Phil Cornwell

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Phil Cornwell
Philip Cornwell

(1957-10-05) 5 October 1957 (age 66)
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • impressionist
  • writer
Years active1980–present

Philip Cornwell (born 5 October 1957) is an English actor, comedian, impressionist and writer. He is part of the Dead Ringers television and radio series, and is the voice of Murdoc Niccals in the virtual band Gorillaz. Cornwell has co-written and performed principal roles in The Glam Metal Detectives and Stella Street. He also portrayed DJ Dave Clifton from I'm Alan Partridge and the movie, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.

Early life and career[edit]

Cornwell was born in Leigh-on-Sea, in the County of Essex. He first appeared on TV in 1980 in the BBC youth programme Something Else - Southend as an episode presenter.

He is popularly known for voicing Murdoc Niccals in the virtual band, Gorillaz. He provided the voices of Mick Jagger and David Bowie for the Steve Wright in the Afternoon show on BBC Radio 1 in the late-1980s and early-1990s. These impersonations - augmented by many others, including the series narrator, Michael Caine - formed the backbone of the BBC TV series Stella Street, written and performed with John Sessions.

In 1996, he performed in a comedy spoof sketch TV advert to The Professionals imitating Martin Shaw's character of Doyle (with the actor Ray Trickett playing Lewis Collins' Bodie) for the release of the Nissan Almera.[1] In 1997 as part of the same advertising campaign he performed another spoof sketch of the 1970s television series The Sweeney.[2][3]

He played the part of Harry Noakes, Captain of the cockleboat Renown in the TV mini-series Dunkirk.

Cornwell has appeared in several films made by the Comic Strip, including the role as Dave Spanker in Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown. He also played Dave Clifton, a local radio DJ on Radio Norwich - a fictional radio station in both series of I'm Alan Partridge. In 2013, he reprised the role for the movie Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.

Cornwell was the voice of Gilbert the Alien in the 1980s TV series Get Fresh, which later span off into Gilbert's Fridge, a series starring the character.[4]

Cornwell also voiced Sir Lancelot and Robin Hood in the animated children's television series King Arthur's Disasters. He played King Stupid in the CBBC series Stupid!, having replaced Marcus Brigstocke, because the latter was involved in Excuse My French on BBC Two. Cornwell also appeared in the Doctor Who episode, "The Fires of Pompeii". In 2010 he presented/hosted the Friday night EuroMillions lottery draw show on BBC One. In 2011 he did several stand-up comedy gigs as character Switzerland McNaughtiehorse. Cornwell is a supporter of Tottenham Hotspur F.C.[5] and presents the weekly podcast The Spurs Show[6] with Mike Leigh.

In January 2013, he appeared in the ITV comedy drama series Great Night Out as Tonky.

Cornwell will play Sanson 'The Bourreau' in the 2023 movie Napoleon, directed by Ridley Scott.



Year Title Character
2000 Blood Doug
2001 Large Barry Blaze Mouseley
2004 Churchill: The Hollywood Years Martin Bormann
Stella Street: The Movie Mick Jagger
2007 I Could Never Be Your Woman Cameraman
Lady Godiva: Back in the Saddle Mayor Osborne
2010 Made in Dagenham Dave
2013 Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa Dave Clifton
2023 Napoleon Sanson 'The Bourreau'


Year Title Character Production Notes
1980 Something Else Various impressions BBC Television 1 episode
1986–1996 Spitting Image Jamie Spencer-Churchill (voice) Central Independent Television 19 episodes
1987 The Corner House Harry 2 episodes
1987–1988 Get Fresh Gilbert the Alien (voice) ITV 80 episodes
1988 On the Waterfront Gilbert the Alien (voice) BBC 1 episode
1991 Remote Control Various Characters Channel 4 UK version
1992 Frank Sidebottom's Fantastic Shed Show PC Cornwell 1 episode
1992–2012 The Comic Strip Presents... Various Characters Channel 4 8 episodes
1994 The Bill Jeff Price ITV Episode: "Settling The Score"
Lovejoy Syd Bishop BBC1 1 episode
1996 Only Fools And Horses Drunken man in Hospital BBC Episode: "Modern Men"
1997–2002 I'm Alan Partridge Dave Clifton BBC Series 1 and 2
2002 The Bill Shane Pellow ITV In 8 episodes from Episode 023 to Episode 071
2002–2006 Dead Ringers Various Characters BBC
2003-2010 Meg and Mog Mog CITV and Tiny Pop
2004 Stella Street Various Characters BBC
2005 Twisted Tales Doc BBC Three Episode: "Whacked"
Stupid! King Stupid CBBC Season 2 (replaced Marcus Brigstocke)
2005–2006 King Arthur's Disasters Sir Lancelot, Robin Hood (voices) CITV
2008 Doctor Who Stallholder BBC One Series 4 Episode 2 "The Fires of Pompeii"
Harry and Paul Various Characters BBC Series 2
Headcases Robert Mugabe, Morgan Freeman, Steven Spielberg (voices) ITV, STV, UTV
2011 Skins Diesel E4 Series 5
2012 Mrs Biggs DS Jack Slipper ITV TV miniseries - Episodes 1x2 and 1x5
2013 Great Night Out Tonky ITV Series 1
Misfits Geoff E4
2014 Not Going Out Police Officer BBC One Series 7 Episode 10 'The Wedding'
Midsomer Murders Eddie Rayner ITV Episode: "The Flying Club"
2015 Holby City Sean Cronin BBC One Series 17 Episode 14 'Wages of Sin'
2016 Jericho Joe Capstick ITV
2018 Damned 'Animal' Hames Channel 4 1 Episode
2022 Man Vs Bee Armstrong Netflix TV mini series
Mrs Brown's Boys Boris BBC One 2 Episodes
Call the Midwife Bernard BBC One 1 Episode
2023 Vera Philip Robson ITV Series 12 Episode 5 'The Rising Tide'


Year Title Character Notes
2002 Phase One: Celebrity Take Down Murdoc Niccals (voice) Direct-to-video movie
2006 Phase Two: Slowboat to Hades Murdoc Niccals (voice) Direct-to-video movie

Web series[edit]

Year Title Character Notes
2020 Song Machine Murdoc Niccals (voice) Web series by Gorillaz

Video games[edit]

Year Title Character Notes
2001 The Italian Job Charlie Croker Michael Caine impersonation[7]


  1. ^ Nissan Almera GTi advert - spoof of "The Professionals" - full version, retrieved 9 November 2022
  2. ^ Nissan Almera Advert - Sweeney Spoof, retrieved 9 November 2022
  3. ^ "Cries & whispers". The Independent. 16 March 1997. Retrieved 9 November 2022.
  4. ^ "Gilbert's Fridge". Film & TV Database. BFI. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2007.
  5. ^ web of pub | Phil Cornwell: Not just a Tottenham fan… Archived 18 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Download Phil Cornwell Mp3 and Phil Cornwell Music at Playbackmedia
  7. ^ Li, David (14 August 2002). "Postmortem: Pixelogic's The Italian Job". Gamasutra. UBM. Retrieved 26 September 2018.

External links[edit]