Craig Charles : biography
Charles regularly sits in for Janice Long, Steve Wright and Jo Whiley on BBC Radio 2, and has presented numerous programmes on the station, including The Craig Charles Soul All-Nighter (2011), which he hosted continuously for 12 hours, and the Beatleland (2012) documentary on the Beatles. Charles has also chosen music as a guest of other broadcasters such as Ken Bruce on Radio 2 and Liz Kershaw on 6 Music.
Charles has been involved in the music industry through much of his career. His bands have included Watt 4 (1980), in which he played keyboards and provided voice, Craig Charles and the Beat Burglars (1989), The Sons of Gordon Gekko (1989), where he wrote lyrics and also composed tunes for the band, and The Eye (2000–02), with whom he released the rock album "Giving You The Eye, Live at the Edinburgh Festival". Charles plays guitar and piano.
In 1987, Charles provided the poem track used for the opening credits of the BBC series The Marksman (in which he also acted), which is included on the album "The Marksman: Music from the BBC TV series". Charles wrote lyrics for Suzanne Rhatigan’s album To Hell With Love (1992). In 1993, Charles was signed to the Acid Jazz record label.Interview with Charles by Terry Christian, The Word, Channel 4, 1994
In 2009, Charles formed the Fantasy Funk Band, from the leading British musicians in the genre, and has presented the band at festivals, including Glastonbury. As a continuation of his 6 Music show, Charles regularly takes the Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club to varied venues across the UK and abroad, and to the major UK music festivals. He performs live DJ sets, occasionally comperes and curates events, and has broadcast the radio show live from festival locations.
In November 2012, Charles released the compilation album The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club, on CD and as a digital download, as part of a three-album dealMetro, 28 November 2012, Andrew Williams , London with Freestyle Records.Freestyle Records, 26 November 2012
Stand-up comedy and theatre
Charles returned to stand-up comedy between 1995The Independent, 20 September 1995, , London and 2001, regularly touring his one-man adult-rated shows nationally, and releasing the videos Craig Charles: Live on Earth! (1995), Live Official Bootleg (1996) and Sickbag (2000). International performances included the Great Norwegian Comedy Festival and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Charles appeared in the John Godber comedy play Teechers, in which he swapped in and out of various roles, at the Arts Theatre, London, and at the Edinburgh Festival (1989), and he played Idle Jack in the pantomime Dick Whittington, at the Hull New Theatre (1997). In 2000, he performed the show Craig Charles and His Band at the Edinburgh Festival.
Charles played Eddie in the 1987 political drama Business as Usual. In 2006, Charles starred in two feature films: the fantasy film Fated, and the gangster movie Clubbing to Death. Charles voiced Zipper the Cat in the animation Prince Cinders (1993) and Asterix in Asterix Conquers America (1994). Roles in short films include playing Keith Dennis in the comedy The Colour of Funny (1999) and Mark in the emotional drama Ten Minutes (2004).
In 1993, Charles worked with Russell Bell on the Craig Charles Almanac of Total Knowledge writing about his ‘streetwise’ sense of humour on a range of topics, from the world’s most embarrassing stories to how to explain the mysteries of the universe. In 1997, he and Russell wrote Charles’ Red Dwarf character’s book The Log, in which Lister decides to leave a log detailing mankind’s greatest achievements. In 1998, Charles published No Other Blue, a collection of his poetry, with illustrations by Philippa Drakeford, on diverse personal subjects including prison, his mother’s final illness, love and politics at home and abroad.