Tony Gardner

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Tony Gardner
Gardner onstage at 100 Club, 2010
Tony Gardner

(1964-01-10) 10 January 1964 (age 60)
Occupation(s)Actor, Doctor, Comedian
SpouseKate Gardner

Tony Gardner (born 10 January 1964) is an English actor and doctor. He sits on the national governing body of the actors' trade union Equity.[1]

Early life[edit]

He attended St Augustine's Catholic College in Trowbridge.


Gardner qualified as a physician at Guy's Hospital in 1987, then as a general practitioner in 1993. He combined medicine and comedy during the 1990s as half of the award-winning comedy duo Struck Off and Die with Phil Hammond.

Acting career[edit]

Gardner eventually left medicine to become an actor, starring in a number of TV commercials, including that for the Renault Mégane. He reached prominence playing Brian Johnson in CITV's My Parents Are Aliens (episodes of which he also wrote) and Michael, the café owner in Jack Dee's BBC sitcom Lead Balloon. In 2009–10 he starred in three plays directed by Sir Peter Hall. In 2011 he played Professor Tony Shales in the Channel 4 series Fresh Meat.

Between 2012 and 2020, he played John in five series of the critically acclaimed romantic drama series Last Tango in Halifax. The programme attracted impressive ratings for BBC One, with the third series posting an average of 7.8 million viewers.[2]

Between 2013 and 2015, he appeared as Lieutenant Colonel Phillip Smith in three series of the wartime comedy Bluestone 42, about a British bomb disposal detachment in Afghanistan during Operation Herrick. He appeared as Dan Miller MP in the BBC political comedy The Thick of It. He was a main character of the music video "Giant Peach" by Wolf Alice.[3] He appeared in a variety of roles in Tracey Ullman's Show from 2016. He also appeared in an episode of the Netflix show, Lovesick, portraying Dylan’s father at surprise wedding anniversary party.

In January 2021, Gardner appeared in S11E1 of Not Going Out as a neighbour to Lee and Lucy.[4] He then appeared again in S12E4 in 2022.


Year Title Role Notes
1990s McDonald's A Numismatist
1994 Joking Apart
1995 Now What? Writer
1995 You Bet! Sherlock Holmes Series 8, Episode 6
1997 Sunnyside Farm Justin
1997 Grown Ups
1997 Armstrong and Miller Writer
1999–2006 My Parents Are Aliens Brian Johnson Writer and Cast Member
2000–2006 Absolute Power
2001 So What Now? Dan Episode: Swinger
2001 Lenny Henry in Pieces
2001 The Armando Iannucci Shows
2004 The Lenny Henry Show
2005–2012 The Thick of It Dan Miller
2006 Bremner, Bird and Fortune
2006–2011 Lead Balloon Michael Series regular
2007 Jekyll David Series 1, Episode 4
2007 Dumped Narrator Voice
2007 His Master's Voice
2008 Love Soup Matthew Episode: Ragged Claws
2009 May Contain Nuts Philip Russell TV movie
2009 Moving Wallpaper George season 2, episode 4
2010 M.I. High Prime Minister episode: Vote Skul
2011–2016 Fresh Meat Professor Tony Shales 13 episodes
2012–2020 Last Tango in Halifax John Series regular
2012 Cockneys vs Zombies Clive
2012 New Tricks Lucas Graves episode: Old School Ties
2012 Gates Aiden
2013 The Escape Artist Trevor Harris TV-Mini Series
2013 Big Bad World Dr. Tim season 1, episode 6
2013–2015 Bluestone 42 Lieutenant Colonel Smith
2014 Plebs Philo Series 2, Episode 6
2014 Law & Order: UK Douglas Stone Episode: Repeat to Fade
2016 Young Hyacinth Claude TV
2016 Stella Ivan Schloss
2016–2017 Tracey Ullman's Show Various
2017–2018 Tracey Breaks the News Various
2017 Doctor Who Douglas "The Pyramid at the End of the World" (Series 10, Episode 7)
2017 Death in Paradise Ian Matlock 1 episode
2017 Unforgotten James Moray 3 episodes
2017 Back Nick Molloy Series 1, Episode 1
2018 Death on the Tyne Justin
2018 Lovesick Julian
2018 Innocent Detective Superintendent Hillman ITV mini-series in four parts
2019 Midsomer Murders Russell Grundy "The Ghost of Causton Abbey" (Series 20, Episode 1)
2021-2022 Not Going Out Stuart Lee and Lucy's neighbour


  1. ^ "The Council - Equity's governing body". Equity. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  2. ^ "Last Tango In Halifax series four delay as Sally Wainwright pens 'final' run". Daily Express. 8 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Wolf Alice - Giant Peach - YouTube". Archived from the original on 21 December 2021.
  4. ^ "Not Going Out - Small Package S11 E1 IMDb". Imdb. 9 January 2021.

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