Peter Serafinowicz

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Peter Serafinowicz
Peter Serafinowicz - Guardians of the Galaxy premiere - July 2014 (cropped).jpg
Serafinowicz at the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere in July 2014
Born Peter Szymon Serafinowicz
(1972-07-10) 10 July 1972 (age 43)
Liverpool, England, UK
Nationality English
Occupation Actor, voice actor, comedian, writer, singer, musician, director
Years active 1993–present
Spouse(s) Sarah Alexander
Children Sam and Phoebe

Peter Szymon Serafinowicz (/sɛrəˈfɪnəvɪ/; born 10 July 1972) is an English actor, comedian, musician, writer, voice artist, singer and director. He is best known for playing Denarian Saal in Guardians of the Galaxy, dubbing the voice of Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and for appearing in a variety of British and American comedy series.

Early life[edit]

Serafinowicz was born in Liverpool, the son of Catherine (née Geary), a post office worker, and Szymon Serafinowicz, Jr., a scaffolder.[1] His father is of Belarusian and Polish descent. Serafinowicz was raised Roman Catholic, and attended Our Lady of the Assumption Primary School and St Francis Xavier Secondary School.[2][3]


Acting, directing and writing[edit]

Serafinowicz at a panel for Look Around You, 2010 San Diego Comic-Con

Serafinowicz made his broadcasting debut in 1993 on Radio 1 show The Knowledge, a spoof documentary about the music industry. From there he went on to perform in Radio 4 shows Week Ending, Harry Hill's Fruit Corner, Grievous Bodily Radio, The Two Dannys and A Whole New Ball Game.

On 1 May 1997, he appeared in The Election Night Armistice as Moz Bingham, the fictional press secretary to the then shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, who verbally abuses and bullies the BBC's Nick Robinson in a spoof phone call over the politician's news coverage. In 1998 he appeared on TV in Comedy Nation and You are Here. He also had a role in the Simon Nye-penned sitcom How Do You Want Me?.

In 1999, he made a number of appearances in Channel 4 sitcom Spaced, playing principal character Tim Bisley's (Simon Pegg) nemesis, Duane Benzie. He made another appearance in the series when it returned in 2001. In 2001 Serafinowicz took the lead in BBC Two sitcom World of Pub, playing the same character as he had done in the show's run on Radio 4. He was also in The Junkies, an Internet sitcom. In 2002 the critically acclaimed Look Around You, a series of 10-minute 1970s school science video spoofs, debuted on BBC Two in which Serafinowicz played a scientist. He co-wrote the show alongside Robert Popper, whom he met on the set of Spaced. The show returned in 2005 as a spoof of the 1980s show Tomorrow's World, with Serafinowicz playing Peter Packard, one of the presenters.

In 2003, he appeared in another Nye-written sitcom, Hardware, in which he played the affable Kenny. He reprised this role in the second series in 2004. Also in 2004 he appeared in British rom-zom-com (romantic-zombie-comedy) Shaun of the Dead, playing Pete, the tidy flatmate of principal characters Shaun and Ed. He also appeared in boxing film The Calcium Kid. In Sixty Six, the 2006 British film about a Jewish boy whose Bar Mitzvah is scheduled for the same day as the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final, Serafinowicz plays Uncle Jimmy. In the week before the 2006 Academy Awards a video circulated on the Internet of a fake news item (called "O! News", a parody of E! News) about a new Oscar statue, in which Serafinowicz imitated Alan Alda, Paul McCartney and Al Pacino. A second O! News video later appeared, parodying the 2006 Apple Corps v. Apple Computer lawsuit. This attracted the interest of the BBC, and a pilot was commissioned for The Peter Serafinowicz Show. A full series was broadcast on BBC Two in 2007 (with a Christmas special in 2008). For his performance, Serafinowicz was presented with the Best Entertainer prize at the 2008 Rose d'Or ceremony.[4] The series was also nominated for Best Comedy Programme at the 2009 BAFTA Television Awards.[5]

Serafinowicz had also made a number of guest appearances on television, including the comedy shows Smack the Pony and Hippies (both 1999), Black Books (2000), I'm Alan Partridge (2002) and Little Britain (2003), comedy drama Murder Most Horrid (1999) and ITV Drama series Agatha Christie's Marple (2005). He has made a number of guest appearances on both television and radio panel shows. He regularly appeared on The 99p Challenge and appeared on Have I Got News for You in 2005, 2006 and 2008 8 out of 10 Cats in 2005, and QI in 2003. He also appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on 19 October 2007, Would I Lie to You? on 8 August 2008 and 30 July 2010 and Never Mind the Buzzcocks on 15 October 2009.

In 2008, Serafinowicz was working with Robert Popper on a new television series, as well as a website, based on a spoof religion "Tarvuism" for US network Adult Swim.[6] In 2009, he appeared in Universal Films' Couples Retreat as Sctanley, the manager of the Eden Resort, directed by Peter Billingsley.

In 2010, Serafinowicz directed the music video for Hot Chip's song "I Feel Better", their second single from the album One Life Stand. He followed this up in 2012 when he directed the music video for the band's song "Night & Day", the first single from their album In Our Heads. The video starred Lara Stone, Terence Stamp and Reggie Watts.

In 2010, he co-starred with Will Arnett in the FOX sitcom Running Wilde, devised by Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz. It premiered on Fox on 21 September 2010,[7] but was cancelled by the network after 13 episodes.

In June 2013, Serafinowicz provided the English language audiobook recording for the Roald Dahl novel Danny, the Champion of the World.[8] In July 2013 Serafinowicz made his movie directing debut with the dark comedy film I See What You Did There,[9] which he cowrote with Danny Wallace.[10]

In 2014 it was announced that Serafinowicz would play the role Crowley in the BBC Radio 4 adaption of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's novel Good Omens.[11]

He has also attracted considerable attention by his YouTube parodies in which he dubs the voice of Donald Trump into an English accent thereby making Donald Trump sound seemingly more sophisticated. [12]

In 2015 it was announced that Serafinowicz is in the process of writing a television sitcom based on his Brian Butterfield character.

Personal life[edit]

Serafinowicz is married to actress Sarah Alexander.[13] Their first child, a son named Sam, was born in March 2007. They also have a daughter named Phoebe. Peter's brother, James, is a writer and director,[14] and can be seen wearing his Liverpool Blue Coat School uniform at the beginning and end of each episode of the first series of Look Around You and is the person who always gets choked by the robot talk-show host Michael-6 during the Michael-6: The Robot Talk Show Host sketches of The Peter Serafinowicz Show. Serafinowicz's sister Helen is married to Graham Linehan.

In October 2007, Serafinowicz dropped his attempt to use the Human Rights Act to prevent the publication of details revealing his Belarusian grandfather as the first man in Britain to go on trial for Nazi war crimes under the War Crimes Act. Szymon Serafinowicz Sr. was charged with allegedly murdering three Jews while a police chief during the Nazi occupation of his native Belarus in World War II. He was found unfit for trial on grounds of dementia in 1997, and died later that year, aged 86.[1]



Year Title Role Notes
1997 Doppelganger Various characters Short Reebok promo[15]
1998 You Are Here Dr. Phil Phillips
1999 The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns George Fitzpatrick
1999 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Darth Maul
Battle Droid Commander
Gungan Scout
2001 Calcium Scientist
2003 Hello Friend Various characters Voice; short film
2004 Shaun of the Dead Peter
2004 The Calcium Kid Dave King
2005 Ripley Under Ground Nigel
2006 Sixty Six Uncle Jimmy / Mr. Rubens, Snr. / Football Commentator
2007 Grindhouse Screaming Man Uncredited
2007 Run Fatboy Run TV commentator
2008 Tales of the Riverbank Various characters
2009 Couples Retreat Sctanley
2010 The Best and the Brightest Clark Janowitz
2011 Killing Bono Hammond
2013 The World's End Knock-a-Door Run Home Owner Cameo
2013 The Unbeatables Loco Voice
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Deleted scenes
2014 Guardians of the Galaxy Denarian Saal
2014 Ibid Michael
2015 Spy Aldo
2016 Sing Voice


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Spitting Image Jacques Chirac Voice; 2 episodes
1998 Jack and the Beanstalk Second Henchman
1998 Comedy Nation Various characters
1998 Europigeon Terry Wogan
1998 Alexei Sayle's Merry-Go-Round Narrator
1998–1999 How Do You Want Me? Dean Yardley 12 episodes
1999 Murder Most Horrid Tony Frost Episode: "Dinner at Tiffany's"
1999 Smack the Pony Various characters 2 episodes
1999 Sermon from St Albion's Alastair Campbell Episode 2.1
1999 Hippies Robin / Narrator 2 episodes
1999–2001 Spaced Duane Benzie 3 episodes
2000 The Junkies Big Al / Narrator
2000 Black Books Howell Granger Episode: "The Big Lock-Out"
2001 World of Pub Garry / various characters 6 episodes
2002 Ted and Alice Mark
2002 I'm Alan Partridge Tex Episode: "Never Say Alan Again"
2002 15 Storeys High Unknown 2 episodes
2002–2005 Look Around You Scientist / Peter Packard 15 episodes
2003 Little Britain Interviewer Episode: "Biggest House of Cards"
2003 Red Nose Day Terry Wogan Spoof Blankety Blank sketch
2003 QI Himself Panelist; episode: "Aviation"
2003–2004 Hardware Kenny 12 episodes
2006 Our Thirties Austin
2006 Agatha Christie's Marple Walter Fane Episode: "Sleeping Murder"
2006 The IT Crowd Newsreader / voiceover 2 episodes
2006 South Park Darth Chef Voice; episode: "The Return of Chef"
2007–2008 The Peter Serafinowicz Show Various characters 7 episodes
2008 Would I Lie to You? Himself Panelist
2009 Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle Voiceover 6 episodes
2009 Never Mind the Buzzcocks Himself Panelist
2009 Snake 'n' Bacon Voiceover
2010 Driver Dan's Story Train Driver Dan
2010 Running Wilde Fa'ad Shaoulin
2010 Whitechapel DCI Cazanove
2010 Would I Lie to You? Himself Panelist
2011 Funny or Die Presents Puppet Voice, segment: The Terrys
2011 Archer George Spelvin Episode: "Tragical History"
2011 NTSF:SD:SUV:: SAM Voice
2011 This is Jinsy Eric Dunt / The Great He Episode: "Cupboards"
2011 Never Mind the Buzzcocks Himself Panelist
2012 The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret Tito the Cycling Lawyer Episode: "Todd and his Valet Arrive in Leeds and What They Saw There"
2012 Assassin's Creed III advert Narrator Voice
2012 Dawson Bros. Funtime Voiceover
2012 Bad Sugar Rolph Series 1
2012 Childrens Hospital Michael Caine Voice; episode: "British Hospital"
2012 American Dad! Joe / Goran the Mutilator Voice; episode: "Killer Vacation"
2013 Axe Cop Dr. Doo Doo / Adolf Hitler
2013 Fit Brian Butterfield
2013 Anatole's Island Narrator Voice
2013 Parks and Recreation Lord Covington 2 Episodes
2013 Father Figure
2014 Dara Ó Briain: School of Hard Sums Himself Episode: "Maths and Two Veg: How Maths Can Help You Eat Better"
2014 Mr. Sloane Ross
2014 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Himself
2014 Adventure Time Lumpy Space Prince Voice; episode: "The Prince Who Wanted Everything"
2014 @midnight Himself
2014 Gravity Falls Blind Ivan Voice; episode: "Society of the Blind Eye"
2014 South Park Match Commentator Voice; episode: "Cock Magic"
2015 Doctor Who Voice of the Fisher King Voice; episode: "Before the Flood"

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice
2003 Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior Captain Ardias
2013 Lego City Undercover Forrest Blackwell
2014 Dark Souls II Mild-Mannered Pate, Male PC Exertion sounds
2014 LittleBigPlanet 3 Dr. Maxim, El Jeff, Papal Mache




  1. ^ a b Fletcher, Ewan (21 October 2007). "BBC star's grandfather faced Nazi war crimes trial". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Pettie, Andrew (30 September 2007). "The floor is his". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 22 May 2010. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Rose d'Or Winners 2008" (PDF). Rose d'Or AG. 6 May 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 May 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2008. 
  5. ^ "Television Awards Nominations in 2009". BAFTA. 24 March 2009. Retrieved 29 March 2009. 
  6. ^ Powder Blue Internet Business Solutions. "Say 'Hebbo' to Tarvuism!". 
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (11 July 2010), "Peter Serafinowicz Joins 'Running Wilde'", Deadline Hollywood, retrieved 12 July 2010
  8. ^ "Danny, the Champion of the World". Penguin Books. Retrieved 20 November 2015
  9. ^ "Peter Serafinowicz Moves to Directing with 'I See What You Did There'". 15 July 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "Peter Serafinowicz Directing I See What You Did There". 16 July 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Brown, Brigid (5 September 2014). "BBC Radio Brings Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens to Life". BBC America. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Philby, Charlotte (30 August 2008). "My Secret Life: Peter Serafinowicz". London: The Independent . Retrieved 10 September 2008. 
  14. ^ "James Serafinowicz". IMDB. 
  15. ^ "Doppelganger". BFI. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Solid Steel Radio Show 7/6/2013 Part 3 + 4 - Peter Serafinowicz". SoundCloud. 
  18. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Good Omens - GOOD OMENS - Who's Who". BBC. 

External links[edit]