Hollyoaks Silas star’s life – Harry Potter fame, royal link and rival soap roles

Actor Jeff Rawle was last seen on screen in January 2021 playing sinister serial killer Silas Blissett in Channels 4’s Hollyoaks.

The soap villain has been lurking in the shadows grooming grandson Bobby Costello into inheriting his murderous mantel.

Now the gruesome granddad is ready to strike and against the backdrop of Hollyoaks’ latest stunt week, which sees an explosion ripping through the village carnival.

READ MORE: Hollyoaks cast are 'contracted' to do lad’s mags and sexy calendars, says ex star

But fans may recognize actor Jeff, 71, from a slew of other roles including one on rival soap Doctors, an appearance in Harry Potter and a surprising collaboration with Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.

As fans prepare for the soap’s most iconic villain to return for stunt week, let’s take a look at his life amazing life and career.

Rival Soap Role

Hollyoaks favourite Jeff Rawle had previously made a guest appearance in rival soap Doctors in 2004, playing a character called John Marshall.

He returned to the soap in 2012 playing a road sweeper with something to hide.

Jeff took on the character of Rory Bishton, who finds his double life increasingly difficult to sustain, in an episode which stirred the curiosity and pulled at the heartstrings.

Other soap roles include playing Len Jackson in Casualty in 1992 and Plantagenet in cult favourite Doctor Who back in 1984.

Perhaps one of his most notable acting roles outside of Hollyoaks was playing Amos Diggory, father to Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson), in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Talking about his highly anticipated return to Hollyoaks, Jeff said: “It’s brilliant they’ve kept me alive.

“Silas has managed to escape every time, and I’m always happy to return to such a great job, I love the crew and everyone here.

“The writers have pushed Silas to another realm this time, and it will be really entertaining to watch.” Rawle’s 40-year career is packed with high-profile stage and screen credits including appearances in Doc Martin, Doctor Who and Midsomer Murders.

Drop the Dead Donkey

The fast pace and quick turnaround of soap operas is something the actor admits he thrives on, and became attuned to in one of his most memorable jobs on Channel 4 '90s sitcom Drop the Dead Donkey.

The satirical series is set in the offices of GlobeLink News, a fictional TV news company and was famous for shooting perilously close to transmission to be as up-to-date as possible in referencing topical events of the time.

Speaking of his time on this hit show, Jeff recalled to Radio Times: “I had a big, important scene right at the end of the day with only half an hour left. There was no time to rehearse but we went for it and got something very raw, and very good.

“I’d rather have it feel fresh and real, as opposed than perfect and not very interesting.”

The show was awarded the Best Comedy (Programme or Series) Award at the 1994 BAFTA Awards. At the British Comedy Awards the show won Best New TV Comedy in 1990, Best Channel 4 Comedy in 1991, and Best Channel 4 Sitcom in 1994.

In 2000, the show was ranked 94 on the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes

Royal Link

Jeff forged a close link to the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, from 1994-1996 when he narrated three series of her children’s series Budgie the Little Helicopter.

Budgie was a British animated television series, relating to a fictional helicopter and his friends, based on a series of children's books by the Duchess.

As well as narrating the series, Jeff also voiced the characters of Dell the yellow Baggage cart and Towing Truck.

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The show originally aired on British television in 1994 on CITV, where it ran for 39 episodes. A range of videos, books, and toys were released under the Budgie label.

The show aired in the United States on FOX as part of the Fox Cubhouse programming block from 1995 to 1996, and moved to the Fox Family Channel in 1998.

Rawle has provided numerous narrations including A Bear Called Paddington, Stephen Hawking's Universe and Tom Fort's The Grass is Always Greener for BBC Radio 4.

Rawle's writing credits include The Young Poisoner's Handbook in 1995 and Who Goes There?

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