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Christopher Biggins
Born 16 December 1948 (1948-12-16) (age 61)
Oldham, England
Other name(s) Chris Biggins, Biggins
Occupation Actor, Television personality
Years active 1970‚Äďpresent
Spouse(s) Beatrice Norbury (1971‚Äď74) (divorced)
Neil Sinclair (2006‚Äďpresent)

Christopher Biggins (born 16 December 1948) is an English actor and television personality.



Biggins was born in Oldham, England and raised in Salisbury, Wiltshire, where he took elocution lessons and participated in local drama groups, leading to a job at the local repertory theatre.[1]

He is best known as a comedy actor, appearing as the regular character Lukewarm in the popular situation comedy Porridge (1974-77) starring Ronnie Barker. Other comedy shows he appeared in include Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (1973) and Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (1973 and 1978). In 1976 he played Nero in the BBC dramatisation of I, Claudius by Robert Graves, having been selected for the role partly on the strength of a television commercial in which he had played a Roman emperor presiding over the games. He also appeared in the BBC's adaptation of Poldark in 1977. Despite these serious roles, his co-hosting of Surprise, Surprise and hosting children's gameshow On Safari (1982-1985) for TVS led to him being typecast as a "bubbly personality"; when asked in 2005 if he resented this, he replied

"No, not a bit of it. I'm perfectly happy being me, thank you, and I happen to know that I am afforded enormous respect from everybody I know. And anyway, I'm having something of a second wind now. I've reached the age [57] where all kinds of roles are opening up to me."[1]

On children's television he had a regular role as supermarket manager Adam Painting in the children's television programme Rentaghost (1978-1983) and also played Reverend Whiting in Southern Television's Brendon Chase, produced in 1980. In the early 1980s he hosted children's gameshow On Safari, a bizarre afternoon game show with a jungle-themed studio set.

Biggins appeared in the Big Finish Productions audio drama The One Doctor, based on the television series Doctor Who. His film roles include The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). His theatre roles have included "The Baker" in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar, and 18 months at the London Palladium in the stage adaptation of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (where he was teamed in a double act with Louise Gold).

In 2008, he briefly co-presented a Sunday morning radio show on BBC London with Lesley Joseph.[2]

Biggins is well known for his performances in pantomime. His most famous role is that of "Widow Twankey" in the traditional British pantomime, Aladdin. He has also played "Buttons" in Cinderella.

Biggins did not perform in pantomime in Christmas 2007 however, as he was taking part in I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, making this the first time he has not performed in a pantomime for 38 years. Biggins was eventually voted the winner of the show on November 30, 2007. Biggins returned to Pantomime the following year at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton playing the role of Buttons in Cinderella. Biggins was the winner of the television show Celebrity Come Dine With Me, first shown on Britain's Channel Four, on 15 February 2009.

Biggins hosts an annual show West End Live in London's Leicester Square.

In 2009 he played himself as a pantomime director in the BBC Two sitcom, Psychoville. At the Southport Flower Show in August 2009, Biggins launched a new hybrid tea rose called Olivia. Sales of the rose will benefit the Claire House charity. As of the end of 2009 he is in pantomime in Plymouth playing Widow Twanky

In 2010 he was a celebrity guest team captain on What Do Kids Know? along with Rufus Hound, Joe Swash and Sara Cox on Watch.

Personal life

Biggins was married to Australian actress Beatrice Norbury from 1971 to 1974.[3] He is now openly gay and formed a civil partnership with his partner, flight attendant Neil Sinclair, on 30 December 2006 at Hackney Register Office.[4]

In 1993 he was found guilty of drinking and driving and banned for a year.[5]

He is a supporter of the Conservative Party.[6]


Actor David Walliams appeared, dressed from head to toe as Biggins, at the pantomime-themed ceremony to celebrate the civil partnership between fellow Little Britain star Matt Lucas and his partner Kevin McGee.[7]


External links

Preceded by
Matt Willis
I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!

Succeeded by
Joe Swash

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