Doctor Who News obit-royskelton-hp3

Published on June 8th, 2011 | by Christian Cawley

Roy Skelton

Sad news today as we learn that Roy Skelton, a voice hugely familiar to anyone between 30 and 45 years old, has died aged 79.

To Doctor Who fans, Skelton was the voice of the Daleks from 1967 to 1988, his final appearance being in Remembrance of the Daleks. Voice duties for Daleks on the new show have of course been taken over by Nicholas Briggs who also voices the Cybermen, another voice provided by Skelton in the classic series.

Skelton wasn’t only a voice actor, however, and he appeared in classic serials Colony in Space (1971, as Norton), The Android Invasion (1975, as Chedaki) and Planet of the Daleks (1973, as Wester). He also voiced the Krotons from the eponymous serial and King Rokon in The Hand of Fear in 1976.

However, it was as Zippy and George, the stars of Rainbow, that Skelton became best known, with his voice emanating from the two puppets for over 20 years on a Wednesday and Friday lunchtime. The pink hippo with his slightly effete ways and the orange Zippy (apparently originally derived from a snake) became television legends and two of the most popular characters to appear on TV, all thanks to Skelton’s superb delivery and comic timing.

Examples of his voice work as Zippy and George can be found online, and Skelton and the two puppets were regular guests on shows as recently as 2008, with appearances on The Weakest Link and Harry Hill’s TV Burp.

Skelton was born in 1932 and is survived by his daughter Samantha Skelton.

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About the Author

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




2 Responses to Roy Skelton

  1. zarbisupremo says:

    So sad to hear this, he was the best Dalek voice in the classic series and I always wished that they’d get him do the voices in the new series. As much as Nick Briggs does a great job, Roy Skelton will always be the definitive Dalek voice for me.

  2. Leosw4 says:

    How very sad. I feel as if someone has switched off another light in the house that was my childhood (following so soon after Nic and Lis).Lovely that you have a picture of Zippy,rather than an obvious Dalek (or Cybermen).
    Little brought millions of smiles to the faces of millions of children.
    Thank you Roy.

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