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Bernie Clifton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bernie Clifton
Bernard Quinn

(1936-04-22) 22 April 1936 (age 84)

Bernard Quinn (born 22 April 1936),[1] known by the stage name Bernie Clifton, is a British comedian and entertainer, known best for his work with his orange ostrich puppet costume Oswald the Ostrich.[2]

Early life

Clifton grew up in St Helens, Lancashire.[2]


Clifton's first performing job was as a singer with a dance band, however he was fired after a month.[2] His first television performance was on the light entertainment show The Good Old Days, where he was inspired by Les Dawson.[2]

He performed in the 1979 Royal Variety Performance.[3] Since then he has performed in it several times, including 2016.[4]

He was a regular appearance on Crackerjack!.[5] During the 1980s, he appeared on The Keith Harris Show,[6] and in 1982, Clifton ran the London Marathon with Oswald the Ostrich.[1]

In 2002, Clifton featured on the BBC2 documentary series The Entertainers, which followed 1970s and 80s entertainers who had dropped out of the limelight.[7] In 2005, Clifton and Oswald appeared in the music video for Peter Kay and Tony Christie's Comic Relief version of "(Is This the Way to) Amarillo".[3]

He made his Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut in 2006 at the Udderbelly venue. Writing in The Guardian, Brian Logan gave it 3 out of 5 stars and called it an "exercise in retro comedy", but "also unrepentantly funny".[8]

Clifton was a contestant on Series 5 of The Voice UK, applying under his birth name. He performed "The Impossible Dream (The Quest)" from Man of La Mancha, and did not advance past the blind auditions.[1] Following his appearance on the show he released an album of covers called The Impossible Dream, which included "The Lady in Red" and "Wind Beneath My Wings".[9] After a death metal band's song titles were printed on his album cover by mistake, Clifton presented an award at the Kerrang! Awards in June 2016.[10]

In 2018, he starred in ITV's Last Laugh in Vegas, a documentary following eight "showbiz legends" as they prepare a show in Las Vegas.[11]

In January 2020, Clifton appeared as a guest on the first episode of the new series of Crackerjack! on CBBC.[12] In February, he played himself in the first episode of Meet The Richardsons on Dave.[13] Within the episode, he is a family friend of Jon Richardson and teaches him how to operate a monkey puppet similar to his ostrich.[14]

Clifton has starred in several pantomimes, playing the father of Cinderella at the Hull New Theatre in 2018 and at Northampton's Royal & Derngate in 2019.[15][16] He has also presented various shows on BBC Radio Sheffield,[17][18] and BBC Radio 4.[19][20]


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1979 Royal Variety Performance Himself [3]
2002 The Entertainers Himself [7]
2016 The Voice UK Himself Series 5, episode 1 [1][3]
2016 Royal Variety Performance Himself [4]
2018 Last Laugh in Vegas Himself 5 episodes [11]
2020 Crackerjack! Himself 1 episode [12]
2020 Meet The Richardsons Himself 1 episode [13]


  1. ^ a b c d "Bernie Clifton auditions on The Voice". BBC News. 9 January 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Jamieson, Georgy (16 September 2017). "Bernie Clifton interview". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d Ward, Rachel (10 January 2016). "Bernie Clifton moves Ricky Wilson to tears after surprise performance on The Voice". The Telegraph.
  4. ^ a b Lawrence, Ben (13 December 2016). "Is the Royal Variety Performance still fit for a king (or queen)?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  5. ^ Singh, Anita (11 February 2019). "Crackerjack makes a comeback: BBC revives children's show for a new generation". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  6. ^ Singh, Anita (28 April 2015). "Keith Harris, Orville ventriloquist, dies at 67". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  7. ^ a b Smith, Rupert (16 September 2002). "A generation of TV veterans are back". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  8. ^ Logan, Brian (17 August 2006). "Bernie Clifton, Udderbelly, Edinburgh". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Bernie Clifton in death metal mix-up". BBC News. 25 April 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Bernie Clifton to go to Kerrang! Awards". BBC News. 9 June 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Last Laugh In Vegas - ITV Factual". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  12. ^ a b "CBBC - Crackerjack!, Series 1, One". BBC. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  13. ^ a b Guide, British Comedy. "Meet The Richardsons Series 1, Episode 1". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  14. ^ Young, Lottie (27 February 2020). "Meet The Richardsons offers a peek into the life of a comedy couple". Evening Standard. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  15. ^ Wiser, Danny (23 December 2018). "Pantomime starring Anita Dobson criticised as 'sexist and lewd' as audience walk out during show". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  16. ^ Mooney, Lauren (11 December 2019). "Cinderella review at Royal and Derngate, Northampton". The Stage. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  17. ^ "BBC Radio Sheffield - Live-ish, 23/03/2019". BBC. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  18. ^ "BBC Radio Sheffield - BBC Radio Sheffield Special, The Golden Days of Working Men's Clubs". BBC. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  19. ^ Hepworth, David (26 October 2013). "Next week's radio: from Richard Tauber Revived to Studio 360". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  20. ^ Daoust, Phil (28 December 2006). "Radio pick of the day: The Material World | Under the Skin | The Pallisers". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 March 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 19 November 2020, at 07:12
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