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Duncan Preston (born 11 August 1946) is an English actor. He is known for his appearances in television productions written by Victoria Wood, including his roles of Clifford in the soap opera parody sketches Acorn Antiques, and Stan in the sitcom Dinnerladies (1998–2000). He reprised his role of Clifford in Acorn Antiques: The Musical! in 2005. His other television roles include DS Todd in the soap opera EastEnders (1987), Jonathan Haslam in the sitcom Surgical Spirit (1989–95); playing Kevin's dad in Harry Enfield and Chums (1994); and Douglas Potts in the soap opera Emmerdale (2007–11, 2014–present).[1]

Duncan Preston
Born (1946-08-11) 11 August 1946 (age 73)
Years active1964–present
Spouse(s)Susan Penhaligon (m. 1986–1992)
Partner(s)Susan Penhaligon (since 1997)



Preston appeared in a 1981 Public Information Film entitled: Say NO to Strangers, as a kerb-crawling predator attempting to lure a schoolgirl into his car. He has also made many guest appearances in various TV series, including Hunters Walk, Secret Army, The Professionals, All Creatures Great and Small, Robin of Sherwood, Bergerac, The New Statesman, Press Gang, Chalk, Boon, Casualty, Heartbeat, The Royal, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, Holby City, Peak Practice, Midsomer Murders, Dalziel and Pascoe and My Family.[2]

He was also a regular cast member in the sitcom Surgical Spirit and appeared as Dennis Stokes in Coronation Street in 2004. Preston is currently seen in Emmerdale as Doug Potts, the father of Laurel Thomas.[2] He has also appeared on Lily Savage's Blankety Blank.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Preston was married to actress Susan Penhaligon between 1986 and 1992. They subsequently reconciled in 1997, though they have not remarried.

Stage workEdit

A renowned Shakespearean actor, Preston has performed in many productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company, including playing Angus in Trevor Nunn's version of Macbeth (stage 1976, television 1978), starring Ian McKellen and Judi Dench. Other theatre work includes a 2007 production of To Kill A Mockingbird.

He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by the University of Bradford on 4 December 2002 "for his contributions as an actor".[4]


  1. ^ "Duncan Preston to take 'Emmerdale' break". Digital Spy. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  2. ^ a b Duncan Preston on IMDb ‘’2015 Film Howl’k
  3. ^ Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 29 April 2001. ITV.
  4. ^ UoB Press release,; accessed 20 August 2014.