Inside lives of Red Dwarf cast as show returns to BBC – from Strictly bullying row to threatening binman with a SWORD | The SunJune 22, 2023
IT hasn’t been on the BBC in 15 years but now the classic British comedy Red Dwarf is back – and fans are rejoicing.
The legendary show, which centres around a group of oddball characters who are stranded on a spaceship three million years in the future, first aired on BBC2 in 1988 and ran until 1999, before it moved to UKTV channel Dave ten years later.
According to reports the broadcaster has acquired all the episodes in the first nine series, as well as the four series that aired on Dave, and they will be available on the BBC iPlayer.
The cult classic, which made stars of its cast including Craig Charles, was created by Doug Naylor and Rob Grant but their partnership came to an end in the mid 1990s, with Naylor going on to write later episodes.
The pair later fell out over a legal dispute due to rights, with new episodes being put on hold. But earlier this year, the legal action was halted, meaning new episodes could be made.
From a Strictly bullying row to threatening binman with a sword, we reveal where the cast of Red Dwarf are now…
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Craig Charles – Dave Lister
Craig Charles, 58, played Lister, the protagonist in Red Dwarf, in what was his first TV role before going on to present BBC2’s Robot Wars.
Then, in 2005, he got a part in Corrie as minicab driver Lloyd Mullaney but he was suspended by the soap the following year after the Daily Mirror ran pictures of him allegedly taking cocaine. The actor was later arrested and cautioned for possession of a class A drug.
The star reportedly went to rehab before returning to Corrie until he left in 2015.
Dad-of-three Craig, who is also a DJ, has also opened up about his turbulent relationship with his brother Dean who died while the star was appearing on I’m A Celebrity in 2014.
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Speaking about what happened before he died suddenly, Craig said: "We’d fallen out, you know, we’d had a family disagreement and we’d fallen out. We’d not been speaking.
"He texted me a couple of times before I went in (I’m A Celebrity) saying ‘Craig, it’s Dean, just wanna chat, blah, blah, blah’.
"And I’ve kind of ignored him. I thought ‘I can’t really deal with this right now. What I’ll do is, I’ll go in the jungle, do that, come back out and we’ll all be together by Christmas’. And, um … that never happened."
And he and his family were involved in a horror blaze after a fire ripped through his home last year as they slept on New Year’s Eve due to a Christmas garland setting alight.
He admitted they had been “very lucky” and saved by a smoke alarm.
Danny John-Jules – The Cat
Danny John-Jules, 62, reportedly got the part of preening, self-centred Cat after he turned up late for his audition. But, unaware that he was late, he appeared unbothered, with producers immediately deciding he was cool enough to be "the Cat".
In 2008, he was accused of threatening two binmen with a samurai sword over an alleged row over recycling and was arrested in his dressing gown and wife’s slippers outside his home.
He denied the assault and was later ordered by a judge at Brent Magistrates Court to complete 120 hours of community service, as well as paying £350 costs and £75 compensation to each of the binmen.
Then, in 2018, he starred in Strictly Come Dancing but reports surfaced he didn’t get on with the cast and allegedly made his professional partner Amy Dowden cry.
After he was said to have sworn and shouted at her during a training session, she allegedly told producers that she “could not go on with him” any more.
But Danny took to Twitter to defend himself, writing: “My conscience has never been clearer.”
And he later said: “I came in professional and I left professional.
“I was expecting [the backlash] because people always talk s*** about me. But I did exactly what I was hired to do and what I promised to do, which was to dance my a*** off.
“I was never told the dancing show was reality TV, but I found out it was one once I was on it. I was the oldest person there, including the professionals, but still excelled beyond and above the call of duty. I have no regrets.”
Amy admitted: “Things did get a little intense [in rehearsals]. But do you know what? We took half an hour break and got straight to it.”
Chris Barrie – Arnold Rimmer
Chris Barrie worked as a grave filler before he played uptight Arnold Rimmer in Red Dwarf.
The 63-year-old also starred in the hit BBC sitcom The Brittas Empire during the 90s, later resurrecting the character and appearing alongside pop group Little Mix in the video for the Sport Relief charity single Word Up.
He also virtually reunited with The Brittas Empire cast last year in celebration of the sitcom’s 30th anniversary.
He has also hosted the television series Chris Barrie's Massive Engines and Chris Barrie's Massive Machines, which aired on Channel 5.
In 2006, he appeared as a regular team captain in the BBC2 quiz show Petrolheads. Not much is known about his personal life, which he tends to keep out of the limelight, but he has been married twice and has two sons.
Robert Llewellyn – Kryten
Many fans may fail to spot 67-year-old actor Robert Llewellyn as he wore a rubber suit as mechanoid Kryten in Red Dwarf.
His wife, Australian author Judy Pascoe, also had a cameo in the show as his character’s alien love interest, Camille.
He went on to present a number of TV shows, including Scrapheap Challenge on Channel 4.
In 2009, Robert was involved in a serious car crash after another vehicle hit him side on at a junction, leaving him unconscious for 10 minutes.
He was left with concussion, whiplash and dizziness following the incident.
Norman Lovell and Hattie Hayridge – Holly the computer
Holly, the spaceship's onboard computer in Red Dwarf was played by actor Norman Lovett in the first and second series, before it had a “head sex change” and the role was taken over by Hattie Hayridge.
Norman, now 76, had a successful stand-up tour headlining with Red Dwarf co-star Chris Barrie in 2000 and is known for his political activism.
Hattie, 63, has appeared on various panel shows and won Celebrity Mastermind in 2010.
Clare Grogan – Kristine Kochanski
Gregory’s Girl actress Clare Grogan, 61, had a recurring part playing Lister's would-be love-interest, Kristine Kochanski. She has had roles in EastEnders, Doctors and Skins, as Shelley, the mum of Mini McGuinness, played by Freya Mavor.
She has been in the Scottish band Altered Images – behind the hit song Happy Birthday – since she was 17 and husband Stephen Lironi is also a member.
Last year, the band released their first album, Mascara Streakz, in nearly 40 years after writing the couple, who have a daughter Ellie, 18, wrote it in their north London house during lockdown.
Speaking last year, she said: “I just feel really fortunate and I think having staying power is really important in this business. I sort of gravitate towards interesting people doing interesting things. How lucky am I that I manage to keep being part of the thing that I love? It really is that simple.”
Chloë Annett – Kristine Kochanski
Actress Chloe Annett replaced Clare Grogan as Kristine Kochanski in series seven of the show.
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