Roy Skelton

Roy William Skelton (20 July 1931 – 8 June 2011) was an English actor and voice artist, whose voice was more familiar to television viewers than his name. Born in Nottingham to John H Skelton and Dorothy (née Bromley),[1] he provided the voices for many characters on British television for nearly fifty years, particularly the characters of both Zippy and George on Rainbow, which the actor first joined in the early 1970s and performed on until it was axed in 1991. However, due to the fame of the characters, he continued to voice Zippy and George in guest appearances on television in series such as The Weakest Link and TV Burp until his death.

Roy Skelton
Roy William Skelton

(1931-07-20)20 July 1931[1]
Nottingham, England
Died8 June 2011(2011-06-08) (aged 79)
Years active1955–2008
Spouse(s)Hilary Skelton (Nee Tooze)
(1959–2011; his death)[2]
Children2 daughters, Samantha Skelton, Eliza Skelton

As well as providing the iconic Rainbow voices, Skelton also voiced several Doctor Who villains including the Daleks, Cybermen and the Krotons.[3] He started performing the Daleks in 1967 (continuing the role from fellow voice actor Peter Hawkins whom he also replaced as Zippy on Rainbow) and notably performed in the Doctor Who specials The Five Doctors and The Curse of Fatal Death.

In 2002, he guest-starred in Sarah Jane Smith: Test Of Nerve, an audio drama produced by Big Finish Productions. In February 2008, he appeared as both Zippy and George in the first episode of the BBC One series Ashes to Ashes.

Skelton died at his home in Brighton, East Sussex, on 8 June 2011, after suffering a stroke less than 2 months before his 80th birthday.[4]



  1. ^ a b "Obituaries: Roy Skelton". The Telegraph. 8 June 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  2. ^ Hayward, Anthony (9 June 2011). "Roy Skelton obituary". Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  3. ^ Johnston, Paul (8 June 2011). "Voice of Rainbow's Zippy and George dies". Yahoo! TV. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  4. ^ "Zippy voice actor Roy Skelton dies aged 79". BBC News. 8 June 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2011.

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