13 July, 2008
Russ Abbot is an English musician, comedian, and actor.
He was the fifth of six sons born to Donald Roberts, who was English, and Elizabeth Laing, who was Scottish.
As a drummer Abbot founded the Black Abbots, who signed their first recording contract in 1977. Later on he appeared as a comedian, winning five times the award as Funniest Man On Television.
From 1980, Abbot released some albums as a solo artist, and played successfully in several TV series.
The Russ Abbot Show showed his talents as an all round entertainer and attracted millions of viewers. This show was very popular amongst younger viewers, prompting two annuals to be published in 1982 and 1983. The annuals featured comic strips based on popular characters plus some publicity photos of Abbot in a variety of guises, including, most famously, his James Bond satire featuring characters named Basildon Bond and Miss Funnyfanny, based on the fictional MI6 spy duo James Bond and Miss Moneypenny.
After many years, Abbot bought the performing rights to his hit Atmosphere, and refuses to allow it to be played on radio as he considers it to be a dire representation of his talents; however, many consider this to be a classic novelty hit.
Abbot's theatre roles include Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady starring Amy Nuttall and the narrator in The Rocky Horror Show. In 2004 he played the part of "Grandpa Potts" in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium and also as Fagin in Oliver! From July 2007 he took over the role of Roger De Bris in the UK tour of Mel Brook's The Producers. During December 2007 and January 2008, Abbot appeared as the Tin Man in the stage production of the Wizard of Oz at the Mayflower in Southampton.
In 2008, the BBC announced that Abbot would be joining the cast of Last of the Summer Wine for the show's 29th series.