Fantastic Mr Duncan

Published April 17, 2008

Actor and former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan is to star in Fantastic Mr Fox at the Open Air, Regent’s Park this summer.

Duncan, who is best known as Blue Peter’s most daredevil presenter, joined the long-running children’s programme in 1980, leaving in 1984 before returning for another year-long stint in September 1985. His action man antics on the show led him to front his own programme, Duncan Dares.

However, Duncan is also an experienced actor. He joined the National Theatre at the age of 15, and met a grisly end at the hands of an alien in 1980 film Flash Gordon before joining the Blue Peter team. In the decades since leaving the show, his stage roles have included Me And My Girl on tour, several appearances in the title role of Barnum, and The Card, also at the Open Air, which earned him a Laurence Olivier Award Best Actor In A Musical nomination in 1995. He has starred in many pantomimes and also has several screen credits to his name, both as actor and presenter. Last year, aged 51, he proved himself a good sport by taking part in C4’s reality show The Games.

David Wood’s stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox runs at the Open Air from 31 July-25 August. Dahl’s story tells of Mr Fox (Duncan), who steals one chicken too many from a local farm, prompting farmers in the area to start a campaign to rid themselves of Mr Fox by any means possible. Outwitted at every turn, the farmers’ ploys backfire and all the animals celebrate a feast at their expense. The show features songs by John Kirkpatrick.

On 12 May from 09:00, the theatre is holding open auditions for a young cast of foxes, badgers, moles, rabbits, weasels and rats to star alongside Duncan in the show. The theatre is looking for two teams of 12 children aged 7-12 who can move and sing well and have clear speaking voices. For more information visit em>CB