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Craig Charles was born 11 July 1964 and is an English actor, stand-up comedian, author, poet, radio and television presenter and former professional footballer, best-known for playing Dave Lister in the British cult-favourite sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf. Since 2005, he has appeared as Lloyd Mullaney in the long-running soap opera Coronation Street.
Craig Charles was born to a multiracial family in Liverpool; his father was black and his mother was Irish.He grew up on the Cantril Farm estate and went to school with Micky Quinn, who grew up to be a professional footballer.
Before turning to entertainment, Charles played professional football, most notably for Tranmere Rovers.
He started out his career as a contemporary and urban performance poet on the British cabaret circuit, and his performances were considered original and Charles was described as having a natural ironic wit which appealed to talent scouts.
Charles began to appear on television, including the late-night comedy programme, Saturday Live, and later became a presenter of children's television programmes, such as What's That Noise on BBC1. He also appeared, weekly, as a John Cooper Clarke-style 'punk poet' on the BBC1 pop music television programme The Oxford Road Show. In 1990, Charles was heard on London Radio Station Kiss 100 as the Breakfast show presenter.
Charles has appeared briefly in a number of television shows such as EastEnders, Holby City, The Bill, Lexx, The 10 Percenters, Doctors and Celebrity Weakest Link. He was also involved in the controversial mockumentary Ghostwatch in 1992.
Charles' other acting work includes briefly playing the title role in the short-lived Channel 4 sitcom Captain Butler (1997).
He has also presented a number of television programmes, most notably at the end of the 1990s and early 2000s. Among his credits as a presenter are the virtual reality game show Cyberzone (1993) on BBC2; the late-night entertainment show Funky Bunker (1997) on ITV; the reality television show Jailbreak (2000) on Five; the late-night chat show Weapons of Mass Distraction (2004) on ITV; and most notably Robot Wars on BBC2 from 1998-2003, and on Five from 2003-2004.
He also provided the voice-over for the UK version of the Japanese hit TV show Takeshi's Castle, shown on Challenge and Ftn, and was a team captain on the sci-fi-based quiz show Space Cadets (1997) on Channel 4.
In 2005, Charles joined the cast of ITV's long-running soap opera Coronation Street, playing philandering taxicab driver Lloyd Mullaney. Later that year, he participated in the Channel 4 reality sports show, The Games, coming fourth overall in the men's competition.
In 1993, Craig had work with Russell Bell to write about his 'streetwise' sense of humour on to a range of topics from the world's most embarrassing stories to how to explain the mysteries of the universe. In 1997, he and Russell had written Charles' Red Dwarf character's book The Log, where Lister, decides to leave a log detailing mankind's greatest achievements, just in case there is a posterity to find it which didn't appear on Red Dwarf. In 1998, Craig decided to work with Philippa Drakeford on his next book called No Other Blue, which cover a range of subjects, including poems about prison, his mother's final illness and politics at home and abroad.
In 2000, he wrote his first autobiography about his experience growing-up in Liverpool No Irish, No Niggers. In 2007, Craig announced that he would release his autobiography in March 2008, published by Hodder Headline as On the Rocks, which would cover the recent incidents of his life. The autobiography would be based on much of his journal, which he said he kept while in rehab.
In 1984, at the age of 20, Charles married English actress and fellow Liverpudlian Cathy Tyson. Their son Jack Charles was born in 1988. The couple divorced in 1989.
Afterward, Charles dated Irish singer-songwriter Suzanne Rhatigan, co-writing some lyrics for her album To Hell with Love and directing a video for her. Rhatigan also appeared alongside Charles in the fourth series of Red Dwarf for the episode "Camille".
In August 1997, Charles married his second wife, Jackie with whom he has two daughters Anna-Jo (born in 1998) and Nellie was born in 2003.