John Sparkes

John Sparkes

Swansea -born John Sparks began his working life at Lloyds bank in Mumbles. After becoming an English teacher, he turned to comedy in the 1980s, when he moved to London and became an established performer in the first years of London’s alternative cabaret circuit alongside Alexi Sayle, Jo Brand, Paul Merton and Rick Mayall.

Around this time he started appearing as Siadwel on BBC Two’s Naked Video, where his most enduring characters were Siadwel the miserable Welsh poet. He wrote and appeared in four series of Absolutely for Channel 4, where he introduced the world to the disgusting Frank Hovis, followed by six series of Barry Welsh is Coming for ITV Wales and Pub Quiz for BBC Wales.

In 2004 John made his debut as the narrator on Peppa Pig.

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The return of Siadwel

John Sparkes' character back on the BBC after 25 years

Veteran comedian John Sparks is to bring his cult character Siadwel back to the BBC for the first time in 25 years.

The depressed Welsh poet began life on BBC Two sketch series Naked Video in the Eighties, and later appeared in Channel 4’s Absolutely – whose team reunited for Radio 4’s Sketchorama show earlier this year.

Now he is to be the subject of his own four-part RadioWales series, to be recorded next month.

Sparkes, 59, was among the performers at the birth of London’s alternative cabaret circuit and is now the narrator of Peppa Pig. He revived the Siadwel character for a 2005 Edinburgh Fringe run alongside his fellow Absolutely star, Pete Baikie.

See our free tickets page for details of how to be in the audience for the new recordings.

Here is Siadwel in action:

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Published: 28 Nov 2013



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