Career So Far
- Chris Barrie is one of television's most successful personality comics. Perhaps most famous for his role as disaster-prone leisure centre manager, Gordon Brittas in The Brittas Empire which will be entering its 6th series in Autumn 1995 and Arnold Rimmer the hologram in the cult TV show Red Dwarf the man who only made love to a woman once in his entire life (...and this only came about because she had been hit on the head by a winch!).
- He was also the principal male voice on Spitting Image and the Jasper Carrot Election Special (1983). He is a man of many impressions, including Sean Connery's James Bond, Ronald Reagan, Prince Charles, Robin Day, David Coleman, Sir John Gielgud, Paul Daniels, Barry Norman, John Cole, George Bush, Jack Nicholson and Kenneth Williams. He does not have a favourite impression any more.
- He was born in Germany (his father was in the army) and educated in Northern Ireland. He was a boarder at a Methodist school in Belfast. He loved it. Head boy in his final year.
- Since failed to shine in his final year he sought a job with High Wicombe Council and ended up in a graveyard, filling them in and cleaning the headstones and locking the gates at night. He was not qualified enough to dig the graves!
- He decided to further his education at Brighton Poly and do a Business Studies course. However, after a very short time he decided it was not for him. He wrote a 4 page letter to his parents saying that he wanted to leave and become an actor. He had already joined the drama group and played the lead in 'Dial M for Murder'. He graduated to Waitrose supermarket, gathering Trolleys in the Car Park!
- Then he moved on to the Sports Department of Harrods, selling Jock straps etc. He is funny on this subject and says that this is where he really got going on the impressions. He did put quite a few people's noses out of joint by mimicking them. One of the things he did here was mimic the managing director and telephone one of the salesmen in the department and ask him to bring x amount of cricket bats up the main staircase - the poor old salesman came face to face with the MD on the stairs who promptly tore him off a strip. Chris did own up to this and his career at Harrods was short lived after this!
- From here he went on the dole, watched cricket for a bit and then got a job as a van driver. Had a few disasters here delivering the wrong things to the wrong people before deciding that showbiz was ready for another mimic. He did the circuit including the Comedy Store and got a two-minute spot on the David Essex show. He's been working pretty non stop ever since.
Other Bits And Pieces
- He's decided not to do any more impersonations on television, except for chat shows. He thinks this is because audiences are always comparing impressions and saying things like "that one's not so good".
- He is a great old car enthusiast. He has quite a collection, about 8/9 in all, including a of lorry. Plus a few motorcycles. They are a major part of his life. He sometimes dresses up according to which car he is driving e.g.: If he is riding his 1939 wartime BSA he's got the full kit, jodhpurs and everything! (his dad tells me that he does not do this quite so much anymore) He has loads of automobile memorabilia all around his house.
- Love? He's had one unsuccessful marriage but would like to tie the knot again. He would love to have children. His girlfriend Aleks he met at a bus stop at Waterloo Station, following a bomb scare. He just got chatting to her and they've been together for nearly 3 years. They are buying a home together in the country. Does this mean wedding bells?
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