Roy Hudd, OBE (born 16 May 1936 in Croydon) is an English radio and television actor. He is also a playwright, author and music hall singer.
His father was a carpenter and he attended Tavistock Secondary Modern School, Croydon
and Croydon Technical School. His jobs then included messenger for an advertising agency, window dresser
and commercial artist
. In 1958 he took a summer job as a Redcoat at Butlins
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
. He starred in the title role in The Newly Discovered Casebook of Sherlock Holmes
in 1999, and has also given his voice 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
He has appeared on TV variety shows and his acting roles include the Dennis Potter
series Lipstick on Your Collar
for which he received critical praise. He has recently appeared as the undertaker Archie Shuttleworth
in the ITV1 soap opera Coronation Street
and in the Hollyoaks
spin-off, In the City
. He will next be seen on TV in episodes of New Tricks
Hudd has appeared in live in pantomime
and variety performances. In the eighties 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 at the Haymarket with Brian Blessed. In 2004 he launched a new one man show "All My Own Work". It premièred during the National Music Hall and Variety Festival at The Playhouse
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.
Hudd has written several books on music hall
, made 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 Film appearances include the Avarice segment of The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins
and Up Pompei.
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
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 of the show business
charity the Grand Order of Water Rats
He was awarded an OBE
in the Queen's
2003 New Year's Honours List
. 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.
His name is sometimes confused with Rod Hull
, who had the puppet Emu
. This is referenced in the fifth episode of the second series of The Office
One of his early TV appearances was in a short information advert for the Cycling Proficiency Test.
He had a guest appearance in the comedy One Foot In The Grave, episode "Threatening Weather" (Series 6) as a character whom the Meldrews had to take care of during a power cut on the hottest day of the year.
Hudd now lives in Suffolk.