Tony Osoba

Tony Osoba (born 15 March 1947) is a Scottish actor best known for his role as Jim 'Jock' McClaren in the popular 1970s British sitcom Porridge alongside Ronnie Barker. He also appeared in its sequel Going Straight. Osoba was the first black Scottish actor to appear on primetime television when he appeared in the series.[1]

Tony Osoba
Born (1947-03-15) 15 March 1947 (age 73)
Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland
Spouse(s)Sally Wignall (m. 1989)

Since then, he has appeared twice in Coronation Street, first as Wesley McGregor in 1982, and secondly as Mike Baldwin's boss Peter Ingram for a few episodes in 1990, before the character was killed off. He also starred as Chas in Dempsey and Makepeace.

Early lifeEdit

Born in Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland, he had an early ambition to design cars but when he realised that the employment opportunities in that field were limited he decided to become an actor after his Highers and trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He then joined a theatre company in Richmond, toured abroad and was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.[2]


His other television roles include Det. Sgt. Charles 'Chas' Jarvis in Dempsey and Makepeace (1984–1986)[3] and both Wesley McGregor and Peter Ingram in Coronation Street (1982 and 1990). He has also appeared in Space: 1999 (1976), The Professionals (1978), Charles Endell Esq (1979), Minder (1980),[3] The Flame Trees of Thika (1981), Tales of the Unexpected (1982), Bergerac (1983), Between the Lines (1994), Taggart (1999) and Dinotopia (2002) as well as three appearances in Doctor Who in the stories "Destiny of the Daleks" (1979),[4] "Dragonfire" (1987)[5] and "Kill the Moon" (2014). His film career includes roles in Pure as a Lily (1976), the film version of Porridge (1979), Game for Vultures (1979), and Who Dares Wins (1982).

In 2005, Osoba starred as the Kralahome in a UK touring production of The King and I.[6] Recent credits include the 2007 film Tanner, as Superintendent Smith in Hollyoaks and Charlie Dokes in The Bill. In 2011 Osoba made a brief appearance in an episode of The Shadow Line.[7]

Osoba has also appeared in one radio series, Space Force (1984–1985), as Loderick Sincere.


Year Title Role Notes
1976 Pure as a Lily Othello
1978 The Professionals Martin Taylor Series 1, Episode 10, "Stakeout"
1979 Game for Vultures Daniel Batten
Porridge McClaren
1980 Minder Pearce
1982 Who Dares Wins Terrorist #5
1982, 1990 Coronation Street Wesley McGregor / Peter Ingram 14 episodes
1998 The Demon Headmaster Smith
2007 Tanner Archie Richmond
2014 Planetfall A.I. Computer


  1. ^ Porridge star Tony is back home to play it straight on stage Glasgow Evening Times, 27 September 2005
  2. ^ Richard Webster; Dick Clement; Ian la Frenais (2001). Porridge The Inside Story. Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0-7472-3294-6.
  3. ^ a b Tony's on right side of the law Glasgow Evening Times, 13 September 1986
  4. ^ BBC – Doctor Who Classic Series Episode Guide – Destiny of the Daleks
  5. ^ BBC – Doctor Who Classic Series Episode Guide – Dragonfire
  6. ^ Tony Osoba stars in lavish and sumptuous King and I Surrey Advertiser, 24 November 2005
  7. ^ BBC Two Programmes – The Shadow Line, Episode 2

External linksEdit