Craig Joseph Charles

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Craig Charles, 2009.

Craig Joseph Charles (born 11 July 1964) is an English actor, comedian, television and radio presenter. He is best known for his roles as Dave Lister in the science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf and Lloyd Mullaney in the soap opera Coronation Street (2005-2015). He presented the gladiator-style game show Robot Wars from 1998 to 2004, and narrated the comedy endurance show Takeshi's Castle. As a DJ, he appears on BBC Radio 6 Music.[1]

Charles first appeared on television as a performance poet, which led to minor presenting roles. After finding fame in Red Dwarf, he regularly featured on national television with celebrity appearances on many popular shows while he continued to host a wide variety of programmes. From 2017 to 2022, Charles hosted The Gadget Show for Channel 5. His acting credits include playing inmate Eugene Buffy in the ITV drama The Governor, and leading roles in the British films Fated and Clubbing to Death. He has toured the UK extensively as a stand-up comedian.[2]

Charles has hosted The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show on BBC radio since 2002, and performs DJ sets at numerous clubs and festivals, nationally and internationally. In September 2015, he left Coronation Street after ten years of acting, to film new episodes of Red Dwarf and to continue his BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio 2 broadcasting.[3]

Charles resides in Barton upon Humber, North Lincolnshire. He has three children: a son named Jack from his first marriage to actress Cathy Tyson, and two daughters named Anna-Jo and Nellie from his second marriage to Jackie Fleming.[4]

Charles has battled drug addiction—he described himself in 2015 as quite an addictive person, trying to find healthier addictions, of which work was one. In June 2006, newspaper allegations of crack cocaine use resulted in Charles being suspended from both Coronation Street and BBC Radio 6 Music. In August, Charles was arrested and released on bail pending further enquiries, and in September he accepted a caution for possession of a Class A drug. Charles returned to hosting his 6 Music show from November 2006 and filming Coronation Street from January 2007. In a 2015 interview, Charles spoke of his need to remain "vigilant" in abstaining from drugs. In 2020 he said that the newspaper reports were the best thing that could have happened to him, leading him to join Narcotics Anonymous and straighten out his personal life.[5]

False Accusation

In July 1994, Charles and another man were charged with rape and four counts of indecent assault, following false allegations by an associate and ex-girlfriend of Charles Charles was remanded in custody for three and a half months before being granted bail, during which time he was assaulted by a man wielding a makeshift knife. In March 1995, Charles and his co-accused were acquitted of all charges at trial. After being cleared, Charles spoke of the need to restore anonymity for those accused of rape. He stated, "The fact that my name and address along with my picture can appear on the front of the papers before the so-called 'victim' has even signed a statement proves that anonymity for rape defendants is a must and that the law must be changed."[6][7][8]

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