Derek Fowlds

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Name Derek Fowlds
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London-born character actor who came to the fore on television as ‘Mr. Derek’, straight man to the children’s puppet Basil Brush (succeeding Rodney Bewes in that capacity), then as private secretary and political advisor Bernard Woolley, diligently keeping the reins on obtuse British Cabinet Minister Jim Hacker (Paul Eddington) in Yes Minister (1980), and, finally, as retired police sergeant — turned pub proprietor — Oscar Blaketon during the entire 18-year run of Heartbeat (1992). Having done his national service in the RAF, Fowlds based the Blaketon character on a drill instructor, commenting “”I just cut my hair shorter, slicked it back and shouted a lot and Oscar was born.”

In his youth, Fowlds had aspired to becoming a footballer. He first tried acting in school plays as a bit of a lark. “Just for kicks” he later decided to pursue the profession more seriously, trained at RADA and debuted on stage in a 1961 production of “The Miracle Worker” at London’s Wyndham Theatre. Thereafter, he popped up in the occasional motion picture but was considerably more prolific on the small screen where he regularly alternated between comedy and drama. Early on, he played the lead in his own short-lived detective series, Take a Pair of Private Eyes (1966). His autobiography “A Part Worth Playing” was released in 2015.


  • Birthname: Derek James Fowlds
  • Born: September 2, 1937
  • Born Place: Balham, London, England, UK
  • Height: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
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