Christopher Timothy

Last updated

Christopher Timothy
Christopher Timothy.jpg
Timothy in 2012
Born (1940-10-14) 14 October 1940 (age 80)
Alma mater Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
Years active1964–present
Susan Boys
(m. 1965,divorced)

Annie Swatton
(m. 1982)
Relatives Andrew Timothy (father)

Christopher Timothy (born 14 October 1940) is a Welsh actor. He is known for his roles as James Herriot in All Creatures Great and Small , Mac McGuire in the BBC soap opera Doctors and Ted Murray in the BBC soap opera EastEnders .


Early life

Timothy was born in Bala, North Wales, attended the Priory Grammar school in Shrewsbury, and trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama. [1]


In the 1960s, Timothy was part of Laurence Olivier's National Theatre company and appeared in such productions as The Master Builder , Juno and the Paycock and Olivier's Othello . [2] Timothy's television career started with the 1969 series Take Three Girls , and he went on to appear in UFO (1970 episode "The Psychobombs"), Doctor at Large in 1971, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em in 1973 and Murder Most English: A Flaxborough Chronicle in 1977 before winning the role of Herriot. He played the role for the full 90 episodes, from 1978 until 1990. [3] Timothy later recalled meeting the author, Alf Wight, who had "a soft, lilting Scottish accent – though I was told to keep my speech neutral to retain the universality of the part. Which I thought was complete bollocks". [4]

His film career included roles in Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1967), Alfred The Great (1969), The Virgin Soldiers (1969), Spring and Port Wine (1970), The Mind of Mr. Soames (1970), Up the Chastity Belt (1971), and the sex comedy Eskimo Nell (1975).

In 1980, he played Jesus Christ in the York Mystery Plays. In 2000, he was cast as Mac McGuire in the BBC soap opera Doctors staying in the series for six years, and directing some of the episodes. For the full seven series of 90 episodes, he played the lead role in the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small which started airing in 1978 and concluded in 1990.

In 2004, he made an appearance in Casualty as the murderer of long-standing character Finlay Newton. He also appeared as a special guest on ITV1 drama The Bill , which was aired on New Years Day 2009. More recently he has appeared in Lewis (ITV1) in the episode "Wild Justice", The Grapes of Wrath, All the Fun of the Fair, Haunting Julia and Casualty (2014).

He is the son of BBC announcer Andrew Timothy, and has done regular voice work himself including taking his father's place as the Announcer for the Goon Again Show in 2001 marking the 50th anniversary of The Goon Show (Andrew had been the announcer for the show back in the early 1950s). He played the Announcer role on The Kinks' 1974 double album, Preservation Act 2 .

He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 2000 when he was surprised by Michael Aspel on the set of Doctors at the BBC's Pebble Mill studios in Birmingham. [5]

He voiced and appeared in numerous television commercials for The Sun newspaper in the 1970s (which were extremely unusual for the time in the level of energy and even aggression evident in Timothy's delivery). In this role he was featured in the 2017 stage production of Ink , played by Jack Holden and directed by Rupert Goold, at the Almeida Theatre, London. [6] He appeared in BBC Radio's Just a Minute in 1988 and 1989. He was also used in the marketing material for Dignity plc, primarily for their prepaid funeral plans.

In 2008 Timothy took part in the BBC Wales programme Coming Home about his Welsh family history. In 2011, he played himself in the audio drama We are not the BBC [7] written by Susan Casanove and produced by the Wireless Theatre Company.

He returned to theatre in March 2013 in The Living Room . [8] In 2014 he played Inspector Hubbard in the UK tour of the stage thriller Dial M for Murder . [9]

In April 2017, it was announced that he would be joining the BBC soap opera EastEnders as regular character Ted Murray, in which he made his last appearance on 27 September 2019. [10] Timothy appeared with Peter Davison in two series of Great British Car Journeys for Channel 4 in 2018 and 2019. [11] IHe also appeared in Midsomer Murder S21E1 “The Point of Balance” as Ned Barnaby. In February 2020 Timothy appeared in Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators as Chamberlain, episode #3.3 "The Sticking Place".

In April 2020 Timothy appeared in ITV Series Kate & Koji (Series 1, episode 5) When Kate's flashy ex-husband Dennis arrives in town with his much younger wife, Kate feigns an attachment to Koji

Timothy had narrated the first nine series of Channel 5's The Yorkshire Vet which features veterinarians Julian Norton and Peter Wright. He had hoped to do so for the tenth series as well, but was self-isolating due to the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020. Peter Davison was asked to take on the role, because his home was equipped with a recording studio, allowing him to complete the project in spite of the lockdown. Timothy was gracious in his comments. "I’m so sorry not to be able to do the voiceover for The Yorkshire Vet right now, but I can’t tell you all how delighted I am that Peter is taking over. He most definitely would be my first choice while I’m in lockdown!" [12] [13]

Timothy had also narrated the audio books of the James Herriot series, written by veterinarian Alf Wight who practiced for decades in Thirsk. [14]

Personal life

Timothy has been married twice; first to Susan Boys, with whom he had four sons and two daughters. During the 1978–1980 first run of All Creatures Great and Small, he had an affair with his on-screen wife, Carol Drinkwater. [15] He has been married to Annie Veronica Swatton since 1982, and they have one daughter. [16]

He is a supporter of National League football club Hartlepool United.



1965 Othello Cypriot Officer
1968 Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush Spike
1969 Alfred the Great Cerdic
The Virgin Soldiers Cpl. Brook
1970 Spring and Port Wine Joe
The Mind of Mr. Soames T.V. Camera Operator
1972 Up the Chastity Belt Vendor
1975 Eskimo Nell Harris Tweedle


1967Boy Meets GirlCowperEpisode: "Long After Summer"
1967 Theatre 625 AndreyushkinEpisode: "The Single Passion"
1967Much Ado About NothingServerTV film
1968Half Hour StoryCaveEpisode: "The Money Spider"
1969 Thirty-Minute Theatre AndreaEpisode: "These Men Are Dangerous: Mussolini"
1969 BBC Play of the Month CinnaEpisode: "Julius Caesar"
1969Galton and Simpson ComedyTonyEpisode: "Friends in High Places"
1969World in FermentVariousEpisode: #1.6
1970 BBC Play of the Month FedotikEpisode: "The Three Sisters"
1970 ITV Sunday Night Theatre ValentineEpisode: "Twelfth Night"
1970 Take Three Girls HenleyEpisode: "Gloria for First Offence"
1970 Hark at Barker P.C. BillingsEpisode: "Rustless on Law"
1970 ITV Playhouse MarkEpisode: "A Family and a Fortune"
1970 Hark at Barker BarryEpisode: "Rustless on Sport"
1970MenaceDavidEpisode: "The Straight and the Narrow"
1970 UFO Skydiver 3 NavigatorEpisode: "The Psychobombs"
1971 Six Dates with Barker AlbertEpisode: "1937: The Removals Person"
1971 The Liver Birds HarryEpisode: "Three's a Crowd"
1971 Z Cars George SwainsonEpisode: "Triangle Squared: Part 1"
1971 The Two Ronnies HarryEpisode: #1.7
1971 Doctor at Large Car SalesmanEpisode: "A Little Help from My Friends"
1971 Kate Bob2 episodes
1971 The Fenn Street Gang Tony LawsonEpisode: "The Start of Something Big"
1971 ITV Sunday Night Theatre Tony Abbott3 episodes
1972The PathfindersFlight Lt. Bill BoothEpisode: "Our Daffodils Are Better Than Your Daffodils"
1973 The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes SolicitorEpisode: "The Mysterious Death on the Underground Railway"
1973The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie ChaplinCorporalTV film
1973The Upper CrustsParsloeEpisode: "By Endeavour Alone"
1973 ITV Sunday Night Theatre Tom PalmerEpisode: "Harlequinade"
1973 Crown Court Richard Quennel3 episodes
1973 Van der Valk ErnestEpisode: "The Rainbow Ends Here"
19732nd HouseL. Cpl. JohnsonEpisode: "National Service"
1973 Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em RoyEpisode: "Frank and Marvin"
1973 Murder Must Advertise Mr. WillisAll 4 episodes
1975RoomsTim2 episodes
1975 Goose with Pepper SergeantTV film
1976KillersSidney Harry FoxEpisode: "Murder at the Metropole"
1976 The Dick Emery Show Various2 episodes
1977Murder Most EnglishDet. Sgt. LoveAll 7 episodes
1977 Van der Valk PolicemanEpisode: "The Professor"
1977BBC2 Play of the WeekKevinEpisode: "The Kitchen"
1978-1990 All Creatures Great and Small James HerriotAll 90 episodes
1978 Return of the Saint The GentEpisode: "The Poppy Chain"
1982 Take Three Women HenleyEpisode: "Victoria"
1984All the World's a StageVarious2 episodes
1984See How They RunLt. Cpl. Clive Winton
1986-1988 Hot Metal Voiceover5 episodes
1987 C.A.T.S. Eyes Voice on CommercialEpisode: "Carrier Pigeon"
1987-1988 The Kenny Everett Television Show Various2 episodes
1998 The Bill D.S. DuffieldEpisode: "Big Day"
2000 Holby City Chris CollinsEpisode: "A Life Worth Saving"
2000-2006 Doctors Dr. Brendan 'Mac' McGuire955 episodes
2004 Casualty Karl Ackerman4 episodes
2009 The Bill Jeff PhelpsEpisode: "The Morning After"
2011 Lewis Barry WinterEpisode: "Wild Justice"
2014 Casualty Richard LyndEpisode: "Once in a Lifetime"
2017-2019 EastEnders Ted Murray128 episodes
2019 Midsomer Murders Ned BarnabyEpisode: "The Point of Balance"
2020 Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators Major Terence BenedickEpisode: "The Sticking Place"
2020 Kate & Koji DennisEpisode: #1.5

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  1. "Passed/Failed: An education in the life of the actor Christopher". The Independent . 15 January 2009.
  2. Olivier at Work, ed. Lyn Haill, 1989, pp 89-95
  3. What happened to the All Creatures Great and Small cast after the original BBC series ended
  4. How we made All Creatures Great and Small
  5. "Christopher Timothy". Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  6. programme note
  7. "We are not the BBC". Archived from the original on 22 October 2013.
  8. Michael Billington (13 March 2013). "The Living Room – review". The Guardian . Archived from the original on 30 May 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  9. "Dial M for Murder - UK Tour 2014". Archived from the original on 16 August 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  10., Duncan Lindsay for (2 April 2017). "EastEnders casts a new couple carrying secrets from the past". Metro. Archived from the original on 29 May 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  11. "Great British Car Journeys". Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  12. "Peter Davison will now narrate The Yorkshire Vet instead of Christopher Timothy". Yorkshire Post. 21 April 2020. Retrieved 26 February 2021. Peter Davison, who played Tristan Farnon in the television adaptation of James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small stories, will take over from Christopher Timothy to narrate The Yorkshire Vet.
  13. "Peter Davison to narrate Channel 5's The Yorkshire Vet". Evening Express. 20 April 2020. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  14. Christopher Timothy narrated Audio Books
  15. Stanford, Peter (15 November 2008). "A tear in Provence". Irish Independent . Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  16. Mike Godfrey (4 April 2012). "Whatever Happened to the "All Creatures Great and Small" Cast?". Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2016.