Roy Hudd spent 64 years, in the business he loved - show business. Starting as a Butlin redcoat he has tackled everything: stand up comedy, pantomime, music hall, farce, films, musicals and the plays of Shakespeare, Stoppard, Cooney and Priestley.
On TV, starting with The Good Old Days, he’s been involved with the satire boom, soaps (He was, for two years, Archie Shuttleworth the undertaker in Coronation Street) sit coms, dramas, panel games and several of his own series. On radio, for twenty six years on BBC Radio 2 he led the show that won every possible award, at home and abroad, The News Huddlines. The show also brought him two Variety Club Awards, an LWT Lifetime Achievement Award and the coveted Sony Gold Award.
His writing, ranging from dozens of pantomimes to the story of Bud Flanagan and Chesney Allen - Underneath The Arches, (In which he won an Olivier Award for playing the part of Bud “best actor in a musical”). He wrote a column for Yours magazine for nearly thirty years. He has now included three books on show business, plus his autobiography. A Fart in a Colander.
His theatre career is a long and distinguished one encompassing concert party, variety, revue, musicals, and the legit. In the West End he played Rita Tushingham’s boyfriend in The Giveaway. Danny La Rue’s sidekick in Danny At The Palace, Fagin in Oliver!, Bud Flanagan in Underneath The Arches, Stanley Gardener in Run For Your Wife, Mr. Sleary in Hard Times, The Wizard in The Wizard of Oz, Njegus in The Merry Widow with the ENO, Ed McKeever in The Solid Gold Cadillac. and Henry Ormenroyd in J.B.Priestley’s When We Are Married.
He gathered rave notices for his part of the old soldier, Joe Collet, in BBCTVs Call The Midwife. and completed a film with Sir Ben Kingsley and Gillian Anderson Robot Overlords.
After writing his autobiography he devised a show with his wife Debbie, An Evening with Roy & Debbie Hudd. This is a two hour collection of personal anecdotes, name dropping, backstage secrets, songs and stories of the stars. Questions from the audience are encouraged and can be the funniest part of the show.
Every year he’d look forward to Pantomime, whatever the subject and where ever it was to be – he just loved it. One of the proudest moments came rather late on in his career, when he appeared at Wilton’s Music Hall playing Dame for the first time at the age of 80! He was so good they asked him back for a second season.
Music Hall has always played a big part in Roy’s life, as a performer of the medium and as President of the British Music Hall Society for 28 years. Roy loved working at Brick Lane Music Hall, with The Hiss and Boo Music Hall, The Paper Moon Company and The City Varieties Leeds. He really enjoyed doing a concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies at the Royal Albert Hall with Anita Harris and Anita Dobson to name just two. He was a great admirer of Jools Holland and was thrilled to be part of a TV documentary with him.
He was King Rat of the Grand Order of Water Rats twice, once for the centenary of the Order and the second time in the millennium year.