Christopher Ryan

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Christopher Ryan
Christopher Papazoglou

(1950-01-25) 25 January 1950 (age 73)
Bayswater, London, England
Other namesChris Ryan
Alma materEast 15 Acting School
Years active1971–present

Christopher Ryan ( Papazoglou; born 25 January 1950)[citation needed] is a British actor best known for his roles as Mike TheCoolPerson in the BBC comedy series The Young Ones, Dave Hedgehog in the BBC comedy series Bottom, Tony Driscoll in the BBC comedy series Only Fools and Horses, and as Edina Monsoon's ex-husband Marshall Turtle in the BBC sitcom Absolutely Fabulous. He has also appeared as the McKendrick twins in One Foot in the Grave, and played Sontaran General Staal in Doctor Who in 2008.

Early life[edit]

Ryan was born Christopher Papazoglou in Bayswater, London to an English mother and a Greek father. He trained at East 15 Acting School from 1968 to 1971, then began his professional acting career with Glasgow Citizens' Theatre.[1]


The Young Ones[edit]

Ryan was the only Young Ones cast member who was not already well known in British comedy circles, the other principal parts being taken by The Comic Strip members Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson, Nigel Planer, and Alexei Sayle. He was a last-minute replacement for Peter Richardson, for whom the "straight man" role of "Mike TheCoolPerson" was originally intended.

In 1986, Ryan reunited with the rest of the cast for the comedic charity single and music video for Cliff Richard's hit song "Living Doll", with Richard himself, for Comic Relief.[2]

Later career[edit]

In 1987, he starred in the short-lived BBC sitcom A Small Problem. He played Lucky in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot at the Queen's Theatre in the West End in 1991, alongside Mayall and Edmondson.[3] He later played Dave Hedgehog in Bottom, and Marshall Turtle, one of Edina's unloved ex-husbands, on Absolutely Fabulous. He has also appeared in two major sitcoms: he played one of the Driscoll brothers in an episode of Only Fools And Horses and spin-off The Green Green Grass, a pair of identical twin builders in the One Foot in the Grave episode "Hole in the Sky", and a plumber in the episode "The Valley of Fear". He appeared in Back to School Mr. Bean, My Family and Saxondale. He joined up again with Jennifer Saunders for two episodes of The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle.

In 1986, he appeared in the science fiction series Doctor Who as the alien creature Lord Kiv in the serial The Trial of a Time Lord: Mindwarp, and as one of the rose-painting playing cards in the 1999 TV version of Alice in Wonderland. In 2008, he again guest-starred in Doctor Who in the episodes "The Sontaran Stratagem" and "The Poison Sky", as the Sontaran leader "General Staal",[4] and in the 2010 episode "The Pandorica Opens", playing another Sontaran character, "Commander Stark". In 2012 he appeared in the role of Marshall in Episode 3 "Olympics" of the Absolutely Fabulous 20th-anniversary specials.

Although his film appearances were few, he played small roles in Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) and the film Dirty Weekend (1993), directed by Michael Winner.

Ryan starred as Baron Hardup in the pantomime of Cinderella at the Theatre Royal, Norwich from 17 December 2013 to 19 January 2014.[5]



Year Title Role Notes
1985 Santa Claus: The Movie Vout
1993 Dirty Weekend Small One
1997 Absolutely Fabulous: Absolutely Not! Marshall Direct-to-video
2009 Dead Man Running Bookie at the Dogs Uncredited
2012 City Slacker Frank
2016 Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Marshall
2019 Sil and the Devil Seeds of Arodor Kiv Direct-to-video[6]


Year Title Role Notes
1978 Target Jock Episode: "A Good and Faithful Woman"
1979 Angels Harry Episodes 5.13 & 5.15
Premiere Clive Episode: "Deasey"
1980 Fox East Episode: "Stick or Twist"
1981 BBC2 Playhouse Tony Episode: "Days at the Beach"
Play for Today Hound Dog Episode: "A Turn for the Worse"
The Olympian Way Mickey Farr Episode: "Slim Chance"
1982–1984 The Young Ones Mike TheCoolPerson
1984 The Tempest, Act IV Ferdinand TV movie
1985 Inside Out Tommy Episodes 1.1, 1.2 & 1.3
Summer Season Twerp Episode: "Rachel and the Roarettes"
The Lenny Henry Show N/A Episode 2.2
Happy Families Mell Episode: "Cassie"
1986 Doctor Who Kiv Episode: "Mindwarp"
1987 A Small Problem Howard
1989 Only Fools and Horses Tony Driscoll Episode: "Little Problems"
The Russ Abbot Show N/A Episode 4.12
1990, 1995 One Foot in the Grave Plumber
McKendrick Twins
Episodes: "The Valley of Fear"
"Hole in the Sky"
1991–1995 Bottom Dave Hedgehog Episodes: "Accident"
1992 The New Statesman Ioannis Douvalopoulos Episode: "Speaking in Tongues"
1992–2012 Absolutely Fabulous Marshall Credited as Chris Ryan
1993 Maigret Basie Episode: "Maigret and the Maid"
Newman and Baddiel in Pieces N/A Episode: "Guilty"
1994 Requiem Apache Club Barman TV movie
Credited as Chris Ryan
Mr. Bean Karate Student Episode: "Back to School Mr. Bean"
Credited as Chris Ryan
1995 Health and Efficiency Peter Hudson Episode: "The Old Dope Peddler"
1997 Melissa Les Maurice TV mini-series
1998 Mike and Angelo Brad Schnauzer Episode: "Out of the Wardrobe"
1999 Alice in Wonderland Royal Gardener 3 TV movie
Credited as Chris Ryan
2001, 2003 My Family Mr. Hilliard
Rod Baxter
Episodes: "Parisian Beauty"
"Canary Cage"
2002 Fun at the Funeral Parlour Rocky Episode: "Dog Dago Afternoon"
2005–2006, 2009 The Green Green Grass Tony Driscoll Episodes: "One Flew Over the Cuckoo Clock"
"Brothers and Sisters"
"Home Brew"
2006 SpongeBob SquarePants Professor Percy Episode: "Chimps Ahoy"
2007 Saxondale Ticket Inspector Episode 2.5
2007 The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle Miriam Episodes 1.2 & 1.6
2008, 2010 Doctor Who General Staal
Commander Stark
Episodes: "The Sontaran Stratagem"
"The Poison Sky"
"The Pandorica Opens"
2013 It's Kevin The Great Spagboletti Episode #1.4

Audio drama[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2016 Doctor Who: Classic Doctors, New Monsters General Stenk/Flitch "The Sontaran Ordeal"
2018 Ravenous Macy "How to Make a Killing in Time Travel"
Jeremiah Bourne in Time[7] Pete
Lady Christina[8] Grunt/Handley 2 stories
2019, 2020 The Paternoster Gang Stonn 2 stories

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role
2011 Black Mirror III Additional Voices

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Role Artist/Writer
1986 "Living Doll"[2] Mike Cliff Richard


Year Title Role Location Ref.
1977 The Devil Is an Ass Pug Royal National Theatre [9]
Measure for Measure Abhorson [10]
1978 The Cure for Love Charlie Fox Churchill Theatre [11]
1979 Bleak House Conversation Kenge
Trooper George
Royal Court Theatre [11]
1980 A Flea in Her Ear N/A Thorndike Theatre [12]
1984 Of Mice and Men Curley Mermaid Theatre [11]
1987 A Midsummer Night's Dream Puck Regent's Park Open Air Theatre [13]
1988 Kiss Me, Kate Joe Ambrosio Royal Shakespeare Company [14]
1990 Valued Friends Stewart Hampstead Theatre [11]
1991 Waiting for Godot Lucky Queen's Theatre [1]
1993 On the Ledge Martin Royal National Theatre/Nottingham Playhouse [15]
2003 His Girl Friday McCue Olivier Theatre [11]
2009 Arsenic and Old Lace Dr. Einstein Salisbury Playhouse [16]
2013 Cinderella Baron Hardup Theatre Royal, Norwich [17]
2015 Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense Seppings Theatre Royal, Nottingham [18]


  1. ^ a b "Daily Mayall : 23 September 1991 : Waiting For Godot Previews - Rik Mayall News and Events". Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Living Doll by Cliff Richard and The Young Ones - SimplyEightys". Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  3. ^ From the programme to the production.
  4. ^ "Doctor Who: Casting Update". BBC. 2 October 2007. Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2009.
  5. ^ "HCX Pick of Christmas Events". Her Campus Media, LLC. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2014.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "REVIEW: 'Sil and the Devil Seeds of Arodor' - The Doctor Who Big Blue Box Podcast". Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  7. ^ "Jeremiah Bourne in Time - Big Finish Originals - Big Finish". Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Lady Christina Series 01 - The Worlds of Doctor Who - Special Releases - Big Finish". Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  9. ^ "David Suchet - The Devil is an Ass (1976-77)". Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  10. ^ "David Suchet - Measure for Measure (1976-77)". Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Christopher Ryan - Theatricalia". Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  12. ^ "ROB WILTON THEATRICALIA Classic Play Programmes 1980-89". Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  13. ^ "A Midsummer Night's Dream -". Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  14. ^ "". Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  15. ^ "CalmView: Overview - National Theatre". Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  16. ^ "Theatre review: Arsenic and Old Lace at Salisbury Playhouse". Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  17. ^ "Cinderella (Norwich) - WhatsOnStage". Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  18. ^ "JEEVES & WOOSTER at Theatre Royal Nottingham - ItsMuchMore". Retrieved 31 January 2021.

External links[edit]