Roy Hudd

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Roy Hudd
Roy Hudd.jpg
Born (1936-05-16) 16 May 1936 (age 79)
Croydon, Surrey, England
Occupation Radio and television actor
Playwright and author
Spouse(s) Debbie Flitcroft

Roy Hudd, OBE (born 16 May 1936[1]) is an English comedian, actor, radio host, author and authority on the history of music hall entertainment.

Early life[edit]

Hudd was born in Croydon.[2] His father was a carpenter and he attended Tavistock Secondary Modern School in Croydon and Croydon Secondary Technical School. He then worked as a messenger for an advertising agency, a window dresser and a commercial artist. In 1958 he took a summer job as a Redcoat at Butlins, Clacton working alongside Cliff Richard and Dave Allen.


Hudd first appeared on radio in 1959 on the Workers' Playtime show and he is best known for his very long-running BBC Radio 2 series The News Huddlines. His acting talent found a new outlet in the 1970s when he was chosen as the reader for Radio Four's 'Morning Story' produced at BBC Pebble Mill by David Shute. He was the star of Huddwinks on BBC Radio 2, which ran for two series.[3] He starred in the title role in The Newly Discovered Casebook of Sherlock Holmes in 1999, and co-starred in "Like They've Never Been Gone" with June Whitfield, and has also given his voice to various roles in the comedic historical series Crowned Hudds (1994-1995) and to the roles of Max Quordlepleen in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and James Phillimore in The Singular Inheritance of Miss Gloria Wilson, an original Sherlock Holmes radio play in the series The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (2002). Roy Hudd appeared in the Radio 4 series of Dave Florez plays Making the Best of It in February 2014.


He has appeared on TV variety shows and in the 1970s he presented a BBC daytime television programme for older people entitled The 607080 Show. His acting roles include the Dennis Potter series Lipstick on Your Collar, for which he received critical praise, and Karaoke. In 1966 and 1967 he had his own comedy sketch series, The Illustrated Weekly Hudd. In the mid 1990s he appeared in two series of Common As Muck, the story of a group of bin men (refuse collectors), alongside Edward Woodward.

He has recently[when?] appeared as the undertaker Archie Shuttleworth in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street and in the Hollyoaks spin-off, In the City. He will next[when?] be seen on TV in episodes of New Tricks and Casualty. And on Friday 30 April 2010 Roy went back in time to the 1980s in the BBC TV programme Ashes to Ashes, as Frank Hardwick.

He appeared as Jack Croft in series 2 of BBC One show Missing and as Joe Collet in the BBC One drama Call the Midwife Episode 3 aired in January 2012.

He also appeared on the TV Crime Drama Law & Order UK (season 8 episode 4). Episode 4 aired on 2 April 2014.

In December 2015, Hudd appeared as singer Bud Flanagan in the BBC’s drama We’re Doomed! The Dad’s Army Story, about the creation of the titular long-running sitcom.[4] He played the solicitor Maurice in a 2016 episode of Benidorm.[5]

Stage appearances[edit]

Hudd has appeared in many pantomime and variety performances. In the 1980s Roy Hudd starred as Fagin in the revival of Lionel Bart's musical Oliver! at the Albery Theatre, London and the musical version of Hard Times[6] at the Haymarket Theatre with Brian Blessed. In 2004 he launched a new one man show All My Own Work. It premiered during the National Music Hall and Variety Festival at The Playhouse in Weston-super-Mare and then continued to tour around the UK.

In 2008, he played the part of the Wizard in a production of the Wizard of Oz at London's Royal Festival Hall.

Music hall[edit]

Hudd has written several books on music hall, re-recorded music hall records and appeared in the music hall revival show The Good Old Days. He is seen by broadcasters as an authority on the subject and is the longstanding President of the British Music Hall Society. His CD, Mirth, Magic and Melodrama consists of a collection of classic monologues from the music hall days, including The Pig and The Lion and Albert, first recorded by Stanley Holloway. For Celebrity Mastermind, broadcast on 3 January 2014, Hudd answered questions on the specialist subject of music hall comedian Dan Leno.


Max Miller[edit]

He is an authority on the comedian Max Miller and is known for his impersonation of him. He appeared as his hero in the Big Finish Productions Doctor Who audio play Pier Pressure in 2006. He is President of the Max Miller Appreciation Society.[8]

Charity work[edit]

He has also had a long association with the Bristol Hospital Broadcasting Service, where he is considered an honorary member. In 1994 he officially opened their current studios in the Bristol Royal Infirmary. He is also a Past King Rat[9] of the show business charity the Grand Order of Water Rats.

In addition he was the first Honorary President of Sandwell Hospital Radio in West Bromwich for a period of ten years, visiting the studios, members and patients whenever he was appearing in the West Midlands.


Hudd was awarded an OBE in the 2004 New Year Honours List.[10] In 1983 (1982 season), he was awarded the "Best Actor in a Musical" Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for his role in Underneath the Arches, as Bud Flanagan. According to Hudd, Bud Flanagan had stated shortly before his death that he considered Hudd to be the best choice to star in a dramatisation of Flanagan's life. On 29 November 2010, Hudd was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Westminster, where he had once studied commercial art at a time when the institution was known as the "Regent Street Polytechnic".


  • Joke Book (Mini-ha-ha Books) by Roy Hudd (Paperback – 28 May 1971)
  • Music Hall (Picturefile) by Roy Hudd (Paperback – 4 November 1976)
  • The News Huddlines by Roy Hudd and Illustrated (Paperback – 1 January 1980)
  • Beautiful Dreamer: A musical melodrama based on the life and songs of Stephen Collins Foster by Roy Hudd (Unknown Binding – 1981)
  • Underneath the Arches by Patrick, Glanville, Brian, Hudd, Roy Garland (Paperback – 1982)
  • Underneath the Arches: Musical in Two Acts by Patrick Garland, Brian Glanville, and Roy Hudd (Paperback – 1984)
  • That's Entertainment: Vol.1 by Roy Hudd, etc. (Paperback – 1 December 1992)
  • Roy Hudd's Book of Music-hall, Variety and Showbiz Anecdotes by Roy Hudd (Hardcover – October 1993)
  • Roy Hudd's Book of Music-Hall, Variety and Showbiz Anecdotes by Hudd (Roy) (Paperback – 1 January 1994)
  • Roy Hudd's Huddline Annual by Roy Hudd and Tony Hare (Hardcover – October 1994)
  • I Say, I Say, I Say: Johnners' Choice of Jokes to Keep You Laughing by Brian Johnston and Roy Hudd (Paperback – 4 September 1995)
  • The Pantomime Book by Paul Harris and Roy Hudd (Paperback – August 1996)
  • Look Back with Laughter. Volume Three by Mike Craig, Dame Thora Hird, and Roy Hudd (Paperback – 1998)
  • Roy Hudd's Cavalcade of Variety Acts: A Who Was Who of Light Entertainment, 1945–60 by Roy Hudd and Philip Hindin (Paperback – 18 November 1998)
  • Roy Hudd's Book of Music-hall, Variety and Showbiz Anecdotes by Roy Hudd (Paperback – 30 October 1998)
  • The Pantomime Book: The Only Known Collection of Pantomime Jokes and Sketches in Captivity by Paul Harris and Roy Hudd (Paperback – 31 October 2001)
  • Twice Nightly by Roy Hudd (Hardcover – October 2007)
  • The Pantomime Book by Roy Hudd and Paul Harris (Paperback – 15 September 2008)
  • A Fart in a Colander: The Autobiography by Roy Hudd (Hardcover – 1 October 2009)


  • A Fart in a Colander: The Autobiography by Roy Hudd (Hardcover – 1 October 2009), ISBN 978-1843174943


  1. ^ "Birthday's today". 16 May 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2014. Mr Roy Hudd, actor and broadcaster, 77 
  2. ^ GRO: June 1936 2a 883 Croydon – Roy Hudd, mmn = Barham
  3. ^ "BBC Radio 4 Extra - Huddwinks - Episode guide". Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "We’re Doomed! The Dad’s Army Story". BBC Online. Retrieved 25 December 2015. 
  5. ^ Mulkern, Patrick (18 January 2016). "Benidorm: Series 8 - Episode 2". Radio Times. Retrieved 18 January 2016. 
  6. ^ "Hard Times The Musical, a CurtainUp review". Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  7. ^ Mike McCahill (26 March 2015). "Robot Overlords review – spirited sci-fi with Gillian Anderson and Ben Kingsley". The Guardian. 
  8. ^ [1] Archived 14 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Past King Rats of The Grand Order of Water Rats". 12 December 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  10. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 57155. pp. 9–11. 31 December 2003. Retrieved 9 June 2012.

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