St Albans actor is the man with a thousand voices

Bob Golding

Bob Golding - Credit: Archant

You know his huge energy, cheeky face and infectious comic wit from St Albans pantomimes over recent years - but chances are, you often hear his voice belting out of your television set.

Bob Golding as Dame Trott in St Albans pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk

Bob Golding as Dame Trott in St Albans pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk - Credit: Archant

Local actor Bob Golding, 44, is behind a plethora of voices currently broadcast on multiple channels because of his diverse vocal talent and ability to cleverly switch between characters.

If you have children, you probably hear him, in one of many guises, every few hours, as his work spans a catalogue of popular kids’ TV shows.

The father-of-three appears throughout every day in his roles as Stephen in Thomas and Friends (Channel 5), Pc Plod in Noddy (Channel 5), and Max and Milo in CBeebies’ classic hit Tweenies.

He is Fleabag, in well-loved gross-tastic animation Fleabag Monkeyface (CITV). He plays characters in Mike The Knight, and is Problem Blob and The Puzzler in CBeebies’ Numberjacks.

Every morning, Bob’s dulcet tones can be heard as Bob the dinosaur in CBeebies’ new animation Dinopaws.

Dinopaws was up for a nomination at the Bafta awards ceremony recently. It didn’t win. But Bob helped his pals Dick and Dom celebrate their Bafta win, for CBBC’s Diddy Movies 2 – a kids’ comedy series in which he also happened to star.

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He went round to celebrity illusionist trickster Derren Brown’s house the other day – whose blue pet bird defecated on his shoulder, before saying “bye, bye”. Bob and Derren became friends, when they toured the same venues, and went to each other’s shows.

Bob was in ITV drama Mr Selfridge and an ITV Tommy Cooper biopic, as Eric Morecambe. He does voiceovers on talkSPORT radio, co-hosted Dave Gorman’s Absolute Radio show and featured in BBC Radio 4’s The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Now, he appears in body as well as voice, in a television advert which has just been aired. He plays a father, telling his young son a far-fetched quirky tale about how a particular brand of fruit smoothie was made.

Next year, he is set to be even more omnipresent on our screens as he recently recorded the FIFA 15 Ultimate Team – Official Trailer. It’s had almost a third of a million views on YouTube already.

He said: “I don’t think any actor goes into the profession wanting to do one thing. You hope you’re going to get a variety of work throughout your career.

“I started in rep theatre, where I learnt the trade. You’d be performing Shakespeare in the evening, and rehearsing a serious play about the troubles in Ireland, the next morning.

“It’s that variety that keeps us all interested. That’s how I love it. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I don’t think anyone wants to do the same thing every day.

“I find it much more rewarding, playing other characters than being myself.”

The cast and crew of Jack and the Beanstalk at the Alban Arena get just nine days to put it all together before the curtain goes up.

Bob said: “It’s very mentally and physically taxing, to learn it all - with so many lines, songs, dances, cues and I brace myself for this baptism of fire. Every year, we do it. I don’t know how but we do.

“I’ve never played a dame before and it’s a big challenge. It’s a different style of comedy within the genre. Everyone does it differently. A lot of dames do a drag act – I’m very much a bloke in a dress!”

He is proficient in speaking with 24 accents (but not all at the same time). Undoubtedly, this diversity helped him play 55 characters in one-man show Morecambe - depicting the life of Eric Morecambe, touring with hundreds of UK dates.

Award nominations include two Oliviers. He picked up a Fringe First award (2009) and was up for ‘Best Solo Performance’ in the What’s On Stage awards. Next year, Bob will direct a new one-man play, documenting the life of entertainer Bob Monkhouse.