Bradley Walsh

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Bradley Walsh
File:Bradley Walsh in 2012.jpg
Walsh in July 2012
Born Bradley John Walsh
(1960-06-04) 4 June 1960 (age 58)
Watford, Hertfordshire, England
Occupation Actor, comedian, television presenter, footballer
Spouse(s) Donna Derby (m. 1997)
Children 2
Parent(s) Daniel T. Walsh
Margaret O'Connell

Association football career
Playing position Centre forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1978–1982 Brentford 0 (0)
1978–1979 Barnet (loan) 5 (0)
1981–1982 Dunstable Town (loan) 25 (15)
Tring Town
Boreham Wood
Chalfont St Peter

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Bradley John Walsh (born 4 June 1960)[1][2] is an English actor, comedian, television presenter and former professional footballer, best known for his roles as Danny Baldwin in Coronation Street and the lead role of DS Ronnie Brooks in Law & Order: UK as well as hosting ITV game show The Chase. Walsh also hosts the annual Crime Thriller Awards and the Specsavers Crime Thriller Club on ITV3.

Early life

Walsh was born in Watford, Hertfordshire, and grew up nearby in Leavesden. He attended what is now Francis Combe Academy, a comprehensive school in Garston, Hertfordshire.[3] At school, Walsh showed a particular interest in sports and media, and passed O-levels in both subjects. He was also a prominent member of the school's football squad, scoring 64 goals during his time there.[4]

Football career

In the late 1970s, at the age of 18, Walsh became a professional football player for Brentford and although he failed to make the first team, he was regularly a member of the reserves. Separate ankle fracture injuries finished his career in the game in the early 1980s after a promising loan spell with non-league Dunstable Town, for whom he scored 15 goals in 25 league appearances. Walsh's time at Brentford also saw him play for Barnet on loan, making five league appearances in the 1978–79 season. He also played for Tring Town, Boreham Wood and Chalfont St Peter.[5]


Following his football career, Walsh had a variety of jobs including working as a bluecoat at Pontins[6] in Morecambe for three months.[7] He first came to prominence on television in 1994 after he won a role as one of the presenting team on the National Lottery which was regularly broadcast on Saturday and Wednesday evenings on BBC One. After Walsh became a public favourite, he was quickly snapped up by rival television channel ITV, who offered him the role as presenter on one of the network's new game shows, Midas Touch. In 1997, Walsh was asked to front the British adaptation of the popular US game show Wheel of Fortune following the decision of long-time presenter Nicky Campbell to leave the show after more than eight years.

Walsh's tenure on Wheel of Fortune lasted just one year, when he decided to turn his hand to acting.


Walsh's first acting job was a minor role in the Channel 4 series, Lock, Stock.... Channel 4 later approached him for a role in their 2001 TV film Mike Bassett: England Manager.

Walsh returned to ITV in 2002, after landing a regular role in the short lived British soap opera Night and Day. He featured in a total of 52 episodes. In 2003, Walsh played a minor role in an episode of The Bill spin-off M.I.T.: Murder Investigation Team. In October 2007, he appeared in TV drama Torn.

In 2008, Walsh appeared in two episodes of Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures, in the second story of series two, The Day of the Clown, as a sinister entity that fed off other people's fear. In his role, he played three parts of the same ego - a sinister American-sounding clown called Odd Bob, a mysterious European-sounding ringmaster called Elijah Spellman, and the infamous Pied Piper of Hamelin.

In January 2009, Walsh and his son Barney featured in a special edition of the Channel 5 TV series, Dangerous Adventures for Boys, based on the best-selling book by Conn and Hal Iggulden, The Dangerous Book for Boys. Walsh and his son took part in hill-climbing before learning how to pilot a biplane.

In January 2009, Walsh began appearing in ITV crime drama Law & Order: UK. Walsh plays the character of DS Ronnie Brooks, a recovering alcoholic who has been in the police force for more than twenty years. During his time in the programme, Brooks has been paired with DS Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber), DS Sam Casey (Paul Nicholls) and DS Joe Hawkins (Ben Bailey-Smith). From 2009 until 2014, Walsh starred in a total of 53 episodes. After the eighth series, Walsh decided to take a break from the programme and ITV decided to rest the show, but it has not been cancelled and is simply on a hiatus. Walsh said he would "like the opportunity to pursue other drama projects which ITV are developing."[8]

On 21 March 2013, Walsh appeared in an episode of The Spa on Sky Living.

In May 2014, Walsh was cast as Brutus in a BBC One comedy series called SunTrap, starring alongside Kayvan Novak and Keith Allen. The show premiered on 27 May 2015.[9][10]

Coronation Street

In 2004, Walsh was approached for a role in soap opera Coronation Street. On 31 May 2004, Walsh made his first appearance in Weatherfield as factory boss Danny Baldwin. It was originally envisioned that Walsh's character would be called Vic, however, Walsh asked for the character's name to be changed to Danny after his late father. He also commented that "people had previously called me Young Danny, so I thought it would not be so bad when people called me by my character name." In December 2006, Walsh was written out of the serial at his own request.[11] During his time in Coronation Street, Walsh also appeared as Burglar Bill at the Children's Party at the Palace 2006. In May 2010 It was announced Walsh will return to the soap in September for 2 months, Walsh later denied this saying "I cannot rule out a return but right now its a no, because I'm busy with programmes such as The Chase". In March 2014 Walsh announced he was thinking of returning to Corrie but later changed in mind and in 2015 Walsh became busy in other programmes.


Walsh hosted the British version of Wheel of Fortune, succeeding Nicky Campbell. After one series, he left the show and was replaced by John Leslie.

On 9 September 2007, Walsh hosted the countdown 50 Greatest Stars Polls on ITV, in which people had to vote for their favourite polls on celebrities. Later that year, on 29 December 2007, Walsh hosted the countdown for the No. 1 Soap Fan on ITV.

In August 2008, Walsh fronted his own ITV series entitled My Little Soldier, in which young contestants are required to do "grown-up things" such as travelling on their own by train. In November and December 2008, Walsh hosted another game show for ITV called Spin Star.[12]

In June 2009, Walsh became the presenter of ITV game show The Chase as well as the celebrity editions of the programme.[13] The Chase has become very popular, beating rival BBC quiz show Pointless regularly. The show features contestants who take on the "Chaser" in a series of general knowledge quiz rounds. The Chasers are Mark Labbett (a.k.a. "The Beast"), Shaun Wallace (a.k.a. "The Dark Destroyer"), Anne Hegerty (a.k.a. "The Governess"), Paul Sinha (a.k.a. "The Sinnerman"), and Jenny Ryan (a.k.a. "The Vixen"). There have also been a number of series of celebrity versions of the show, also hosted by Walsh and featuring the same Chasers.

Walsh hosted a pilot for an American version of The Chase in 2012. However, it was decided that Brooke Burns would host the show instead.[14]

Between 2010 and 2011, Walsh was the presenter of Saturday panel show Odd One In, with regular panellists Peter Andre and Jason Manford.[15]

Since 2012, Walsh has hosted the Crime Thriller Awards on ITV3. He also hosted the Crime Thriller Club on ITV3 in 2013.[16]

Walsh also narrated a one-off documentary for ITV called The Circus.

In August 2014, Walsh hosted an ITV series called Come on Down! The Game Show Story, which looks back on the history of British game shows.[17]

On 26 October 2014, after two successful pilots, Walsh began hosting the first series of Keep It in the Family. He returned to host a second series in 2015.[18][19]

In 2014, Walsh presented an episode of Sunday Night at the Palladium. He returned to the show to present another episode in 2015.

On 26 December 2014, Walsh hosted an entertainment special called A Christmas Cracker, filmed at the Hammersmith Apollo in London.[20]

Other work

In 2007, Walsh took part in Northern Rock's All Star Golf Tournament on ITV, in which his team, Team Europe, won. Walsh stated that he has been playing golf since he was twenty years old.

In August 2008, Walsh appeared in talent show Maestro on BBC Two where he placed sixth.

In 2015, Bradley was a team captain on the sports-based panel show Play to the Whistle. Hosted by Holly Willoughby, the series lasted for seven episodes on Saturday nights.


Year Title Role Location
1988 Aladdin Wishee Washee Theatre Royal, Norwich
1991–92 Liverpool Empire Theatre
1994–96 Peter Pan Smee The Alban Arena, St Albans
1997–98 Cinderella Buttons Theatre Royal, Nottingham
1998 Wimbledon Theatre
2000–01 Dick Whittington Dick Orchard Theatre, Dartford
2001–02 Snow White Muddles White Rock Theatre, Hastings
2002–03 Cinderella Buttons The Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage
2003–04 Jack & the Beanstalk
2006–07 Cinderella Buttons Milton Keynes Theatre
2007–08 Aladdin Wishee Washee
2008–09 New Victoria Theatre, Woking
2010–11 Peter Pan Smee Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
2013–14 Cinderella Buttons Orchard Theatre, Dartford
2014–15 Peter Pan[21] Smee Milton Keynes Theatre
2015 Cinderella[22] Buttons Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham

Personal life

Walsh is the son of Margaret (née O'Connell) and Daniel Terence "Danny" Walsh (8 August 1934 – 12 November 1993). Walsh married choreographer Donna Derby in 1997, and they have one son, Barney (born 1997). The family live in Chigwell, Essex. He has a daughter Hayley (born 1982), from a previous relationship. During his appearance on That's What I Call Television with Fern Britton, Walsh declared that he is an Arsenal fan. During the first quarter of 2010, Walsh completed a stand-up comedy tour throughout theatres in the UK. On 22 October 2010, Walsh was in attendance at the funeral of fellow actor and comedian Sir Norman Wisdom.[23]

In 2011, Walsh co-wrote a series of personalised football story books entitled My Dream Cup Final with..., which were published in June 2011. In January 2012, Walsh took part in a public charity event in which he cycled from Northern France to Portugal to raise money for Sane.

On an episode of The Chase, Walsh revealed that he used to be a member of Cubs and the Salvation Army.

Walsh is a supporter of UK charity Make-A-Wish Foundation, which he claims to be his favourite.



Year Title Role Notes
2001 Mike Bassett: England Manager Dave Dodds
2001 The Glow George
2013 Imagine Africa Himself
Year Title Role
1995 Midas Touch Himself, Presenter
1997 Wheel of Fortune
2000 Lock, Stock... Larry Harmless
2000 The Thing About Vince Perry
2001 Hotel Henry
2002–03 Night and Day Eddie "Woody" Dexter
2003 Reps Terry Arnold
2003 M.I.T.: Murder Investigation Team Phil Seagrove
2004 The Basil Brush Show Mr. Savage
2004 Murder City Ken Hill
2004–06 Coronation Street Danny Baldwin
2007 Torn Steven Taylor
2007 The Old Curiosity Shop Mr. Liggers
2008 The Sarah Jane Adventures Odd Bob
Elijah Spellman
The Pied Piper
2009–14 Law & Order: UK DS Ronnie Brooks
2009–present The Chase Himself, Presenter
2010–11 Odd One In
2012–present The Crime Thriller Awards Himself, Presenter
2013 Crime Thriller Club
2014 Come on Down! The Game Show Story Himself, Presenter
A Christmas Cracker
2014, 2015 Sunday Night at the Palladium Himself, Guest Presenter
2014–2015 Keep it in the Family Presenter
2015 Play to the Whistle Team Captain
SunTrap Brutus


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  18. Richards, Chris (6 January 2014). "Simon Cowell new TV show: Keep It In The Family 'is inspired by the Generation Game'". Mirror. Retrieved 2 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  20. "A Christmas Cracker". ITV. Retrieved 2 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  23. "Norman Wisdom: Hundreds pay respects to comedy legend". Mirror. 22 October 2010. Retrieved 13 December 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Preceded by
Nicky Campbell
Host of Wheel of Fortune
Succeeded by
John Leslie