Craig Charles : biography
Charles reads the audiobook editions of the Red Dwarf novel Last Human, and his book The Log: A Dwarfer’s Guide to Everything, and he regularly attends sci-fi, comedy and memorabilia conventions in connection with the Red Dwarf franchise. During Back to Earth, Charles’ character, Lister, visits the set of Coronation Street where he meets the actor Craig Charles. Charles has stated that he would be happy to make further Red Dwarf episodes if his Coronation Street commitments allow.Blokely, 7 November 2012, James York & Richard Luck
Charles notably presented the cult TV hit Robot Wars on BBC2 (1998–2003) and Channel 5 (2003–04), from series 2 until its conclusion at series 7, which included two Extreme series and numerous ‘specials’. Charles was the main host and presided over the arena in which teams of amateur engineers battled their home-made radio-controlled robots against each other, and against the house robots. Charles introduced the show, enthusiastically announced the results of the battles and spoke to the contestants after the main events. He ended each episode with a short Robot Wars-themed poem. Charles’ son, Jack, appeared on the show on several occasions, and was a contestant on "Team Nemesis" during series 4. Charles also hosted the Robot Wars Live UK tour, in 2001, and shows performed at the Wembley Arena.
Charles provided the voice-over commentary for the UK version of the Japanese game show Takeshi’s Castle, shown on Challenge and Ftn (2002–04), in which contestants attempted to pass a series of near-impossible physical challenges, to reach the final showdown at the castle and win cash prizes. Charles co-wrote the scripted sections and commentated throughout all 122 episodes of the four series, and the special episodes. He provided comedy insights into the contestants’ abilities, which were designed to appeal to adult audiences, as well as younger viewers.
In 2005, Charles joined the principal cast of Coronation Street, the world’s longest-running TV soap opera, playing philandering taxicab driver, Lloyd Mullaney. Charles introduced certain aspects of the character himself, making Lloyd a Northern Soul music record collector and funk music enthusiast. Lloyd is portrayed as tough, but kind hearted and romantic, and the character is popular with viewers. Charles adds a comedy element to the role, but is also involved in traumatic and emotional scenes with complicated storylines. In 2010, his character was involved in the show’s dramatic 50th anniversary tram crash storyline, which was recorded live. Charles has presented documentaries for the show, including 50 Years of Corrie Stunts (2010), which is included on the Tram Crash DVD. In November 2011, Charles took time off from Coronation Street to film a new series of Red Dwarf, returning in April 2012., Future Radio, Norwich, 27 April 2012
Other acting roles
Charles has acted in episodes of popular dramas such as The Bill (1995), EastEnders (2002) and Holby City (2003) and in the comedy The 10 Percenters (1996). Charles played the emotionally disturbed and violent prisoner, Eugene Buffy, in the high successful Lynda La Plante drama series The Governor (1996); the title role in the Channel 4 pirate sitcom Captain Butler (1997); the warden of a women’s prison in the Canadian sci-fi fantasy Lexx (2001); Detective Chief Inspector Mercer in 7 episodes of the BBC soap opera Doctors (2003); and soccer agent, Joel Brooks, in the Sky TV football soap Dream Team (2004).
Other presenting roles
Charles has presented children’s television programmes, including What’s That Noise? (1989) and Parallel 9 (1992) on BBC1, and Go Getters (1994) on ITV. He was the travelling reporter for the highly acclaimed, but controversial, BBC ‘mockumentary’ Ghostwatch, which tricked viewers into believing it was a live investigation into ghost sightings in a suburban home on Halloween night (1992). Charles presented the virtual reality game show Cyberzone (1993) on BBC2; the late-night entertainment show Funky Bunker (1997) on ITV; the reality show Jailbreak (2000) on Channel 5; the discussion show Amazing Space: The Pub Guide to the Universe (2001) on National Geographic; and the late-night current affairs chat show Weapons of Mass Distraction (2004) on ITV.