Bernard Cribbins, 1928 – 2022
Bernard Cribbins was an entertainment legend. In a career that spanned over seventy years, he crossed all age gaps and genres appearing in countless TV shows, films and even made records.
Bernard Joseph Cribbins was born on 29th December 1928 in the Derker area of Oldham in Lancashire. He was the son of the cotton weaver Ethel (née Clarkson; 1898–1989) and World War 1 veteran John Edward Cribbins (1896–1964). He had two sisters, alongside whom he grew up close to poverty.
Cribbins described his Father as a “jack of all trades” who also dabbled in acting. Leaving school at the age of 13 the young Bernard Cribbins found a job as an assistant stage manager at a local theatre club, where he also took on some small acting roles going on to serve an apprenticeship at the Oldham Repertory Theatre.
In 1947, Cribbins began his national service serving with the Parachute Regiment.
In 1955, Bernard Cribbins married Gillian Mc Barnet. Whilst they had no children they remained together until her death in 2021.
Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009, in a 2018 interview Cribbins said he was “in good health” at the age of 90 with the exception of a “nagging back condition” . Sadly Bernard Cribbins died on 27th July 2022.
Bernard Cribbins worked across so many genres. He made his his first West End theatre appearance in 1956 at the Arts Theatre, playing the two Dromios in A Comedy Of Errors and co-starred in the first West End productions of Not Now Darling, There Goes the Bride and Run For Your Wife.
In 1960, whilst starring in the revue And Another Thing, he came the attention of Parlophone head George Martin who signed Cribbins to the label to record a single of a satirical song song from the show titled “Folk Song”
This lead to a further 3 top ten hits in 1962, Right Said Fred, The Hole In The Ground and Gossip Calypso
Bernard Cribbins appeared in many films from the early 1950’s right through until 2012. Highlights included:
Two Way Stretch
Three Carry On films perhaps the most notable being Carry On Jack
Of course his first Doctor Who appearance
The Railway Children
Bernard Cribbins The Voice
As well as film, stage and TV work Bernard Cribbins provide his vocal talents to a good number of projects including: The Wombles and cult Public Information Film
TV highlights of which there are many we’ve included a few highlights
He appeared on more Jackanory episodes than any other presenter
That classic Fawlty Towers episode
And of course Doctor Who
A true entertainment legend that will be sadly missed!