British actor, comedian, author, poet, television presenter and DJ. He is best known for playing Dave Lister in the science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf and Lloyd Mullaney in the soap opera Coronation Street, as a listening to music craig wright pdf and soul DJ on BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio 2, and as the presenter of the gladiator-style game show Robot Wars from 1998 to 2004. Charles first appeared on television as a performance poet, which led to minor presenting roles.
After finding fame in Red Dwarf, he regularly featured on national television with celebrity appearances on many popular shows while he continued to host a wide variety of programmes. Charles is also known for narrating the comedy endurance show Takeshi’s Castle. From 2017, he has hosted The Gadget Show for Channel 5. His acting credits include playing inmate Eugene Buffy in the ITV drama The Governor, and leading roles in the British films Fated and Clubbing to Death.
He has toured the UK extensively as a stand-up comedian. Charles has hosted The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show on BBC radio since 2002, and performs DJ sets at numerous clubs and festivals, nationally and internationally. In September 2015, he left Coronation Street after ten years, to film new episodes of Red Dwarf. Charles was born in Liverpool to a Guyanese father and Irish mother.
He attended West Derby Comprehensive School followed by Childwall Hall College of Further Education, studying A-levels in History, Government and Politics, English Literature and General Studies. Charles won a national competition, run by The Guardian newspaper, for a poem he wrote when he was 12 years old. On leaving school Charles spent time working in a studio at Central Hall, Renshaw Street, Liverpool. With his gradual flowering as a poet emerged a certain boldness and self-confidence.
Charles began his career as a contemporary and urban performance poet on the British cabaret circuit. His performances were considered original, with Charles described as having a natural ironic wit which appealed to talent scouts. In 1981, Charles climbed on stage at a Teardrop Explodes concert and recited a humorous, but derogatory, poem about the band’s singer, Julian Cope.
Charles was involved in the Liverpool music scene, writing and singing lyrics for a number of local rock bands. In 1980, he played keyboards, bass and provided voice in the rock band Watt 4. He performed his political rap lyrics as a ‘Wordsmith’.
In 1983, Charles was invited to record a session on the John Peel BBC Radio show, performing his poems backed by a band. This was his first professional engagement. He recorded a further Peel Session in 1984. Charles realised he was using poetry as a vehicle for his sense of humour and progressed into stand-up comedy.
He was part of the Red Wedge comedy tour in 1986, which aimed to raise awareness of the social problems of the time, in support of the Labour Party. He also performed his first one-man show in 1986, which premiered in Edinburgh, and then toured internationally. Charles first appeared on television as the resident poet on the arts programme Riverside on BBC2 and on the day-time BBC1 chat show Pebble Mill at One. Charles included significant acting in his performance style, enabling him to put the emotion across.
In September 2015, Charles performed his “epic” poem Scary Fairy and the Tales of the Dark Wood live with the BBC Philharmonic orchestra, in a concert to be broadcast on BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night at Halloween. Charles acquired cult status in 1988, in his first television acting role, as the Liverpudlian slob Dave Lister, in BBC2’s science fiction comedy series Red Dwarf.