|Born||12 October 1950
Southport, Lancashire, England
|Spouse(s)||1st (div) Leonie Mellinger 2nd (div) Mary Wilson|
Askwith appeared in a number of film and television roles before appearing in one Carry On film, Carry On Girls. Askwith was not the original choice for the lead role in the Confessions films, he was the fourth choice after the role was turned down by the three previous candidates for it, Richard Beckinsale, Richard O'Sullivan and Dennis Waterman.
In 1977 Askwith released his first and only single naturally called “Confessions” (B Side: ‘This Space Is Reserved For You’), which reached number 39 in UK Singles Chart and was performed by Askwith on Marc Bolan’s show Marc, where Bolan introduced him as “Robin Askwith - a movie star”. After the performance, Bolan remarked “Robin has in fact got a movie about holiday camping out at the moment”.
Although the Confessions series came to an end with Confessions from a Holiday Camp, a fifth and a sixth film, Confessions of a Plumber’s Mate and Confessions of a Private Soldier, had been planned in 1977. Askwith even expressed a desire to direct Private Soldier, but neither film materialised. Plans to shoot a further made-for-video Confessions film in the 1980s also came to nothing, although by this time he was appearing in the poorly-received ITV sitcom Bottle Boys. Recently Askwith met film director Quentin Tarantino, who suggested they make a film featuring the Timmy Lea character in an outer space/time traveling scenario.
Askwith’s extensive work on stage, includes numerous farces like Run For Your Wife plus the stage Confessions sequel The Further Confessions of a Window Cleaner- and Pantomimes- appearing with The Chuckle Brothers in Dick Whittington in the late 1990s, while in 2002 he played under Frank Bruno and Sooty in a Wolverhampton production of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears and in 2004 he played under Claire Sweeney and Spiderman in a Milton Keyes production of Aladdin.
More unusual stage roles include the title role in a production of Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, and The Childcatcher in a 2006 touring production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Still active on the stage, Askwith is preparing “Paint It Black”, a one-man show based on the life and death of Brian Jones. In 2007 he appeared as Brian, a closet gay Benny Hill fan, in Terry Johnson's Dead Funny, and in the summer of that year, appeared in Coronation Street as a holiday tour guide named Aidan. The episodes of the soap that feature Askwith were filmed in Malta, close to the island of Gozo where he has lived for many years.
Askwith’s autobiography, The Confessions of Robin Askwith, was published by Ebury Press in 1999. The book documents his early life and acting career, the success of the Confessions films, and his relationship with Linda Hayden, his common-law wife during the 1970s. In the book’s epilogue Askwith is spotted by a fan on a plane journey, who greets him with “Hello, my name is Terry, I think you should know, you were my first wank”.
In 2008 Askwith put his scripts for Confessions of a Window Cleaner and Carry on Girls up for auction on ebay for £102.15 and £76.61 respectively. While the Carry On Girls script sold, the Window Cleaner script was re-listed at £76.61, but did not sell. A previous auction for his “Sidney Noggett bucket” as used in Confessions of a Window Cleaner fetched £200.72.
Recently several internet sites - including the IMDB - claimed Askwith had played the lead in “Oh No, Its Derek Anus”, a 1972 LWT sitcom. However it has since emerged that this was an internet prank/hoax and no such TV show exists, the IMDB no longer carries a listing for Derek Anus.