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Giles Francis Watling (born 18 February 1953) is an English actor and British Conservative Party politician. He has been the Member of Parliament for Clacton since 8 June 2017.[3]

Giles Watling
Official portrait of Giles Watling crop 2.jpg
Official Parliamentary portrait, June 2017
Member of Parliament
for Clacton
In office
9 June 2017 – 6 November 2019
Preceded byDouglas Carswell
Succeeded byElection in progress
Majority15,828 (35.8%)
Personal details
Giles Francis Watling[1]

(1953-02-18) 18 February 1953 (age 66)
Chingford, Essex, England
Political partyConservative[2]
Vanda Brinkworth (m. 1979)
MotherPatricia Hicks
FatherJack Watling
RelativesDeborah Watling (sister)
Dilys Watling (maternal half-sister)
EducationForest School
OccupationActor, politician

Early life and educationEdit

Born in Chingford to actress Patricia Hicks (1919–2011) and her husband actor Jack Watling, Giles Watling was educated at Forest School in Walthamstow.[4] He is the younger brother of the actress Deborah Watling and the younger half-brother of actress Dilys Watling. The Watlings are all direct descendants of the 19th-century antiquarian/artist Hamlet Watling.[citation needed]


Watling has worked extensively in the British theatre and on television, but is probably best known for the role of the vicar Oswald in Carla Lane's series Bread.[5] He has also directed several UK touring theatre productions. He took on the role of Bob in the UK Tour of 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert' in 2013, and serves on the Board of Directors at the Royal Theatrical Fund, a charity in aid of any person in need who has professionally practised or contributed to the theatrical arts.[6]

He was a Conservative councillor for Frinton ward on Tendring District Council, having been first elected in the 2007 United Kingdom local elections.[7] On 10 September 2014 he was shortlisted in the Conservatives' Clacton open primary to decide the party's candidate against Douglas Carswell in the Clacton by-election and was adopted following a public meeting on 11 September 2014.[5][8][9] He lost the by-election in 2014 and the general election in 2015, but was elected in the general election in 2017.


Year Title Role Notes
1964 Crossroads Larry 1 episode
1965 Gideon's Way Malcolm Gideon 8 episodes
1974 Upstairs, Downstairs 2nd Lt. James Marriott 1 episode
1978 You're Only Young Twice PC Henry 1 episode
1979 The Human Factor Colin
1979-1980 How's Your Father? Martin Matthews 13 episodes
1980 Keep It in the Family Young man 1 episode
1984 No Place Like Home Maurice 1 episode
1988-1991 Bread Oswald 49 episodes
1992 'Allo 'Allo! Major Twistleton-Smythe 1 episode
1997 Melissa Gangster at Airport 1 episode
1999 Grange Hill Mr. Radcliffe 1 episode
2001 The Tutankhamun Conspiracy Howard Carter TV movie


  1. ^ "No. 61961". The London Gazette. 19 June 2017. p. 11782.
  2. ^ Mason, Rowena (11 September 2014). "Conservatives select former 1980s television star to fight Ukip in Clacton". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Giles Watling - Search - UK Parliament".
  4. ^ "Watling, Giles Francis, (born 18 Feb. 1953), MP (C) Clacton, since 2017". Who's Who. 2017. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.289481.
  5. ^ a b "Two Conservative councillors to fight Clacton primary". BBC News. 10 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Clacton: Bread's Giles Watling to stand for Conservatives". BBC News. 10 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Councillor Watling G F". Tendring District Council. 3 May 2007. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  8. ^ James Dwan (10 September 2014). "TORY 'open primary' candidates for Clacton by-election are Frinton actor Giles Watling and Colchester councillor Sue Lissimore". Clacton & Frinton Gazette. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Two candidates shortlisted for the Clacton by-election". 10 September 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2016.

External linksEdit