As St Albans panto legend hits half a century - how much do YOU really know about Bob Golding?

PUBLISHED: 10:30 15 August 2020

Director Bob Golding

Director Bob Golding

Archant

Half a century ago, he burst into the world with a chuckle, as he adjusted his wonky dark-rimmed glasses… Possibly.

Robert John Golding – or Bob, as he is better known - turns 50 today (August 15).

And to help celebrate the St Albans legend, reporter Caroline Thain came up with 50 things we love about the one and only wonderful actor who truly brings us sunshine.

Happy birthday and here’s to the next five decades, Bob Golding. We love you, sir.

Bob Golding as Nurse Nellie on an ostrich in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela RaithBob Golding as Nurse Nellie on an ostrich in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela Raith

Bob can speak Swedish, having lived there when he was younger.

He voices Milo and Max in the BAFTA-award winning telly show Tweenies.

He likes a trademark flat cap and nobody can carry off that style like he can. The original was lost on the tube, sadly, but was quickly replaced.

He appeared in EastEnders as a geek called Colin on a date with Bianca.

Ian Kirkby, Bob Golding and Andy Day in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela RaithIan Kirkby, Bob Golding and Andy Day in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela Raith

He loves vintage aircraft and enjoys attending air shows in normal times.

His West End theatre work includes Only The Lonely and Elvis The Musical.

He is a talented musician and plays guitar, ukulele and is impressive on harmonica.

He plays Problem Blob and The Puzzler in preschool maths programme Numberjacks.

Bob Golding and Joan MorecambeBob Golding and Joan Morecambe

He is quite foody and likes to knock up a tasty meal using homegrown ingredients.

He was on comedy show Peter Kay’s Britain’s Got the Pop Factor...

During lockdown, he read story-time classics online to under fives, to support Home-Start Hertfordshire. And they’re as much a hit with mums as they are with littles.

He voices Harry and Toto in the kids’ animation of the same name about a hyper hare and a chilled tortoise.

St Albans Sleeping Beauty pantomime star Bob Golding outside the Alban Arena. Picture: Paul Clapp.St Albans Sleeping Beauty pantomime star Bob Golding outside the Alban Arena. Picture: Paul Clapp.

He loves boats and before he moved from St Albans to live on one, about five years ago, he used to go on annual boating holidays.

He was a regular character in Channel Five soap Family Affairs.

He got engaged to his wife on the banks of a Scottish loch, which has the same name as her maiden name (Shiel). How romantic is that?

Oh, and they flew there on a private helicopter. Because that’s showbiz!

Bob Golding as Eric Morecambe in The Last Laugh, a Tommy Cooper biopic.Bob Golding as Eric Morecambe in The Last Laugh, a Tommy Cooper biopic.

The boat he lives on is named Glenfinnan, after the Scottish hamlet where Loch Shiel is. And, serendipitously, it starts with the same initials as the names of his four children - in the order in which they were born (G, L, E, N). Amazing.

He was in ITV drama Mr Selfridge as Horace Spendrich.

He ran his own 13-piece soul, rhythm and blues band called The Guild of Thieves.

He can be seen goofing around in a most excellent way on CITV, as tiny characters on Dick and Dom’s Diddy Movies and Diddy TV.

St Albans legend Bob Golding. Picture: Danny LooSt Albans legend Bob Golding. Picture: Danny Loo

He was born and grew up in historic Cambridge.

He is extremely passionate about the arts and lent his voice to the media campaign to help save theatre amid the global pandemic.

His celebrity pals include Amanda Abbington, Mister Maker (Phil Gallagher), Andy Day, Chesney Hawkes, Gareth Gates and Jason Manford.

You might have recognised him on a Gillette advert and he did an Oral B TV advert that was on until recently.

The Dambusters Ball. Picture: Bob GoldingThe Dambusters Ball. Picture: Bob Golding

He loves nature, animals and all things conservation and is an avid supporter of the World Wildlife Fund.

He voices the character of Stephen on the Thomas & Friends animation, which is based on Stephenson’s Rocket.

He learned acting at North Hertfordshire College in Hitchin between 1986 and 1989.

He loves old black and white comedy films and often sticks on some Laurel and Hardy on a rainy day.

Bob Golding in St Albans pantomime Cinderella. Picture: Paul ClappBob Golding in St Albans pantomime Cinderella. Picture: Paul Clapp

The next Alban Arena panto (whenever that is!) will be his tenth – a decade of providing sensational seasonal slapstick, cross-dressing comedy calamity and his own charming hilarity that keeps audiences coming.

The Hive ads are on YouTube and are nothing short of genius. The main one sees BG walking through a train singing “Cos with Hive you control your home from your phone”. But the others are sublime too.

He put on a successful event called The Dambusters Ball, with wartime dancing, big bands and vintage style grub served in mess tins - and it helped raise money for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. Generous.

He drinks with EastEnders actors Rita Simons, Shaun Williamson, Jake Wood and Steve McFadden. Bet that’s a riot.

Bob Golding as Eric MorecambeBob Golding as Eric Morecambe

He was on BBC flagship chart show Top of the Pops singing hit songs from Tweenies.

He can’t get enough Carry On and has taken comedy influence from the many films he enjoys regularly.

He toured with hundreds of one-man show dates over two years, with highly-acclaimed Morecambe – depicting the work of Lancashire-based Eric and his sidekick Ernie.

Morecambe and Wise mean so much to Bob, in fact, that his own son is named Ernie.

Bob Golding in a fishy dress as Mrs Smee in St Albans pantomime Peter PanBob Golding in a fishy dress as Mrs Smee in St Albans pantomime Peter Pan

Bob became friends with Eric Morecambe’s wife and children and they remain in touch.

Around his 40th birthday he got a tattoo of a wartime pin-up girl on his upper arm. We wonder if 50 will bring any new ink…

He has advertised condoms for Durex. It was just the voice.

He is a fantastic father to his four kids Georgie, Lily, Ernie and baby Nella and we can’t think of a cooler more fun dad.

St Albans Christmas lights 2011. Left to right; Phil Gallagher, (Pantomime THE JESTER), Bob Golding, (THE HENCHMAN),  Ailslinn Lee, (The Mayor), Jemma Carlisle (SNOW WHITE), Ricki Lopez, (SINGER) and Sonic the Magician.St Albans Christmas lights 2011. Left to right; Phil Gallagher, (Pantomime THE JESTER), Bob Golding, (THE HENCHMAN), Ailslinn Lee, (The Mayor), Jemma Carlisle (SNOW WHITE), Ricki Lopez, (SINGER) and Sonic the Magician.

He can’t stand those telly ads where they sing a slowed-down sultry husky cheesy version of an upbeat pop song and he’s quite vocal about that.

He voiced characters on the BBC Radio 4 broadcast of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

He’s PC Plod in Noddy in Toyland. Other kids’ shows he’s worked on are Mike The Knight (CBeebies), Dennis and Gnasher and The Slammer (CBBC) and CITV’s Fleabag Monkeyface.

He is patron of the Alban Arena which also turned 50 recently. It is a perfect pairing that is just meant to be obviously.

He played a red ‘dopey’ robot called Bot in a children’s series for ITV called Jim Jam and Sunny.

He is partial to the odd Guinness, Rioja and a sneaky late-night brandy but not all at the same time.

He guest-hosted a weekend radio show with Mel Giedroyc on Absolute Radio and was brilliant.

He has been nominated for several high-brow accolades, including an Olivier award and won Fringe First at Edinburgh Festival for

Morecambe.

He performed on the Royal Variety Show in front of Prince Charles and Camilla.

He appeared as Eric Morecambe in the stunning ITV movie Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This.

A 10-foot version of him was plastered on to the side of buses, he adorns promotional paper flags and makes a beautiful cardboard cut-out in the theatre foyer. Bob Golding for Prime Minister.

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