Craig Charles Profile

From performance poet to last hope of the human race, it's been quite a ride for Craig.

Craig Charles

The man behind the dreadlocked mullet (or, more correctly, in front of it), is Craig Charles, who used to be a performance poet. He was a bit of a poetry prodigy actually, winning a major poetry prize aged just 12 (and it wasn’t a children’s competition either).

While Charles could have chosen a life of poetic musings, smoking pipes and trying to think of words that rhyme (that's what poets do right?) he chose instead to join the cast of Red Dwarf as none other than world-weary slob Dave Lister, whose only ambition was to retire to Fiji with his beloved Kristine Kochanski. And eat as much vindaloo as possible. But then every human being in the universe died, which sort of put a spanner in the works, and radically decreased his chances of finding a good Indian takeaway. Still, you’ve got to laugh eh?

Clearly getting a bit of a taste for being a space dude and having a love for stupidly long science words, Charles took his place as the ruler of all things gadgety, presenting Robot Wars. While contestants watched as their prized robot creations were smashed to smithereens, Charles provides a running commentary worthy of the 100 metre final in the Olympics. Ok, it probably wasn't that good, but the guy was talking about sellotape-covered cereal boxes most of the time, so let's give him his due.

As a result of his ability to remain quite polite in his ridicule of the nerdy roboteers and their random creations, Charles landed the role of narrator on the UK version of the Japanese game show Takeshi's Castle. It's doubtful even Takeshi himself could have imagined that this almost sadistic series, in which contestants are bashed, bruised, thrown into water, hit with balls and generally embarrassed beyond all comprehension, would turn out to be as popular as it did. But what do you know, the British public are clearly a mean lot. Even Charles struggled to keep his laughter under wraps as he relived the best moments in his 'ridiculous replay'.

Craig's most surprising gig, at least to the huddled, Thermos-carrying ranks of sci-fi nerds everywhere, has surely been Coronation Street. As shocked as the grannies of the Rovers probably where when Charles turned up as rogue cabbie Lloyd, he has proven to have some real staying power – after all, he wasn't a victim of the character-killing tram crash in the 50th anniversary episode. And if that doesn't call for an unnecessarily loud bellowing of the word 'Awooga!', we don't know what does.

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