard Drive Fox Broadcasting Company
1997 Johnny Chimes Here's Johnny Chimes NBC
1998 Buzz Dottie and Buzz Prospect Pictures
1999 Patch Tickle Patch and Friends Series 1 Channel 5 (UK)
1999 Bird Tenth Kingdom Carnival Films
1999 Bag Big Bag Sesame Workshop
2002 Doogy Dog SMarteenies CBeebies
2000 Bird 10th Kingdom
2003 Cosy The Softies Channel 5 (UK)
2003 PJ PJ's Bedtime Playhouse Disney
2003 Dusty A House That's Just Like Yours Channel 5 (UK)
2004 PJ PJ's Storytime[12] Playhouse Disney
2005 Mr. Flapper Sandy and Mr. Flapper Two Hand Productions
2004 Patch a Milkshake! Christmas Channel 5 (UK)
2005 Ant Vent Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Granada Television
2006–2007 Patch Tickle Patch and Friends 1 & 2 Two Hand Productions
2007–2008 Milky The Milkshake! Show Channel 5 (UK)
2008, 2010 Bookaboo Bookaboo (series 1 and 2)[13] ITV
2009 Producer Director and Performer Clayfields House Film
2009 Body Guard, Minder, Bouncer, Heavy This Morning ITV
2009 Salty Ticketmaster Monkey Channel 5 (UK)
2010 Puppetry Consultant BBC Learning Zone GameLab London


  1. ^ a b Walker, James (4 November 2009). "Marcus Clarke interview". Archived from the original on 2011-06-17. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  2. ^ "Puppeteer gets children's TV BAFTA for Bookaboo". BBC News. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  3. ^ Richardson, Anna (3 July 2008). "ITV to launch children's book club". The Bookseller. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Lowbridge, Caroline (31 December 2009). "Story-loving puppy drummer is a kids' TV hit". Nottingham Evening Post. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  5. ^ Marcus Clarke. "Contemporary Artist Marcus Clarke's PuppetTVGraffiti artworks page". Retrieved 2016-01-25.
  6. ^ Archived from the original on March 13, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Homeless in the Puppetised City at The Corner - 11/04/2014 - 13/04/2014 (Nottingham Culture". Retrieved 2016-01-25.
  8. ^ "The International Postcard Show 2014 Surface Gallery". Retrieved 2016-01-25.
  9. ^ "Fringe Arts Bath Festival - Mis-Information". Retrieved 2016-01-25.
  10. ^ "BBC News - Salon des Refusés suitcase art goes on sale for £10,000". 2011-08-20. Retrieved 2016-01-25.
  11. ^ Archived from the original on January 2, 2015. Retrieved January 1, 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ a b "BAFTA Children's Past Winners and Nominees". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  13. ^ a b "BAFTA Children's Awards 2009". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. 29 November 2009. Archived from the original on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  14. ^ "Broadcast Award Winners International2010". Retrieved 24 February 2011.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Lowbridge, Claire (1 November 2009). "BAFTA nominations for Notts based puppeteers". Nottingham Evening Post. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  16. ^ "Unofficial Who's Who for Notts enters Archives". BBC News. 1 April 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2011.

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