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Bernard Cribbins

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Years active  1943–present
Name  Bernard Cribbins
Role  Character actor

Bernard Cribbins BernardCribbinsjpg

Born  29 December 1928 (age 86) (1928-12-29) Derker, Oldham, Lancashire, England
Occupation  Actor, comedian, singer
Television  JackanoryThe WomblesFawlty TowersDoctor Who
Website  www.bernardcribbins.com
Spouse  Gillian Cribbins (m. 1955)
Albums  A Combination of Cribbins (featuring Bonus Tracks)
Similar People  Lionel Jeffries, Gerald Thomas, Peter Cushing, Tommy Steele, Andre Previn

hole in the ground by bernard cribbins


Bernard Joseph Cribbins, OBE (born 29 December 1928) is an English character actor, voice-over artist and musical comedian with a career spanning over seventy years. He came to prominence in films of the 1960s, and has been in work consistently since his professional debut in the mid-1950s.

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Cribbins narrated The Wombles, a BBC children's television programme that ran for 60 episodes between 1973 and 1975, and played the pretentious guest Mr. Hutchinson in "The Hotel Inspectors" episode of Fawlty Towers (1975), and the belligerent barman in Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972). He also recorded several novelty records in the early 1960s and was a regular and prolific performer on the BBC's Jackanory from 1966 to 1991. Having appeared as Tom Campbell, a companion to Doctor Who in the 1966 feature film Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., Cribbins also appeared four decades later as Wilfred Mott, a companion to television's Tenth Doctor.

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Bernard Cribbins - Right Said Fred - (Cowboys and Idiots)


Early life

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Born in Derker, Oldham, Lancashire, Cribbins served an apprenticeship at the Oldham Repertory Theatre. In 1947, he interrupted his apprenticeship to undertake national service with the Parachute Regiment in Aldershot and in British-administered Mandatory Palestine.

Early stage and record career

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Cribbins made his first West End theatre appearance in 1956 at the Arts Theatre, playing the two Dromios in A Comedy of Errors, and co-starred in the first West End productions of Not Now Darling, There Goes the Bride and Run for Your Wife. He also starred in the revue And Another Thing, and recorded a single of a song from the show titled "Folksong".

In 1962 he released three comic songs. "The Hole in the Ground" was about an annoyed workman who eventually buries a harasser. "Right Said Fred" was about three workmen who struggle to move an unspecified heavy and awkward object into or out of a building. Both these songs were produced by George Martin for Parlophone, with music by Ted Dicks and lyrics by Myles Rudge. "Hole in the Ground" and "Right Said Fred" both reached the top ten in the UK Singles Chart (all chart positions are given below). His third and final single was "Gossip Calypso", which was another top 30 hit.

Films

Cribbins appeared in films from the early 1950s, mainly comedies. His credits include Two-Way Stretch (1960) and The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963) with Peter Sellers, Crooks in Cloisters (1964) and three Carry On films – Carry On Jack (1963), Carry On Spying (1964) and Carry On Columbus (1992). Other appearances include the second Doctor Who film Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966) as Special Police Constable Tom Campbell; She in 1965; The Railway Children (1970, as Mr Albert Perks, the station porter) and the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Frenzy (1972, as Felix Forsythe). Later films include Dangerous Davies – The Last Detective (1981), Blackball (2003) and Run for Your Wife (2012).

Narration and voice work

Cribbins was the narrator of the British animated children's TV series The Wombles from 1973 to 1975 and also narrated a BBC radio adaptation of The Wind in the Willows. He was the celebrity storyteller in more episodes of Jackanory than any other personality, with a total of 114 appearances between 1966 and 1991. He also narrated the audio tape of the Antonia Barber book The Mousehole Cat. From 1974 to 1976, Cribbins narrated Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings.

In the 1960s, he provided the voice of the character Tufty in RoSPA road safety films. He also provided the voice of Buzby, a talking cartoon bird that served as the mascot for the then Post Office. He also appeared reduced to OO gauge scale in adverts for Hornby model trains. In 1978 he was one of two voiceovers in the electricity safety public information film Play Safe. The other voiceover was Brian Wilde; Wilde voiced the owl and Cribbins voiced the robin.

Cribbins is also the voice of Harry Bailey, the landlord of the Tabard Inn described by Geoffrey Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales, at the Canterbury Tales Attraction in Kent, which he recorded in 1987.

Cribbins also had a short stint doing voiceovers for the Mark and Lard Show on BBC Radio 1 where he would explain made up folk traditions.

In 2015 Cribbins was among an ensemble cast in an audio production of The Jungle Book, in which he played the White Cobra.

Television

Cribbins was the star of the ITV series Cribbins (1969–70). Other TV appearances include The Avengers (1968), Fawlty Towers (1975, as the spoon salesman Mr Hutchinson who is mistaken by the character Basil Fawlty for a hotel inspector), Worzel Gummidge (1980), Shillingbury Tales (1980) and its spin-off Cuffy (1983). Besides voicing The Wombles, Cribbins was a well-known regular on BBC children's television in the 1970s as host of performance panel game Star Turn and Star Turn Challenge. These programmes concluded with Cribbins narrating a detective story as recurring character "Ivor Notion", with a script usually by Johnny Ball but sometimes by Myles Rudge, the co-writer of his Top 10 singles. He starred in the BBC's 1975 Christmas production Great Big Groovy Horse, a rock opera based on the story of the Trojan Horse shown on BBC2 alongside Julie Covington and Paul Jones. It was later repeated on BBC1 in 1977 He regularly appeared on BBC TV's The Good Old Days recreating songs made famous by the great stars of Music Hall.

Among his later TV appearances are Dalziel and Pascoe (1999), Last of the Summer Wine (2003), Coronation Street (2003, as Wally Bannister) and Down to Earth (2005).

Cribbins currently stars as Jack in the series Old Jack's Boat, set in Staithes, and broadcast on the CBeebies channel starting in 2013. This has featured Helen Lederer, Janine Duvitski and former Doctor Who companion Freema Agyeman in supporting roles. Although Agyeman and Cribbins both played companions and supporting characters during David Tennant's tenure in Doctor Who (appearing in six episodes together), Old Jack's Boat marks the first time the two actors have appeared together on screen.

On 9 May 2015 he gave a reading at VE Day 70: A Party to Remember in Horse Guards Parade, London which was broadcast live on BBC1.

Later stage career

Cribbins' later theatre credits include the roles of Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls at the National Theatre, Moonface Martin in Anything Goes with Elaine Paige at the Prince Edward Theatre, Dolittle in My Fair Lady at the Houston Opera House, Texas and Watty Watkins in George Gershwin's Lady, Be Good at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre and on tour. He has also appeared in numerous pantomimes. He appeared in the BBC CBeebies Proms (Number 11 & 13) at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 July 2014 as Old Jack.

Doctor Who

Having played Tom Campbell, a companion to Dr. Who in the 1966 feature film Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., Cribbins returned to the world of Doctor Who in 2006, when a photograph of him and fellow Doctor Who alumnus Lynda Baron at a wedding appeared on the BBC's tie-in website for the television episode "Tooth and Claw".

In January 2007, Cribbins had a guest role as glam rock promoter Arnold Korns in Horror of Glam Rock, a Doctor Who radio play for BBC Radio 7.

In December 2007, Cribbins appeared as Wilfred Mott in the Christmas television special, "Voyage of the Damned"; he then appeared in a recurring capacity as the same character for the 2008 series, as the grandfather of companion Donna Noble. He became a Tenth Doctor companion himself in The End of Time, the two-part 2009–10 Christmas and New Year special, when his character was inadvertently responsible for that Doctor's demise. Cribbins's role as Mott makes him unique, as he is the only actor to have played two companions; and the only actor featured alongside the Doctor's enemies, the Daleks, in both the TV and cinema versions of Doctor Who.

Honours

In 2009, Cribbins was honoured for his work in children's television with a Special Award at the British Academy Children's Awards which was presented by former co-star Catherine Tate, who portrayed his character's granddaughter in Doctor Who.

Cribbins was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to drama.

In 2014 he was awarded the J.M. Barrie award for his "lasting contribution to children’s arts".

References

Bernard Cribbins Wikipedia