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Geoffrey Hughes (actor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Geoffrey Hughes

Geoffrey Hughes.jpg
Hughes as he appeared in Heartbeat
Born(1944-02-02)2 February 1944
Died27 July 2012(2012-07-27) (aged 68)[2]
Years active1966–2010
Susan Hughes
(m. 1975)

Geoffrey Hughes DL (2 February 1944 – 27 July 2012) was an English actor. Hughes provided the voice of Paul McCartney in the animated film Yellow Submarine (1968), and rose to fame for portraying much-loved bin man Eddie Yeats in the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street from 1974 to 1983, making a return to the show in 1987. He is well known for playing loveable slob Onslow in the British sitcom Keeping Up Appearances (1990–1995); and 'Twiggy' in the sitcom The Royle Family, playing the part from 1998 to 2000, and reprising his role for the specials in 2006 and 2008.

From 2001 to 2005 he played Vernon Scripps, conman and loveable rogue, in the ITV police drama Heartbeat, taking over as the show's main loveable rogue from Bill Maynard's Claude Greengrass, and returning to the show briefly in 2007.

Hughes was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the 1990s, and in 2010 he suffered a cancer relapse which led him to retire from acting. He died from the illness, aged 68, in 2012.

Life and career

Hughes was born in Wallasey, Cheshire, to parents Ada and Bill. He had one younger brother, Gordon. He was brought up in Liverpool, where he attended Ranworth Square Primary School. He then went to Abbotsford Secondary Modern School in Norris Green, Liverpool. He started his career in repertory at the Victoria Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent. This was followed by his first West End production, the Lionel Bart and Alun Owen musical Maggie May. His other West End productions included the stage version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Say Goodnight to Grandma, The Secret Life of Cartoons and several seasons of Run for your Wife. He later played Pistol in an open-air production of Henry V at Barnwell Manor. He also toured extensively in Britain and abroad. Among his many other appearances on television are: An Arrow for Little Audrey; The Saint; Shadows of Fear; Z-Cars; Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased); Flying Lady; Making Out; Coasting; Doctor Who; Spender; and Boon. He played Trinculo in a version of The Tempest for the BBC and Squire Clodpoll in Good Friday 1663, one of Channel Four's new avant-garde operas. His comedy appearances on TV include The Likely Lads, Please Sir!, Dad's Army, Curry and Chips, No, Honestly, The Upper Hand and the character of Onslow in the BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances.

Hughes' film credits included Smashing Time (1967), The Bofors Gun (1968), Till Death Us Do Part (1969), The Virgin Soldiers (1969), The Man Who Had Power Over Women (1970), Revenge (1971), Carry On at Your Convenience (1971), Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall (1973), Tiffany Jones (1973), Confessions of a Driving Instructor (1976), Nijinsky (1980), and Flick (2008). He was also the voice of Paul McCartney in the Beatles' 1968 cartoon film Yellow Submarine.

In 1974, Hughes was cast as binman Eddie Yeats in the long-running soap opera Coronation Street. Over the next nine years he became, with Stan Ogden (as played by Bernard Youens), a foil to Stan's long-suffering wife Hilda (Jean Alexander). He left the series in 1983, making a brief final return appearance in 1987 as part of Hilda's departure from the series. In later years he was offered the opportunity to return to the show, but declined.[citation needed]

Hughes usually appeared in pantomime over the Christmas period.[3] He appeared on That Antony Cotton Show on 6 September 2007, in which he spoke about his role in a short film called Expresso, which also starred Sir Norman Wisdom. Hughes played the part of a man who visits a coffee shop for a "normal" coffee but is served by a pompous waiter. The film was sold in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

In 2007, he performed the Angel Gabriel in the BBC production Liverpool Nativity.[4] From 2007, he also appeared in the first three series of the E4 drama Skins as a recurring character best known as Uncle Keith.

At Christmas 2008 he returned to play Twiggy in The Royle Family's Christmas Special titled "The New Sofa".

In 2009 he played Frank in Tim Firth's Absolutely Frank at the Oldham Coliseum Theatre and at the Harrogate Theatre.[5]

Personal life

Hughes' off-stage interests were sailing, football, golf, cricket, rock music, trees, and beer. He was also the Honorary Squire of the Dartington Morris Men and made an appearance at the Dartington Morris Ring meeting in September 2008. His musical interests included British folk rock and he compered at Fairport's Cropredy Convention annual music festival several times.[6]

Hughes was a supporter of Everton Football Club.

In 2009 he was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight.[7]


Hughes received a diagnosis of prostate cancer in 1996.[8] He died from the illness on 27 July 2012.[9]

He thought he had beaten the cancer, but in 2010, he collapsed at home with extreme back pain. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer again. Doctors said that he died "peacefully in his sleep".[10] He is survived by his wife Sue.[11]


Year Title Role
1967 The Saint – Series 5 Episode 25: "The Power Artists" Party Boy (uncredited)
Smashing Time Builder
Asterix the Gaul Phonus Balonus/Various (voice, uncredited)
1968 The Bofors Gun Pvt. Samuel (cook)
Yellow Submarine Paul McCartney (voice)
1968-1974 Z Cars Billy Garvin, Wynne, Bartram, Mickey
1969 Please Sir – Series 2 Episode 1: "They're Off" Turner
Curry and Chips Dick
1970 Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) – Episode 17: Somebody Just Walked Over My Grave Harper
Up Pompeii! – Episode 1: Vestal Virgins Piteous
The Man Who Had Power Over Women Policeman
1971 The Blood on Satan's Claw Drinking Villager (uncredited)
Carry On at Your Convenience As Willie
1972 Dad's Army – 1 Episode: Brain Versus Brawn The Bridge Corporal
1973 Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall Larry
1974–1983, 1987 Coronation Street Eddie Yeats
1975 Don't Drink the Water – Series 2 Episode 3: "Helping Hand" Frank
1980 Nijinsky Gavrilov
1985 The Bright Side Mr. Lithgow
1986 Doctor WhoThe Trial of a Time Lord, Parts 13 & 14 Mr. Popplewick
1989-1993 I, Lovett Dirk
1990 You Rang, M'Lord? Sir Fred Kendal
1990–1995 Keeping Up Appearances Onslow
1993 The Upper Hand Ray
1998–2000, 2006, 2008 The Royle Family Twiggy
2001–2005, 2007 Heartbeat Vernon Scripps
2007 Casualty Si Blake
2007–2009 Skins Fat B*stard, Brandy, Uncle Keith


  1. ^ Craig Manning (30 July 2012). "Tributes to Wirral-born Coronation Street star". The Wirral Globe. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  2. ^ Mike Keegan (28 July 2012). "Actor Geoffrey Hughes – Coronation Street's Eddie Yates – dies aged 68". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  3. ^ Weston, Alan (5 August 2010). "Geoffrey Hughes career on stage, TV and screen". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  4. ^ "New nativity story played to city". BBC. 16 December 2007. Retrieved 26 December 2009.
  5. ^ "Preview: Absolutely Frank, Harrogate Theatre, February 26 to March 14".
  6. ^ Fairport's Cropredy Convention Official Souvenir Programme 2007; Fairport's Cropredy Convention Official Souvenir Programme; 2008, page 1
  7. ^ "Geoffrey Hughes: Versatile actor who was happy to be cast as the lovable scouser". 30 July 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  8. ^ Shepherd, Melinda C. (23 July 2019). "Geoffrey Hughes". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Coronation Street actor Geoffrey Hughes dies aged 68". BBC News. 28 July 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  10. ^ Jones, Cass (28 July 2012). "Actor Geoffrey Hughes dies aged 68". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  11. ^ Hayward, Anthony (29 July 2012). "Geoffrey Hughes obituary". The Guardian. Scott Trust. Archived from the original on 14 July 2019. Retrieved 6 September 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 December 2021, at 02:08
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