Peter Duncan

John Blondel

Actor, film and documentary maker, former Chief Scout and 80’s Blue Peter man, Peter Duncan has a theatre, TV and film career that spans five decades.

Peter began his career on stage joining Olivier’s National Theatre and spent the 1970’s working exclusively as actor. After a stint in repertory theatre playing roles such as Billy Liar and Alan Strang in Equus, he began a TV career playing leading roles in series such as The Childhood Friend, Sons and Lovers, Renoir My Father, Warship, Sam, Fallen Hero, Survivors, King Cinder, Oranges and Lemons, The Flockton Flyer and Space 1999. His feature film credits include Stardust, Quilp, and a famous cameo in Flash Gordon when he was killed by a tree monster.

He joined Blue Peter in 1980 and became a household name going on to make Duncan Dares, a series that played on his adventurous nature with stunts such as driving across the Irish Sea in a VW Beetle, walking the high wire and cleaning the clockface of Big Ben.

After his presenting days he began to appear in musical theatre roles such as Barnum, Bill Snibson in Me And My Girl and as Charlie Chaplin in The Little Tramp. In 1995 he was nominated for an Olivier Award as Best Actor in a musical playing Denry Machin in The Card. He has toured in Alan Ayckbourn's Things We Do For Love, played the twins in Corpse and appeared as Stan Laurel in a production of Laurel and Hardy. He played the roles of Macduff in Macbeth and Fantastic Mr Fox at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park.

In 2013, Peter portrayed the anti-hero in the title role of Charlie Peace at Nottingham Playhouse and Belgrade Theatre in Coventry.

Peter went on to tour with the Original Theatre Company production of Birdsong playing Jack Firebrace, for which he garnered much critical acclaim.

Also in 2014, Peter returned to our TV screens taking part in the BBC celebrity circus and gymnastics show Tumble.

Peter appeared as Wilbur Turnblad in the hit show Hairspray, touring with this production throughout the UK in 2016. 

In 2017, Peter premiered a new play at the Edinburgh Festival, called The Dame written by his daughter Katie. It was followed by a run at the Park Theatre in London, where he was nominated for an Offie.

Other previous TV credits include the 26 part slapstick comedy series Demolition Dad, Channel 4’s The Games and Total Wipeout in which he lost in the final by one second.

In addition to his acting work, Peter has filmed and produced a travel documentary series for the BBC called Travel Bug in which he, his partner Annie and their four children backpacked their way around the world. The two following series of their adventure travels called Chinese Breakaway and Arthur’s Trip to India were broadcast on Channel Five and Sky.

He has a long association with pantomime as his childhood was spent watching his parents, who appeared and produced pantomimes. Peter wrote and directed the pantomimes at Oxford Playhouse for several years and appeared in many others. During the pandemic he filmed and directed two British films Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella which had a national cinema release as well as playing to over 3000 schools and to families at home. His current production is called Pantoland and can be seen this coming Christmas.

He is patron of several charities including British Youth Music Theatre and Action for Children’s Arts and he is co-founder of The Natural Adventure Company. He was given a Gold Blue Peter badge for his volunteer work as leader of the UK’s half a million scouts.

He is delighted and scared to be in his first ghost play.

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