David Graham

I was born with the acting gene raging inside me. After many decades it is still there as virulent as ever, for which I give thanks.

Theatre, television, radio, and the voice field – yours truly has cracked them all. On the professional roller coaster I have hung in there. My highs have been working in Laurence Olivier’s company at the National Theatre and appearing with him in Saturday Sunday Monday and using my Italian accent.

One evening during the run we had a scene with a family meal at which we ate ragu, a meaty dish. The only problem was that the meat was off. Much mirth ensued. (It’s called corpsing in the trade). The great  man read us a lecture the following day.

Another highlight was to do two plays with the mighty Len Rossiter. Playing with him was like working with a human dynamo. His energy was demonic. You had to be at your best to keep up with him. His early death at the peak of his career was a tragic loss.

I was lucky to be born with, as they say, ‘a good ear’ which has been of great benefit to me in my voice career. I have been lucky to have created some legendary voices: Parker and Brains in Thunderbirds; the Dalek voices in Dr Who; and latterly Grandpa Pig in Peppa Pig and the Wise Old Elf and the Gnome in Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom.

I have just finished a short film called One For Sorrow. The cast was me, playing an elderly loner, a dog, and a magpie. I found the magpie difficult to work with. It was always trying to get cheep laughs.

So there we are. It has been a great ride -  bumpy at times  – but I have loved almost every minute of it and you never know what’s round the corner.

Overture and beginners please!

David Graham

August 2011

If you want to get in touch, you can leave comments on any of the site pages. I will try to respond to any questions but please be patient with me – I don’t always find this new technology easy to use!

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50 Responses to About Me

  • Ruth Goodman says:

    Hello David,
    Enjoyed reading your biog and particularly your amusing stories about the plays you have been in. I recall well Sat, Sun Mon at the National (but must have been there on a night when the meat was fresh and kosher) can still recall the delicious smell that emanated from the stage!
    Also remember the fantastic production of Arturo Uri with you and Len Rossiter. The image of him on the tall platform, resembling a ranting Hitler sent shivers down my spine. My favourite memory of you on a personal level is at Mike’s barmitzvah when you delighted us by giving us the ‘monkey cry’ from Four Feathers Falls. (Hope that was the name!) and some souvenirs from Thunderbirds. You were our hero! How about joining us for a cousins’ eve one of these days? Keep up the good work David! Much love, Ruth xxx

    • david graham says:

      Dear Ruth Just picked up your newsy message. Yes it has been an interesting journey with a few bumps along the way. Am still doing the odd voice over but not much of the visual stuff. Trust that you and the family are well and will be in touch regarding the cousins’ eve.

      Love David

    • Jacob Van Aggelen says:

      Hey David love your voices on peppa pig and ben and holly
      Grandpa pig and wise old elf my nephew loves the shows take care ☺ Jacob

  • Dear Mr Graham.

    Everyday I listen to the Christian O’Connell breakfast show on Absolute Radio (1215am). A national award winning radio station which my father insisted upon me listening to from a very early age!

    Anyway, next week (from Monday 3rd October) they are running a charity competition to try and get the “coolest” person from the 80′s phoning their station and doing a short interview.

    I was wondering whether you’d be kind enough to phone them for me… As the voice of the Daleks I can think of nobody better!

    I still remember cowering behind the sofa at the very sight of a dalek and this “invader” really sums up that whole era for me (although i’m aware they were about far before the 80′s!)

    If you would be kind enough to give the show a call on *****215 then I would very much appreciate it… and if you would donate the winning money (if you won) to epilepsy research then I would be eternally grateful… although you may have charities you prefer.

    The show runs everyday from 6-9am.. and i’m sure they also do pre-recorded interviews too… can you help?

    thank you for your time and I sincerely hope you can help out!

    all the best.

    Pete Jefferson.

    • david graham says:

      Dear Pete Only just picked up your message alas too late to take any action on the date you mentioned. Perhaps another time. I also appeared in two Dr Who stories in vision.

      Best wishes David Graham

  • Paul Warlow says:

    Hi David, and was checking out a few old colleagues of mine from my London days as a jobbing carpenter.
    So great to see you have a web site, or as the kids say these days say…so cool to see you have a web site.
    Glad to see you are still keeping busy, can’t keep a good man down.

    Anyhow…
    I used to do a few bit of maintenance around your lovely apartment approx 12 of more years ago to make a crust…
    You were very kind to read a (not so funny) comedy script of mine at the time, something about a “rogue newspaper letter writer”… it was totally forgettable and unfunny, but, you were too polite to point the obvious out in black and white at the time… how kind.
    Anyhow and regardless, I stuck with my mad “goal” and eventually had some success in my (new) home country of the last 11 years… Wales (a place to the left of England… of course, this depends on where you are viewing this Wales place from…)
    Had a (small 6 x 10) comedy series made for BBC Wales Produced by Gareth Gwenlan and some radio stuff too… other than that, still doing some writing, and still doing more carpentry…
    Whenever I see your name on the old box, always proud to think of the times I shared your company, and how you were an encouraging and positive part of my life.

    Keep fit and keep well.
    With kind regards…
    Paul Warlow

    • david graham says:

      Dear Paul How nice to hear from you and for your kind words. I am still doing the odd job which isn’t bad for a bloke in his mid-eighties. Pleased that you have had some success with your writing. I have heard of Gareth Gwenlan. Perhaps we could still do something together? I am still in good voice and am reasonably fit. Thanks again for your message.

      Very best wishes David

  • Jo Nicholson says:

    Hi David,

    Goodness me, what an exciting time you have had! It’s great to read about your life and professional career.

    I’m still reeling from the news that the voice of mine and my children’s much beloved Wise Old Elf (and Grandpa Pig) is also the voice of the daleks and two of the Thunderbirds!

    Glad to have found your site.

    Jo

    • david graham says:

      Dear Jo Only just picked up your message which was good for my ego. Am still recording Ben and Holly. Like all actors i have had my highs and lows but have enjoyed the ride. By the way I have a website davidgraham.co which you may like to look at. Many thanks for your interest.

      Best wishes David

  • Gillian Black says:

    I don’t know whether its because I am a woman, but voices particularly appealed to me almost more than any visual stimuli ever could. I have loved voices from the likes of Richard Burton to Viggo Mortensen to name a few. I can honestly say that you have a wonderful voice and I only hope to hear it in more adult feature films. I think it would translate to comedy, either in a series or film. I have a 4 year old son who thinks the “wise old elf” is sooo funny. I can’t wait to tell my husband that the wise old elf is now in the witness protection and was formely a dalek! I know Nanny Plum is always mean to you, but I secretly think she has a crush on you! Anyway take care for now and please keep on working. My very best regards Gillian

    • david graham says:

      Dear Gillian Many thanks for your charming message. I was flattered to be mentioned in the same terms as Richard Burton. Very pleased that your four year old is a fan of the “wise old elf” I certainly enjoy giving voice to him. By the way I have a new website which you may care to look at. The address is davidgraham.co Must rush as I have a date with Nanny Plum.

      Thanks once again and best wishes David

  • Dwain Longley says:

    Hello Mr Graham, firstly thank you for taking time too read this I appreciate you are busy. Can I just say that you are a fantastic actor and voice artist. You brough many a happy hour to myself as a child voicing parker amoung others on TB and now as a 20 something dad of 4 you are still bringing laughter to my children as the wise old elf. I was wandering if possible could I request an autograph of yourself and if this is possible where should i send my s.a.e, kind regards
    Dwain

    • david graham says:

      Dear Dwain Many thanks for your message and kind words regarding my work. My main focus has always been to give pleasure to people in this difficult world. I would be happy to send you my autograph and a picture. Please write c/o my Agent David Daly Associates 586a Kings Road London SW6 2DX. Please tell your children that the Wise Old Elf sends his best wishes. For what it’s worth I also do the voice of the greedy Gnome.

      Best wishes David Graham

  • Steve Chung says:

    Mr. Graham, having enjoyed watching The Dalek Invasion of Earth on DVD, I just wanted to say thank you (and Peter Hawkins) for voicing the Daleks. Whenever I watch a Doctor Who episode, classic or new, I always have the feeling these characters from the planet of Skaro are having more fun than the other characters in the serial and deliver their lines with such manic intensity which cannot help but be admired.

    I just want to say be it Thunderbirds or Doctor Who, thank you for imbuing these characters with hearts and souls.

    Sincerely,
    Steve Chung

    • david graham says:

      Dear Steve Thanks for your message and kind words about my work on Dr Who etc. I have been fortunate in a long career to have been a part of series which have caught the public’s imagination. Best wishes for the New Year.

      David

  • Mark Britten says:

    Hi David

    As well as your acting resume, I would be very interested to see a section of your website devoted to your wartime career, as long as it didn’t bring back painful memories

    Cheers
    Mark

  • Steve Chung says:

    Mr. Graham, thank you for the personal reply and warm wishes for the new year. I’d like to be the first to wish you a Happy Fiftieth Anniversary for Doctor Who and your superb voice work (with Peter Hawkins) as the Time Lord’s most implacable foes, the Daleks (British icons both in their distinctive appearance and voices.) I’ll be sure to be on the lookout for Doctor Who: The Gunfighters, having seen it once on Public Television in the states, and hope to be able to savor your guest-performance in that one. Sincerely, Steve Chung

  • Sam says:

    Dear mister Graham,

    first of all I would to thank you for voicing Parker and other chars of Gerry Anderson’s(may he rest in peace) series.
    You were awesome in the 1984 ad playing Big Brother.

    Is the Brains puppet modelled on you as Lady P is on Silvia?

    Greetings,

    Sam

    • david graham says:

      Dear Sam Thanks for your message and kind words about my work. I don’t think the Brains character was modelled on myself. Possibly on an actor called Anthony Perkins. I was lucky to be cast in the l984 commercial directed by Ridley Scott which has since become quite famous.

      Best wishes David Graham

  • Danielle Phillips says:

    Mr. Graham,

    I hope all is well! My name is Danielle Phillips and I work in the Footage and Photo Acquisition department at NFL Films. We are interested in including Apple’s ’1984′ commercial in our upcoming documentary Star Spangled Sundays. Our producer would like to use the commercial in his segement which will highlight some of the iconic Super Bowl commercials. We’d like to secure your permission to include your performance in our production, but please contact me so we can discuss further.

    Many thanks,
    Danielle

  • Paula Hammond says:

    Dear David,
    I hope you don’t mind me contacting you in this informal way. I’ve had no success trying to track down your agent! I’m a freelance writer currently putting together a book on Dr Who and it’s unthinkable that you wouldn’t be included. I wonder if you’d have the time for a phone or e-interview? I do hope that you will be able to help. Thanks, Paula

  • Lorraine Malby says:

    Hi David,
    I’m sure you’re remember me; we last met at Gerry’s funeral. I’m doing an article for the club and I need to ask you something. It’s on muscials and while researching I can across
    Reflections on Crooked Walking. It’s a studio cast recording, recorded in Vancouver back in 1982. It lists as one of the perfomers David Graham. Was this you or another David? All the best, Lorraine

  • Peter Rimmer says:

    Hi Mr Graham,as a 56 year old fan I would just like to thank you for the many enjoyable hours and the scares your voice acting gave me as a child,its not very often you get the chance to say thank you to someone you’ve known all your,life but have never had the chance to meet.I do hope that the BBC have the good sense to invite you to provide your voice for the daleks,for the docu drama they are producing about the beginning of doctor who,after all your probably one of the only originals left.
    Any way Thank you again and I hope you keep on working.
    Best Wishes
    Peter Rimmer

    • david graham says:

      Dear Peter Many thanks for your thoughts and kind words about my work on Dr Who. I should be happy to help on the docu drama and understand that there will be an event towards the end of the year. I am still working on various projects and don’t intend to retire just yet.

      Best wishes David Graham

  • Adam Hickey says:

    Hello Mr. Graham!

    I just wanted to write a quick message to say that I am a fan of your work, especially Doctor Who and Thunderbirds. I think you are a brilliant actor and voice artist!

    Thank you!

    Kindest Regards,

    Adam

    • Dear Adam Thank you very much for your kind comments about my work. Messages such as yours make all the effort worthwhile. I start work next week recording a new series of
      Thunderbirds which is due to be transimtted in 2015. There is due to be a celebration in November of the 50th anniversary of Dr Who in which I hope to take part.

      Best wishes David

  • Darren Martin says:

    Hi David. Ben and Hollys Little Kingdom is brilliant. My son loves it almost as much as us! Any plans for the next series? Got it on series record, keeps my son entertained. Best one is when Wise Old Elf gets dressed up as an acorn in ‘Acorn Day’. Love it!

    • Dear Darren Many thanks for your kind words regarding Ben and Holly. They have just completed another series and I saw four episodes at BAFTA recently. So it should be around in the autumn. Besides the Wise Old Elf I also play the Gnome. Best to you and your son.

      David

  • Kevin Lagden says:

    Dear David,

    I’m an avid Thunderbirds fan, but must admit to enjoying a number of other Gerry Anderson productions. In particular your v/o of Parker is most memorable to me and loved the series when I was growing up back in blighty.

    I have a small Rolls-Royce Hire company in Australia based on the Sunshine Coast. Although the car is not Pink people often refer to me as Parker and my wife as Lady P. We have a little fun with it.

    We donate a % of our vehicle hire to a very worthy Women’s Cancer Charity based here on the Sunny Coast and help raise money for the retreat they want to build.

    Im going to be cheeky here but I wondered of you be prepared to do a “Parker” voice over for us? nothing too long just a quick plug for our business and the charity. If OK I would donate your fee to the charity concerned. I can send a script of what I think is appropriate by email.

    Hoping you can help us on this one, we appreciate it very much

    Kind regards

    Kevin (aka Parker)

  • Gary Quinn says:

    Hi David, I am a producer at BBC Five Live and we would love to speak to you about you reprising your role as Parker. Would you be so kind as to contact me
    Thanks
    Gary

  • anthony paul says:

    hello mr.graham my wife and i heard today that you were not only being involved in the new thunderbids tv series but were once again going to voice parker. we cannot tell you just how overjoyed we both are at this news as no one will ever be parker except you. we have met you at the last three fanderson conventions and look forward to meeting you again. this news has made our day very best wishes tony and pauline.

  • anthony paul says:

    sorry we forgot to say those immortal words uttered by lady penelope parker well done .

  • Stephen Frizzell says:

    Dear David, Have only just stumbled across your website. Just wish to say thank you for bringing so much enjoyment (and fear!) to my childhood with your vocal characterisations of the Daleks, together with Peter Hawkins, back in the Hartnell years. For me you both are the authentic sound of the evil pepperpots (I also include Roy Skelton). I am also absolutely thrilled to know that you will be reprising your role of Parker in the new Thunderbirds Are Go series. Your vocal talents have embellished the lives of millions over the decades and this 50 year old is no exception. I’m sure you are inundated with requests but I would love to have your autograph if it were possible. Kindest Regards, Stephen Frizzell

    • Dear Stephen Thanks for your message and very kind words about my work down the years.
      I’m happy to let you have my autograph. Please drop a line to my managers as below.

      Best wishes David Graham

      Babble Voices 30 Great Portland StreetLondon W1W 8QU

  • Lorraine Malby says:

    Hi David,

    Just a quick note to say how FABulous it is that you’re going to be playing Parker again. As a friend of mine would say – Mazel Tov.

    Lorraine

  • Dave Penny says:

    Hi David,
    Just wondering who I contact reguarding you appearing at our sci-fi,film and Tv event next October (Def Con 3)? .This will be held in Totton,Southampton about 3 miles from Pepper Pig World,on the 4th and 5th of October and is very much a family event. It would be great to have you there.

    Many Thanks
    Dave Penny

    • Dear Dave This a belated reply to the message that you sent me in last November. You can contact me direct as before though it is a long way ahead. I will do my best to attend.

      Best wishes David

  • Anthony says:

    Greetings and salutations Mr G!

    Yes, yet another baby boomer here, and a Yank at that. I sincerely thank you for your most enjoyable work on the Anderson shows. For good or bad I consider you one of the influences on my interest in voice over actors so another thanks is due.

    To this former New Yorker’s highly tuned but potato filled ear, your Parker was/is a sheer delight with his inclusion of errant H’s.

    Well that’s quite enough drivel from me. Kudos kind sir, be well.

    Warmest regards, Anthony

    • Dear Anthony Thanks for your warm message and praise for my work. A long time ago I went to drama school in New York at The Neighbourhood Playhouse. Leslie Neilson was in the class
      ahead of me. We are currently recording a new series of 26 episodes of Thunderbirds which is due to go on air in 2015 and I have been asked to reprise my role of Parker which I am naturally pleased about. Again thanks.

      Best wishes David

  • Christine Wright says:

    Dear Mr Graham,
    My son and I absolutely love your characters in Peppa Pig and Ben and Holly….
    Well, I must admit, I am the bigger fan of The Wise Old Elf!!! There is a lot of adult humour in that show…
    “Don’t tell anyone you’ve been seeing elves and fairies”

    You light up my day! Thankyou, all the way from Sydney, Australia!!

  • david graham says:

    Dear Christine Many thanks for your kind message. it is always rewarding for an actor to know that his work is appreciated. Ben and Holly recently received an Emmy award in New York as the best children’s animation show. I am also going to record a new episode of Peppa Pig this month to celebrate its tenth anniversary. Many years ago I toured Australia with our National Theatre visiting Sydney Melbourne and Adelaide.. I will try to keep your lights glowing.

    Best wishes to you and your son David Graham

  • Alexander Kay says:

    Just writing to say that I really enjoyed reading your interview in the latest edition of Doctor Who magazine! Really hope to see/hear some more interviews from you in the future David.

    Best wishes,

    Alex

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