M I C H A E L   K I L G A R R I F F
  L I F E   A N D   C A R E E R 

"More than once I have been complimented on my triple talents as actor, author and musician, to which my response is always "If  I were really any good at any one of those I wouldn't need  the other two..."   January 2023

Michael Kilgarriff was born 16 June, 1937, in Brighton, Sussex, an only but happy child of devoted parents Joseph and Patricia  Kilgarriff.  Educated Xaverian College, Queen's Park, Brighton; from 1953-6 worked ingloriously and wretchedly as junior clerk for Barclays Bank at branches in Shoreham, Steyning, and Lancing.
    Escaped to Argyle Theatre for Youth, Birkenhead, for first engagement as an actor,  a schools' tour of Alice in Wonderland, playing six characters (at 6' 5" the tallest  March Hare in the business!) and accompanying songs and dances at the piano.
    Then followed years of repertory (Bristol Old Vic, Glasgow, Harrogate, Jersey, Leicester, Peterborough, Stockton-on-Tees, Windsor, York, etc., etc.), television dramas and light entertainment shows with the likes of Jimmy Edwards, Dick Emery, Arthur Haynes, Ted Rogers, and Norman Wisdom.  For the 1959/60 season enjoyed the huge break of playing The Ogre in Humpty Dumpty at the London Palladium.  Tours and plays include The Sorrows of Frederick with Tom Conti and She's Done It Again! at the Garrick Theatre with Brian Rix.

Ealing garden, August 2013

Twenty-six pantomimes (including two more at the London Palladium) with, inter alia, Johnny Beattie, Dora Bryan, Wyn Calvin, Roy Castle, Jimmy Clitheroe, Frankie Howerd, Nat Jackley,
Sid(ney) James, Danny La Rue, Jimmy Logan, Alfred Marks, Lita Roza, Harry Secombe, Terry Scott, Wayne Sleep, Tommy Steele,
Jimmy Tarbuck, and Norman Vaughan.  Also panto seasons in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester with the great Stanley Baxter.
Voice-over work includes: General SkekUng of the Skeksis in The Dark Crystal, Obelix in The Twelve Tasks of Asterix, a twenty-six part cartoon series for Fireside Favourites called Howdi Gaudi, Death Eater in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and the voice of C.S. Lewis for a DVD documentary add-on for The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Disney).  Over six hundred BBC radio drama productions.   Until retirement his deep and distinctive voice kept him in demand for cartoons, film dubbing, audio books, video games and radio and television commercials.   
elevision work includes appearances with four different Dr Whos (see below), playing King Edward IV in BBC's 1959 six-parter The Golden Spur, Joe Steiner in ITV's UFO, Ron Farnes in BBC's Taxi!, The Green King in BBC's The Moon Stallion, John Brown to Miriam Margolyes' Queen Victoria in Channel 4's Without Walls, the social reformer Charles Booth in Tales from the Map-Room (BBC2) and the Music Hall Chairman in Tipping the Velvet (BBC 2002)Appeared as Chairman/pianist in Michael Wood's The Story of England (BBC); interviewed at the piano by Michael Grade and Barry Cryer The Story of Music Hall (BBC) and by Frank Skinner in What a Performance! (BBC2).  Also interviewed on Music Hall history by Dave Myers for BBC2's The Hairy Builder.
      In the 1960s began appearing in Music Hall at the legendary Green Man pub in Greenwich.  Also joined the BBC Drama Repertory Company for the first of three lengthy stints,  acting in radio broadcasts as diverse as Cyrano de Bergerac with Sir Ralph Richardson, The Morecambe & Wise Show, Othello with Paul Scofield, The Winter's Tale with Dame Edith Evans, The Dales, Listen with Mother and The Archers.
      In 1966 first appeared in BBCtv's Dr Who as CyberController with Patrick Troughton as the Doctor.  Further appearances in the series were as Second Ogron (Jon Pertwee), The Robot (Tom Baker), and again the CyberController (Colin Baker).  Still receiving fan-mail and attending conventions as well as recording Dr Who audiobooks and podcasts.
      Also in 1966 formed Dunster Productions Ltd with fellow actor and Music Hall comic the late Johnny Dennis, putting on theatre and corporate shows across the UK and abroad; also  worldwide shipboard entertainment for the Holland-America and P&O cruise lines and for three consecutive City of London Festivals. 
     Memorable one-off engagements include Father Christmas in Down by the Greenwood Side directed by its composer (Sir) Harrison Birtwistle for a BBC Promenade Concert at the Royal Albert Hall and the Clown in Brecht/Hindemith's Lesson on Consent at the Brighton and City of London Festivals.    Another exciting venture was a revival of Beyond the Fringe touring the UK and at the Marines' Memorial Theatre in San Francisco.  PA work includes business conferences all over the UK, also promotions as far afield as Geneva, Palma, Minneapolis-St Paul, Baltimore and New Orleans.
       In the entire existence of the Players' Theatre Club (1929-2002) Michael Kilgarriff is the only person to have worked in its Music Hall shows at Charing Cross variously as solo artiste, Chairman, accompanist, and producer.  His illustrated lecture at the piano on the history of the Music Hall has been seen everywhere from Bolton Public Library to the cruise liner QE2.  
      On 22 March 1968 in San Rafael, Marin County, California, married Sarah Greatorex, production assistant in the BBC Radio Drama Department.  Their daughter is voice-over artiste and theatre agent Rebecca (b.1971), whose own daughter  by her partner actor Nigel Barrett is Greta Kilgarriff (b. 2009).


At The Players' Theatre
As Mr Chairman at The Players' Theatre Club 1980











Capt. Will Atkins 

Slave of the Lamp 

Little John

The Ogre 



The Ogre      



Robinson Crusoe


Robin Hood

Humpty Dumpty



Puss in Boots


Tom Thumb

Playhouse, Kidderminster

Repertory, Colchester

Pavilion, Liverpool

London Palladium

Palace, Manchester

Empire, Liverpool

Coventry, Coventry

New, Cardiff

Alhambra, Bradford

l965-l973   Musical Director for Christmas Music Hall at Ipswich;  two stints with BBC Radio Drama Repertory Company; nine months in She Done It Again! with Brian Rix at Garrick Theatre, London.  With Dunster Productions entertaining at sea for two winter cruises.


















1990 Dec

Giant Blunderbore 

Henchman & Giant




Slave of the Lamp
Wizard Zarrabad 

Slave of the Lamp

Henchman &Giant 



Squire Ben Black 

    of Morocco

Bruce (Pianist)

Musical Director

Mr Chairman

Jack & the Beanstalk





Sinbad the Sailor


Jack & the Beanstalk    




Whittington Junior and
   his Sensation Cat!

Little Fanny's Revenge


Yuppity Dumpty

Old Time Music Hall

London Palladium

Hippodrome, Bristol

King's, Edinburgh

King's, Glasgow

Opera House, Manchester

London Palladium

King's, Glasgow

Hippodrome, Bristol

King's, Edinburgh

King's, Glasgow

Empire, Sunderland

Theatre Royal, Norwich

Players', Charing Cross. London

Canal Café, Maida Vale

Connaught, Worthing

Canal Café, Maida Vale

The Mill, Sonning

1991/2       BBC Radio Drama Company





King Rat 

Mr Chairman 

Knave of Hearts &
  Duke of York


Dick Whittington

Victorian Music Hall 

Humpty Dumpty


Churchill, Bromley

Watermill, Newbury 

Waterman's Arts Centre,   Brentfrord              

Palace, Watford



Sundry abridgements and dramatisations including Reuben's Corner by Spike Mays, Death to the French by C.S. Forester, Act of Love by Celia Dale, The Anxious Conspirator by Michael Underwood, The Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White and a documentary on the Monologue entitled Talking to Oneself.  While filming Camelot in Spain wrote an eight episode adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, still a best seller.



Three Melodramas

It Gives Me Great Pleasure 

Three More Melodramas

The Golden Age of Melodrama

Make 'Em Laugh

Comic Speeches for All Occasions

1,000 Jokes for Kids 

Three Comedy Sketches

It Gives Me Further Pleasure

Sing Us  One Of The Old Songs

Grace, Beauty & Banjos

Back Stages

                                                            Etc., Etc., Etc.

Samuel French 1970

Samuel French 1972

Samuel French 1973

Wolfe 1974

Wolfe 1974 (Ward Lock 1979)

Futura 1978

Ward Lock 1982

Samuel French 1983

Samuel French 1996

Oxford University Press 1998

Oberon Books 1998
CallioPress 2010 

Doctor Who Convention, Chiswick W4, 2023