Friday 7 July 2023

Brian Croucher

Actor Brian Croucher in Out

Brian Croucher:

Tough looking customer Brian Croucher is probably best known as Ted Hills in the BBC soap EastEnders in the mid-90s, but you're almost certain to recognise him from many TV appearances before that. Very much in step with the gritty dramas of the late 60s and early 70s, you'll spot him on both sides of the law in 'Callan', 'Villains', 'Softly Softly: Task Force' and others, culminating in the relentless 'Out' in 1978, with Brian Cox.   

In the teen sci-fi adventure series, The Jensen Code.
Made in colour in 1973, it only survives in b&w. 

Things broaden out a bit as the '70s roll on. He is well known in Whovian circles for the Tom Baker-era 'Robots of Death' in which he plays Borg, complete with eye makeup and glitter costume. More space camp was to follow when he took over from Steven (Harry Fenning) Grief in the role of leather-clad baddie Travis in 'Blakes 7'. 

In the 'Dr Who' adventure 'Robots of Death'

Travis trains his rather Alvin Stardust ring weapon
on the crew of the Liberator in 'Blakes 7'  

Into the 80s with an entertaining mix of action and comedy favourites. We've got 'The Professionals', 'Shoestring', 'The New Avengers', 'Quatermass' and 'Blood Money' nicely balancing 'The Young Ones', 'The Lenny Henry Show', 'Filthy Rich & Catflap' and 'Chance In A Million' - with 'Minder'  somewhere in the middle. No 'Sweeney' though, which seems surprising.

'Out' - gritty, well written stuff from ITV

And more of the same into the 90s, with the EastEnders role ongoing for a couple of years or more. Around the same time you might notice him popping up all serious in 'Wycliffe', 'Rockliffe's Babies' or 'Fools' Gold' -  the Sean Bean drama based on the Brinks-Mat robberies. Or you might see him in some well-liked comedy including 'Bottom' and 'The Comic Strip Presents' (he must have got on well with that bunch), 'The Upper Hand', 'Birds Of A Feather', and spoofing some of his old roles in 'The Detectives'.   


Classic mid-90s 'EastEnders'

On the big screen, he can chalk up a few interesting oddities, such as the kitchen sink Roy Harper vehicle 'Made' (1972), 'Burke & Hare' (1972), 'O Lucky Man' (1973), that delightful short with Leonard Rossiter, 'The Waterloo Bridge Handicap' (1978), 'Scrubbers' (1982), 'I'll Sleep When I'm Dead' (2003), and 'Big Fat Gypsy Gangster' (2011). 

He does a few 'Casualty', 'Doctors' and 'The Bill', like most working character actors will these days, and he's an excellent interview subject and a popular raconteur among 'Dr Who' and 'Blakes 7' fans. A broader salute is due.               

Brian Croucher-imdb