Loose Cannon's Hall Of Fame:
George Layton


George Layton during an interview for The Space Pirates reconstruction in 2007.


George Layton as Navigator Penn.
(The Space Pirates, 1969.)

George Layton was born in Bradford on 2nd March 1943. He attended RADA and whilst there sold a short story to BBC Radio, resulting in more writing commissions for Women's Hour. During the 1960's he took several small parts in shows such as The Likely Lads, Dixon of Dock Green, the football themed soap opera United and as Technician Penn in The Space Pirates as well as schools programmes such as Look and Learn and Jackanory and at the end of the decade he wrote his first TV play as a part of BBC2's thirty minute theatre called Home Is Where You Hang Your Hat, produced by Innes Lloyd.

During 1970 he landed the semi regular role of Doctor Paul Collier in the LWT series Doctor in the House and appeared in the follow up series, Doctor at Large. During this time he wrote scripts for Doctor at Large and split his time between writing and acting, contributing scripts to such well known comedies as Romany Jones, On the Buses and Robins Nest.

The role with which he is probably most associated as an actor is Bombardier "Solly" Solomans in It 'Aint Half Hot Mum. He was cast (alongside Michael Bates) as the star of the show and remained for the first two series. After leaving the show he starred in, and contributed scripts to the short lived series My Brothers Keeper. He appeared in many guest roles during the rest of the 1970's and into the early 1980's, including that of Terry's dodgy mechanic friend, Des, in several episodes of Minder, Robin's friend Vernon Potter in Robin's Nest and appeared in films such as Stand Up Virgin Soldiers, Carry On Behind and Confessions of a Driving Instructor as his writing career continued with more "Doctor" spin offs such as Doctor at Sea, Doctor in Charge and Doctor on the Go plus My Name is Harry Worth and he even found time to appear as a presenter on That's Life!

His big break as a writer was Don't Wait Up, a twist on the Odd Couple theme, starring Nigel Havers and Tony Brittan as a father and son living together, which he created and wrote. The show was one of the top sitcoms of the 1980's and cemented his reputation as a top comedy writer, he then went on to create and write Executive Stress starring Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles (later Geoffrey Palmer) which ran for three series.

He made a return to Doctor Who, of sorts, in the French and Saunders Doctor Who skit, playing the role of The Doctor!! Then in 1999 he received the accolade of being the subject of This Is Your Life.

After the millennium he made more common appearances as an actor, featuring regularly as Alan Brookes in Sunburn and making guest appearances in shows such as The Bill, Heartbeat, Doctors and Holby City. He has also voiced commercials for Renault Cars and Ribena amongst others and is the voice of Sydney, one of the Tetley Tea Folk.

Throughout his career George has appeared on stage, including roles in the West End, New York and Australia.

He continues to be active and is presently working on a film adaptation of his own book, called Boocock, The Pigeon and Me and visits schools and universities to discuss writing. Indeed in 2000 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Bradford University.

George Layton shares some of his memories with us on:
LC28 The Space Pirates.


George Layton as Doctor Paul Collyer.
(Doctor in the House, 1970.)


George Layton.
(Carry on Behind, 1975.)


George Layton as Bombadier Solly Solomans.
(It Ain't Half Hot Mum, 1975.)


George Layton as Des.
(Minder - The Bounty Hunter, 1979.)


George Layton as Vernon Potter.
(Robin's Nest - Wish You Weren't Here, 1981.)


George Layton as Mr Cellophane in Chicago.
(Chicago - On Stage.)


To see other celebrities in our Hall of Fame select a name from below:
Colin Baker
Peter Barkworth
Sonny Caldinez
George A. Cooper
Edward de Souza
Mark Eden
Michael Elwyn
Ian Fairbairn
Carole Ann Ford
Joseph Furst
Donald Gee
Julian Glover
Barry Jackson
George Layton
Terence Lodge
Jean Marsh
Sylvester McCoy
Mary Peach
Peter Purves
Roy Spencer
Kevin Stoney
Donald Tosh
David Weston
Frances White
Anneke Wills
Jeremy Young