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Roy Hudd, OBE (born 16 May 1936)[1] is an English comedian, actor, presenter, radio host, author and authority on the history of music hall entertainment.

Roy Hudd
Roy Hudd.jpg
Roy Hudd in 2005
Born (1936-05-16) 16 May 1936 (age 83)
Croydon, Surrey, England
OccupationActor, radio personality, playwright, author
Spouse(s)Debbie Flitcroft

Early lifeEdit

Hudd was born in Croydon.[2] His father was a carpenter and he attended Tavistock Secondary Modern School in Croydon and Croydon Secondary Technical School. He then worked as a messenger for an advertising agency, a window dresser and a commercial artist working under Harry Beck.[3]

He made his professional debut as a comedian on the 27 October 1957 at the Streatham Hill Theatre, at a show in aid of the Sir Philip Game Boys' Club of which he was a former member.[4] Initially he worked with a friend from Croydon, Eddy Kay who had also been a member of the boys club, the two billing themselves as 'the peculiar pair'.[5] In 1958 they joined as Redcoats at Butlin's Clacton working alongside Cliff Richard and Dave Allen. Shortly afterwards in 1959, Hudd began his solo career.


Although Hudd and Kay had made a brief appearance as 'discoveries' on the BBC's In Town Tonight in 1958,[6] Hudd made his solo debut on radio in 1959 on Workers' Playtime. He remains best known for the BBC Radio 2 satirical series The News Huddlines, which ran from 1975 to 2001.[7] His other radio credits include playing Max Quordlepleen, the host at The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, in the original radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1978), Crowned Hudds (1994–95), The Newly Discovered Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (1999–2000) and Like They've Never Been Gone (1999–2002). He has acted in many comedy series and dramas for BBC Radio 4. He appeared on Radio Two for a week in April 2017 choosing the Tracks of my Years on the Ken Bruce Show. Played Mr Manchester in Home Front for BBC Radio 4.


Hudd broke into television in the mid-1960s in sketch series such as The Illustrated Weekly Hudd and The Roy Hudd Show. His acting roles include the Dennis Potter series Lipstick on Your Collar, for which he received critical praise, and Karaoke. In the mid 1990s he appeared in two series of Common As Muck, a drama about a group of refuse collectors, alongside Edward Woodward. In 2000, Hudd appeared as neighbour Mr. Smedley in one episode of One Foot in the Grave[8].

From 2002 to 2003 he appeared as the undertaker Archie Shuttleworth in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street[7] and subsequently returned for guest appearances until the character's death in December 2018. He also starred in the ITV drama 'The Quest', alongside Sir David Jason and Hywel Bennett, from 2002–2004. In 2007 he appeared in episodes of New Tricks, Casualty and The Last Detective. In 2010 he appeared in BBC dramas Missing and Ashes to Ashes.

In 2012 he appeared in an episode of the BBC drama Call the Midwife. In 2014 he appeared in episodes of Midsomer Murders, Law & Order: UK and Holby City.

In December 2015 Hudd played Bud Flanagan in the BBC drama We're Doomed! The Dad's Army Story, about the creation of the titular long-running sitcom.[9] In 2016 he appeared in an episode of Benidorm.[10]

In 2017 he appeared in the ITV series Broadchurch and in July 2019 he appeared as a patient in the BBC's Casualty.

Stage appearancesEdit

Hudd has appeared in many pantomime and variety performances. In 1977 he starred as Fagin in the West End revival of Lionel Bart's musical Oliver! at the Albery Theatre. In 1982 he played Bud Flanagan in Underneath the Arches at the Prince of Wales Theatre, for which he won a Society of West End Theatre Award. In 2000 he starred in a musical version of Hard Times at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.[11]

In 2008 he played the part of the Wizard in a production of The Wizard of Oz at London's Royal Festival Hall.

In 2019, he toured the UK in a production of Oscar Wilde’s play A Woman of No Importance alongside Liza Goddard and Isla Blair.

Music hallEdit

Hudd has written several books on music hall, re-recorded 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 CD, Mirth, Magic and Melodrama consists of a collection of classic monologues from the music hall days, including The Pig and The Lion and Albert, first recorded by Stanley Holloway. For Celebrity Mastermind, broadcast on 3 January 2014, Hudd answered questions on the specialist subject of music hall comedian Dan Leno.


Year Title Role Notes
1968 The Blood Beast Terror Smiler
1971 Up Pompeii Nero's M.C.
Up the Chastity Belt Nick the Pick
The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins Fisherman "Avarice" segment
1972 The Alf Garnett Saga Milkman
2000 Purely Belter Mr Sewell
2014 Robot Overlords Morse Code Martin [12]

Max MillerEdit

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 in 2006. He is President of the Max Miller Appreciation Society.[13]

Charity workEdit

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[14] of the show business charity the Grand Order of Water Rats.

In addition to this, he was the first Honorary President of Sandwell Hospital Radio in West Bromwich for a period of ten years, visiting the studios, members and patients whenever he was appearing in the West Midlands.


Hudd was awarded an OBE in the 2004 New Year Honours List.[15] In 1983 (1982 season), he was awarded the Society of West End Theatre Award as Best Actor in a Musical for his role in Underneath the Arches, as Bud Flanagan.

On 29 November 2010 Hudd was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Westminster; he studied commercial art there when it was the Regent Street Polytechnic.


  • Joke Book (Mini-ha-ha Books) by Roy Hudd (Paperback – 28 May 1971)
  • Music Hall (Picturefile) by Roy Hudd (Paperback – 4 November 1976)
  • The News Huddlines by Roy Hudd and Illustrated (Paperback – 1 January 1980)
  • Beautiful Dreamer: A musical melodrama based on the life and songs of Stephen Collins Foster by Roy Hudd (Unknown Binding – 1981)
  • Underneath the Arches by Patrick, Glanville, Brian, Hudd, Roy Garland (Paperback – 1982)
  • Underneath the Arches: Musical in Two Acts by Patrick Garland, Brian Glanville, and Roy Hudd (Paperback – 1984)
  • That's Entertainment: Vol.1 by Roy Hudd, etc. (Paperback – 1 December 1992)
  • Roy Hudd's Book of Music-hall, Variety and Showbiz Anecdotes by Roy Hudd (Hardcover – October 1993)
  • Roy Hudd's Book of Music-Hall, Variety and Showbiz Anecdotes by Hudd (Roy) (Paperback – 1 January 1994)
  • Roy Hudd's Huddline Annual by Roy Hudd and Tony Hare (Hardcover – October 1994)
  • I Say, I Say, I Say: Johnners' Choice of Jokes to Keep You Laughing by Brian Johnston and Roy Hudd (Paperback – 4 September 1995)
  • The Pantomime Book by Paul Harris and Roy Hudd (Paperback – August 1996)
  • Look Back with Laughter. Volume Three by Mike Craig, Dame Thora Hird, and Roy Hudd (Paperback – 1998)
  • Roy Hudd's Cavalcade of Variety Acts: A Who Was Who of Light Entertainment, 1945–60 by Roy Hudd and Philip Hindin (Paperback – 18 November 1998)
  • Roy Hudd's Book of Music-hall, Variety and Showbiz Anecdotes by Roy Hudd (Paperback – 30 October 1998)
  • The Pantomime Book: The Only Known Collection of Pantomime Jokes and Sketches in Captivity by Paul Harris and Roy Hudd (Paperback – 31 October 2001)
  • Twice Nightly by Roy Hudd (Hardcover – October 2007)
  • The Pantomime Book by Roy Hudd and Paul Harris (Paperback – 15 September 2008)
  • A Fart in a Colander: The Autobiography by Roy Hudd (Hardcover – 1 October 2009)


  • A Fart in a Colander: The Autobiography by Roy Hudd (Hardcover – 1 October 2009), ISBN 978-1843174943


  1. ^ "Birthday's today". 16 May 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2014. Mr Roy Hudd, actor and broadcaster, 77
  2. ^ GRO: June 1936 2a 883 Croydon – Roy Hudd, mmn = Barham
  3. ^ "Sandi Toksvig interviews Roy Hudd". Chain Reaction. Series 11. Episode 5. 23 March 2016. BBC. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Newsman's Diary - Funny Men". Norwood News. 25 October 1957. p. 10. Retrieved 22 July 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  5. ^ "Finsbury Park Empire". The Stage. 19 March 1959. p. 4. Retrieved 22 July 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ "Finsbury Park Empire". The Stage. 8 May 1958. p. 12. Retrieved 22 July 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ a b Huddlines cancelled : News 2002 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide, Retrieved 15 April 2017
  8. ^
  9. ^ "We're Doomed! The Dad's Army Story". BBC Online. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  10. ^ Mulkern, Patrick (18 January 2016). "Benidorm: Series 8 - Episode 2". Radio Times. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Hard Times The Musical, a CurtainUp review". Curtainup. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  12. ^ Mike McCahill (26 March 2015). "Robot Overlords review – spirited sci-fi with Gillian Anderson and Ben Kingsley". The Guardian.
  13. ^ Archived 14 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Past King Rats of The Grand Order of Water Rats". 12 December 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  15. ^ "No. 57155". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2003. pp. 9–11.

External linksEdit