David Battley

David John Battley (5 November 1935 – 20 January 2003) was a British actor of stage and screen, mainly appearing in comedy roles.

David Battley
David Battley.jpg
David John Battley

(1935-11-05)5 November 1935
Battersea, London, England
Died20 January 2003(2003-01-20) (aged 67)
Epsom, Surrey, England
Years active1964–2000
Sarah Hanrahan
(m. 1971; his death 2003)

Early lifeEdit

Battley was born at Battersea, London, the elder son of John Battley, a post-Second World War Labour MP, and his wife Sybill (née Allchurch). Born with a hole in the heart, he was initially home schooled before attending a special school. He later enrolled at Camberwell School of Art but left before completing the course. He earned a living working for the family printing firm, Battley Brothers, before applying to Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[1] Battley had one brother, Bernard.


Battley used a dry, ironic delivery on television and in films. He found steady work as a character actor and comic stooge. Battley's TV work ranged from the satire show BBC-3 and the military police drama Redcap in the 1960s through Eric Sykes' BBC sitcom, the 1975 TV adaptation of Moll Flanders and the 1977 Christmas Special of The Good Life and later The Bill, Lovejoy,The Beiderbecke Tapes, as John the hippy barman, and Mr Bean.[2] Battley also appears as the Executioner in the 1966 BBC production of Alice in Wonderland.[3] He also appeared in the mid-1970s as a foil to Eric Idle in the BBC series Rutland Weekend Television (1975–1976).[4] Battley played the Paul McCartney role in the original RWT sketch of The Rutles, a parody of The Beatles, but did not appear in the American TV film All You Need Is Cash, based on the sketch.[5]

Battley also featured in films, including Hotel Paradiso (1966), Crossplot (1969), Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), Up the Chastity Belt (1972), Up the Front (1972), That's Your Funeral (1972), Rentadick (1972), Don't Just Lie There, Say Something! (1973), Mister Quilp (1975), S.O.S. Titanic (1979), The London Connection (1979) and Krull (1983).[6]

In 1990 he appeared in an early episode of One Foot in the Grave.[7] Among his last roles were a miniature golf course employee in an episode of Mr. Bean, "Tee Off, Mr. Bean" (1995) and a doctor examining new regimental recruits in Sharpe's Regiment (1996).[6]

Personal life and deathEdit

Battley had 2 children Zoe E. Battley and E. Martha Battley. He died on 20 January 2003, after suffering a heart attack, at the age of 67, in Epsom, Surrey, England.



Year Title Role Notes
1966 Hotel Paradiso George
Alice in Wonderland Executioner TV film
1968 The Franchise Trail Wesley Dagenham TV film
1969 Mrs Wilson's Diary David Frost TV film
Crossplot Bridegroom
1971 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Mr. Turkentine
1972 Up the Chastity Belt Yokel
Rentadick Desk Sergeant
Up the Front Midgeley the Cook
Follow Me! Writer Uncredited
That's Your Funeral Percy
1974 Don't Just Lie There, Say Something! Country Yokel
1975 A Man in the Zoo Collins TV film
Mister Quilp Codlin
Moll Flanders Henry Haydock TV film
1976 The Snow Queen Old Woman TV film
1979 The Omega Connection Peters
S.O.S. Titanic Chief Boots: S. Stebbing TV film
1980 Moving Pictures Picture Restorer TV film
1983 Krull Ergo
1998 Vigo: A Passion for Life Cinema Manager
2000 Out of Depth Donald


Year Title Role Notes
1964 Second City Reports Various roles Series regular
The Protectors Wally Episode: "The Reluctant Thief"
The Indian Tales of Rudyard Kipling Private Jones Episode: "Only a Subaltern"
1964-1965 Redcap Corporal Metters 2 episodes
1965 Public Eye Charlie Andrews Episode: "You Think It'll Be Marvellous - But It's Always a Rabbit"
1966 Sergeant Cork James Starkey Episode: "The Case of the Crystal Ball"
Mystery and Imagination Klaus Episode: "Room 13"
1967 The Wednesday Play Joey Episode: "Another Day, Another Dollar"
Mickey Dunne Milkman Episode: "No Flowers by Request"
Theatre 625 The New Scribe Episode: "Lieutenant Tenant"
1968 The Jazz Age Hook Episode: "Thark"
1969 Hark at Barker Episode: "Rustless in Pigtails"
The Benny Hill Show Russian Officer Episode: "Show 1"
1970 Comedy Playhouse Percy Episode: "Last Tribute"
1970-1971 That's Your Funeral Percy Series regular
1971 The Sinners Olly Episode: "One Man, One Boat, One Girl"
Father, Dear Father Sorting Office Clerk Episode: "A Book for the Bishop"
1972 Sykes Darlington Porter 3 episodes
1973 The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes Podgers Episode: "The Absent-Minded Coterie"
Bless This House Mr. Jones Episode: "Watch the Birdie"
Centre Play Dennis Episode: "The Museum Attendant"
Sporting Scenes Villager Episode: "England, Their England"
BBC Play of the Month Costar Pearmain Episode: "The Recruiting Officer"
1974 Jackanory Playhouse Percy Harlow Episode: "The Lost Voice"
Funny Ha-Ha Boy Wonder Episode: "Commander Badman"
Bless This House Wally Episode: "Freedom Is"
1975 Churchill's People Edwards Episode: "Death of Liberty"
Comedy Playhouse Nigel the Idle Episode: "For Richer... For Poorer"
1975-1976 Rutland Weekend Television Stig O'Hara - Rutles Bassist Series regular
1976 Saturday Night Live Stig O'Hara Episode: "Eric Idle/Joe Cocker/Stuff"
1977 BBC Play of the Month Parson Episode: "The Country Wife"
Beryl's Lot Mr. Biggleswade 2 episodes
The Cost of Loving Desmond Waterhouse Episode: "Albert's Part"
The Good Life Bill, Tradesman Episode: "Silly, But It's Fun"
1978 In the Looking Glass Episode: "Fading Away"
1979 The Dawson Watch 2 episodes
1981 Crown Court Paul Flood 3 episodes
Thicker than Water Harry Fishwick
Roger Doesn't Live Here Anymore Porter 1 episode
1982 Don't Rock the Boat Eric 2 episodes
1983 The Climber Ted
1984 The Gentle Touch Reginald Loon 2 episodes
1985 Super Gran Police Sergeant Episode: "Supergran and the Day at the Sea"
1985-1987 Relative Strangers Gerald Series regular
1986 Comrade Dad Cliff Episode: "Cars That Pass in the Night"
Dramarama Arthur Crouchley Episode: "Last Days of Black Berts"
1987 The Beiderbecke Tapes John the Barman Miniseries
1989 Close to Home Mr. Barnes Episode: "A Matter of Decree"
1990 One Foot in the Grave Carpet-Fitter Episode: "The Eternal Quadrangle"
1992 The Darling Buds of May Norman Episode: "Oh! To Be in England"
1994 The Bill Banwell Episode: "No Job for an Amateur"
Minder Potter Episode: "Bring Me the Head of Arthur Daley"
Lovejoy Norman Ebersley Episode: "Holding the Baby"
1995 As Time Goes By Ted Pringle Episode: "The Anniversary Party"
Mr. Bean Golf Attendant Episode:"Tee Off, Mr. Bean"
1996 Annie's Bar Gus James 3 episodes
Sharpe Doctor Episode: "Sharpe's Regiment"
1997 Grange Hill Cab Driver 1 episode
1999 Murder Most Horrid Mr. Gaunt Episode: "Frozen"


  1. ^ "David Battley — RADA". www.rada.ac.uk.
  2. ^ "David Battley". www.aveleyman.com.
  3. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Alice in Wonderland (1966) Credits". www.screenonline.org.uk.
  4. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Rutland Weekend Television (1975-76)". www.screenonline.org.uk.
  5. ^ Kitts, Thomas M.; Baxter-Moore, Nick (April 25, 2019). The Routledge Companion to Popular Music and Humor. Routledge. ISBN 9781351266628 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ a b "David Battley". BFI.
  7. ^ "One Foot in the Grave: The Eternal Quadrangle". February 1, 1990. p. 54 – via BBC Genome.

External linksEdit