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Richard Armitage : TV career

"I'm fascinated by the differences between television and film and the stripping back that you do, as opposed to laying on that you do in the theatre." [1]

Richard Armitage's initial appearances on television included an episode of Boon ("Man in pub"), Children in Need, The Den (a children’s programme), The Late Show (for Radio Telefis Eireann), Tomorrow's World and Spooks ("Armed Police Officer" in Series 1, episode 4, Traitor's Gate, 2002).

His main television work is as follows. (Click on the picture or title for further information about a role.)


Richard Armitage in Doctors

2001, Doctors, BBC, Dr Tom Steele.

Richard Armitage's first named TV role was a careless locum in two episodes of the BBC's daily medical soap.

Richard Armitage in Casualty

2001, Casualty, BBC, Craig.

This was another medical drama, but this time his role was as the boyfriend of the one of the doctors, Lara Stone. He appeared in a single episode.

Richard Armitage in Sparkhouse

2002, Sparkhouse, BBC, John Standring.

Richard Armitage's first major role on TV was as a shy farmhand in this three part contemporary drama inspired by Wuthering Heights.

Richard Armitage in Cold Feet

2003, Cold Feet (series 5), ITV, Lee Richards.

Richard Armitage had a recurring role in the final series of the popular award-winning comedy drama. He played a good-looking lifeguard with an eye for the ladies.

Richard Armitage in Ultimate Force

2003, Ultimate Force (series 2), ITV, Capt. Ian Macalwain.

Another recurring role, this time as an unpopular officer in an SAS troop in a drama series starring Ross Kemp.

Richard Armitage in Between the Sheets

2003, Between the Sheets, ITV, Paul Andrews.

This six part drama that looked frankly at sexual relationships starred Alun Armstrong and Brenda Blethyn. Richard Armitage played a probation officer under suspicion of having slept with an underage client.

Richard Armitage in North and South

2004, North and South, BBC, John Thornton.

Richard Armitage's portrayal of a 19th century cotton millowner was his first leading role on television - his breakthrough role. He starred opposite Daniela Denby-Ashe in a much-admired adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel.

Richard Armitage in Malice Aforethought

2005, Malice Aforethought, ITV, Bill Chatford.

This was a supporting role in an adaptation of Francis Iles' 1931 murder mystery novel.

Richard Armitage in Inspector Lynley Mysteries

2005, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, BBC, Philip Turner.

Richard Armitage played a suspect in a murder investigation in one episode of the drama series starring Nathaniel Parker.

Richard Armitage in The Golde Hour

2005, The Golden Hour, ITV, Dr Alec Track.

This was Richard Armitage's second leading role, as the head of a team of doctors in a helicopter emergency medical service based in London.

Richard Armitage in Macbeth

2005, Macbeth, BBC, Peter Macduff.

The BBC's Shakespeare Retold series set the story of Macbeth in the kitchen of a modern-day Michelin-starred restaurant.

Richard Armitage in The Impressionists

2006, The Impressionists, BBC, Young Monet.

Richard Armitage played Claude Monet up to the age of 50 in a three part drama that told the story of the painters of the Impressionist movement. Julian Glover played the older Monet.

Richard Armitage in Robin Hood

2006, Robin Hood series 1, BBC, Sir Guy of Gisborne.

The role of the Sheriff of Nottingham's evil henchman in the BBC's major 13 part Saturday evening drama series brought Richard Armitage to the attention of a much wider audience.

Richard Armitage reads bedtime sories on CBeebies

2006, CBeebies stories, BBC.

Richard Armitage was invited to read five bedtime stories on the BBC's TV channel for young children.

Richard Armitage in The Vicar of Dibley

2006, The Vicar of Dibley, BBC, Harry Kennedy.

Richard Armitage played Dawn French's dream man in the last two episodes of the long-running comedy series about a female vicar in an English country village.

Richard Armitage in George Gently

2007, George Gently, BBC, Ricky Deeming.

Richard Armitage played a Geordie biker in a drama based on one of Alan Hunter's 1960's detective novels. His character was a suspect in a murder investigation.

Richard Armitage in Marie Lloyd

2007, Miss Marie Lloyd - Queen of the Music Hall, BBC, Percy Courtenay.

Richard Armitage played music hall star Marie Lloyd's first husband in a BBC Four drama about her life.

Miss Marple

2007, Miss Marple "Ordeal by Innocence", ITV, Philip Durrant.

This adapatation of an Agatha Christie novel was first broadcast in Canada in June and later in the USA and the UK. Yet again, Richard Armitage played a suspect in a murder case.

Richard Armitage narrates Empire's Children

2007, Empire's Children, Channel 4, narrator.

In July 2007, Richard Armitage narrated this series about the British Empire and the people who lived in it.

Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne

2007, Robin Hood series 2, BBC, Sir Guy of Gisborne.

In October 2007, Richard Armitage returned to the role of the Sheriff of Nottingham's henchman for the second series of Robin Hood.


2008, Spooks series 7, BBC, Lucas North.

Richard Armitage joined the cast of the popular spy series Spooks for its seventh series, playing the role of an MI5 officer. It was broadcast in the UK on BBC One and BBC Three during the autumn of 2008.


Richard Armitage narrates New Homes from Hell 2009

2009, New Homes from Hell 2009, ITV, narrator.

Richard Armitage narrated a three part series about the disasters people have had with new homes. It was broadcast in March 2009.

Richard Armitage narrates Teh Great Sperm Race

2009, The Great Sperm Race, Channel 4, narrator

In March 2009, Richard Armitage narrated this documentary about human conception.

2009, Robin Hood series 3, BBC, Sir Guy of Gisborne.

Broadcast in March-June on BBC One, the third and final series of Robin Hood picked up the story three months after the dramatic events in the Holy Land at the end of the previous series.

Richard Armitage as John Mulligan in Moving On

2009, Moving On, BBC, John Mulligan.

Richard Armitage appeared in 'Drowning not Waving', one of a series of five dramas by new writers broadcast on BBC One Daytime in May.


Richard Armitage as Lucas North in Spooks series 8

2009, Spooks series 8, BBC, Lucas North.

Richard Armitage returned as MI5 officer Lucas North in the eighth series of Spooks, broadcast in the UK in November and December 2009.


2010, Forest Elephants : Rumbles in the Jungle, BBC Two/BBC HD, narrator.

Richard Armitage narrated this documentary in the BBC's Natural World series, broadcast on 4th March.

2010, Too Poor for Posh School?, Channel 4, narrator.

In March, Richard narrated a documentary about a group of boys competing for a scholarship to Harrow School.

2010, Strike Back, Sky, John Porter.

This six part series based on Chris Ryan's novel of the same name was filmed in South Africa and broadcast on Sky in May. Richard Armitage played a discharged soldier brought back to the army for missions in Iraq, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan.

2010, Homes from Hell, ITV1, narrator

Richard Armitage narrated a four part series about home-owners' property disasters, another programme from the producers of New Homes From Hell 2009, which he had also narrated. It was first broadcast in July.

2010, Surgery School, ITV1, narrator

In September, Richard narrated a three part series about the training of junior doctors to become surgeons.

2010, Spooks series 9, BBC, Lucas North.

Richard Armitage returned as Lucas North in the ninth series of Spooks, broadcast in the UK from September.



2010, Lost Land of the Tiger, BBC One, narrator.

Also in September, Richard narrated a three part series about the search for tigers in the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.


2011, Elsa: The Lioness that changed the World, BBC Two, narrator.

Richard Armitage's second narration for the BBC's Natural World series was first shown in February.


2011, HMS Ark Royal, Discovery UK, narrator

In early 2011, Richard Armitage narrated an eight part series about the Royal Navy's aircarft carrier, HMS Ark Royal.


2011, Trouble in Lemur Land : Phantoms of the Forest, Eden, narrator

A film by Erik Patel about the silky sifaka, an endangered species of lemur.


2011, 125 Years of Wimbledon: You Cannot Be Serious, BBC Two, narrator

On the eve of the 125th Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships in June, the BBC broadcast this documentary about the history of the tournament.


2011-2013, Fraud Squad, ITV1, narrator

In August/September 2011 Richard Armitage narrated a two part documentary series about the Fraud Squad of the City of London Police as they investigated a huge share scam. Two further episodes were screened in 2012 and 2013.


2011, Leopards of Dead Tree Island, National Geographic Wild, narrator

A documentary about three leopards living in the Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana that was shown around the world on National Geographic Wild.



[1] ‘vivid’ magazine, Spring 2005


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