David Griffin A Career Defined by Comedy and Charm


For over six decades, David Griffin has been a mainstay of British comedy. From his early days in television sitcoms to his iconic roles in shows like “Hi-de-This article explores the career of this beloved actor, delving into his diverse filmography and the enduring legacy he’s built within the entertainment industry.

From Aspiring Actor to Comedy Star: Early Career and Breakthrough (1960s-1980s)

Born in 1943 in Richmond, England, David Griffin’s passion for acting emerged at a young age. He honed his skills at drama school and landed his first screen role in the 1960 film “A French Mistress.” Throughout the 1960s, he appeared in various television shows and films, steadily building his acting experience.

A turning point came in the late 1960s when Griffin secured a recurring role in the popular police drama “Dixon of Dock Green.” While the show wasn’t a comedy, it allowed him to showcase his comedic talents through his character interactions. The 1970s saw him delve further into the world of comedy with appearances in shows like “Z-Cars” and “The Goodies.”

Hi-de-Hi! and Squadron Leader Clive Dempster: A Character for the Ages

In 1984, David Griffin landed the role that would define his career: Squadron Leader Clive Dempster DFC in the hugely popular British sitcom “Hi-de-Hi!” Set in a fictional holiday camp in the 1950s, the show revolved around the staff and guests, offering a comedic look at British holiday culture. Griffin’s portrayal of Dempster, a pompous and accident-prone RAF officer, was a runaway success. His deadpan delivery, physical comedy, and hilarious interactions with other characters made Dempster a fan favorite. Griffin remained on the show for its entire five-season run, solidifying his comedic prowess and becoming a household name in the UK.

Beyond Hi-de-Hi!: Exploring Diverse Characters and Genres (1990s-Present)

While “Hi-de-Hi!” brought him national recognition, David Griffin didn’t limit himself to one iconic role. The 1990s saw him venture into different comedic territories. He starred as the endearingly clueless game show host Stuart Stupid in the popular sketch comedy show “Mad Max.” He also landed the role of Emmet Hawksworth, the flamboyant next-door neighbor in the award-winning sitcom “Keeping Up Appearances.” These roles showcased Griffin’s versatility as a comedic actor, allowing him to portray characters that were both eccentric and endearing.

Beyond sitcoms, Griffin has also appeared in dramatic projects. He played a supporting role in the critically acclaimed miniseries “Pride and Prejudice” (1995) and lent his voice to characters in animated films like “The Magic Roundabout” (2005). This willingness to explore different genres further cemented his reputation as a well-rounded actor.

In recent years, Griffin has continued to grace our screens with occasional appearances in television shows and films. He has also embraced the world of audio entertainment, appearing in radio plays and audiobooks.

A Legacy of Laughter: David Griffin’s Enduring Appeal

David Griffin’s career is a testament to the power of comedic timing and genuine likability. His characters, whether the pompous Dempster or the clueless Stuart Stupid, resonate with audiences because they are both funny and relatable. Griffin’s ability to inhabit these roles completely and deliver witty dialogue ensures that his performances remain timeless.

Beyond the Screen: A Life Dedicated to the Craft

David Griffin’s dedication to acting goes beyond his on-screen performances. He is a patron of several acting charities and has actively supported the development of aspiring actors. His passion for the craft and his willingness to give back to the industry add another layer to his legacy.

A Career Still Going Strong

At over 80 years old, David Griffin shows no signs of slowing down. He continues to be active in the entertainment industry, occasionally taking on new projects. Whether he’s bringing laughter to our screens or sharing his knowledge with aspiring actors, David Griffin remains a beloved figure in the world of comedy.


Q: Where was David Griffin born?

A: David Griffin was born in Richmond, England in 1943.

Q: How did David Griffin get into acting?

A: Information about Griffin’s early interest in acting is limited, but he honed his skills at drama school before landing his first screen role in the 1960 film “A French Mistress.”

Q: What was David Griffin’s big break?

A: While Griffin had built a successful career with various television appearances, his most iconic role came in the 1980s sitcom “Hi-de-Hi!”

Q: What is David Griffin best known for?

A: David Griffin is best known for his portrayal of the pompous and accident-prone Squadron Leader Clive Dempster in the British sitcom “Hi-de-Hi!”

Q: Was David Griffin in the military?

A: No, David Griffin is an actor. The character he played, Squadron Leader Clive Dempster, was a military officer in the Royal Air Force.

Q: Is Hi-de-Hi! still popular?

A: Yes! “Hi-de-Hi!” remains a beloved sitcom in the UK and enjoys a dedicated fan base worldwide.

Q: What other sitcoms has David Griffin been in?

A: Griffin has appeared in various sitcoms throughout his career, including “Keeping Up Appearances” and “Mad Max.”

Q: Did David Griffin do any dramatic acting?

A: Yes! While known for comedy, Griffin has also appeared in dramatic projects like the miniseries “Pride and Prejudice.”

Q: Is David Griffin still acting?

A: Yes! While less frequent, Griffin continues to take on occasional acting projects, including voice acting in films like “The Magic Roundabout.”

Q: Where can I find a complete filmography of David Griffin’s work?

A: Several online resources offer filmographies, including IMDb allmovie 

Q: Are there any interviews with David Griffin available online?

A: While interviews specifically with David Griffin might be limited, there may be featurettes or documentaries about “Hi-de-Hi!” available online (including YouTube) that feature him.

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