Christopher Timothy

Christopher Timothy
Christopher Timothy
Born 14 October 1940 (1940-10-14) (age 71)
Bala, Gwynedd, Wales
Occupation Actor, Director, Writer
Years active 1965-present

Christopher Timothy (born 14 October 1940) is a Welsh actor, television director and writer. Timothy is possibly best known today for his role as James Herriot in All Creatures Great and Small; more recently he has starred as Dr. Brendan 'Mac' McGuire in the British television drama Doctors. In 2011, he played himself in the audio drama 'We are not the BBC' [1] written by Susan Casanove and produced by the Wireless Theatre Company.


He was born in Bala, Gwynedd, Wales, and lived in the town up to the age of five, when his parents moved to London. He attended the Priory Grammar School in Shrewsbury in the 1950s, appearing in a number of school plays. On leaving school he worked at Frank Newton's Gentleman's Outfitters in Shrewsbury - now the location of Marks & Spencers in the town.

In the 1960s Timothy was part of Laurence Olivier's National Theatre company and appeared in such productions as The Master Builder, Juno and the Paycock and Olivier's Othello.[2]

After appearing in the film Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, Timothy's television career started with the 1969 series Take Three Girls. He went on to appear in Doctor at Large in 1971, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em in 1973 and Murder Most English: A Flaxborough Chronicle in 1977 before winning the role of Herriot. He played the role from 1978 until 1980 and again between 1988 and 1990.

In 1980 he played Jesus Christ in the York Mystery Plays. In 2000 he was cast as Dr. Brendan "Mac" McGuire in the TV series Doctors staying with the show for six years, directing some of the episodes, and leaving in May 2006. In 2005 he made an appearance in Casualty as the murderer of long-standing character Finlay Newton. Recently, he appeared as a special guest on ITV1 drama, The Bill, which was aired on New Years Day 2009. More recently he has appeared in Lewis (ITV1), The Grapes of Wrath, All the Fun of the Fair and Haunting Julia.

He is the son of BBC announcer Andrew Timothy, and has done regular voice work himself including taking his father's place as the Announcer for the Goon Again Show in 2001 marking the 50th anniversary of the Goon Show (Andrew had been the announcer for the show back in the early 1950s). He played the Announcer role on the Kinks' 1974 double album, "Preservation Act 2". He voiced and appeared in numerous television commercials for The Sun newspaper in the 1970s (which were extremely unusual for the time in the level of energy and even aggression evident in Timothy's delivery) and he has also read Herriot's works for CD release. He appeared in BBC Radio's Just a Minute in 1988 and 1989.

He is also used in the marketing material for Dignity plc, primarily for their prepaid funeral plans.

He is married to Annie Veronica Swatton, and they have one daughter, Grace. He was previously married to Susan Boys, with whom he had four sons and two daughters - Simon, Nicholas, Robin, David, Tabitha, and Kate. He has three grandchildren - Ellen, Jack and Tyri.


  1. ^ “We are not the BBC”
  2. ^ Olivier at Work, ed. Lyn Haill, 1989, pp 89-95

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