Danny's early work however, was as a singer and a dancer, appearing in many different West End productions, including the long-running Starlight Express where the actors performed on roller skates.
I first met Danny John-Jules at the Memorabilia show in November 2004, held at the Birmingham NEC. He signed the photograph of himself as Duane Dibbley that you can see him holding.
I met 'The Cat' again at the NEC in March 2007 and he was very happy to let me have my photograph taken with him.
With a film version of Red Dwarf still 'in the air', Danny John-Jules continues to play an important part in the BBC's drama productions for children. He has recently completed a run of 10 episodes of M.I.High for CBBC, in which he plays Lenny Bicknell, a MI 9 agent, posing undercover as the caretaker of St Hope's School, where his storage cupboard is the secret entrance to the M.I.High hideout!
The Cat's other persona Duane Dibbley, with his Thermos flask, doesn't appear until episode 30. Red Dwarf has given Danny the opportunity to use his singing and dancing talents as, for example, in Series 2 Episode 6 'Parallel Universe'. In 1993 Danny John-Jules took 'Tongue Tied', the much-loved song from Red Dwarf's series two, into the UK top 20!
Other TV roles in the 1990s included Byron Lucifer in the children's sci-fi drama The Tomorrow People (1992) and Eddy Hair, with his Afro look, in The Demon Headmaster (1996).
Danny John-Jules had excellent reviews when he appeared in a production of Playboy of the West Indies, a Caribbean adaptation of J M Synge's The Playboy of the Western World. The play opened at the Tricycle Theatre in London's Kilburn in 2004, with Danny playing the part of Mac, a domineering father whose son, Ken, tries to murder him before going on the run.
1991 saw Danny John-Jules at London's Old Vic playing the part of Dunk in Carmen Jones, the Broadway musical adapted from Bizet's opera Carmen, with an African-American setting. The production directed by Simon Callow, won a Laurence Olivier award in 1992.
During the time that Red Dwarf was being made, Danny John-Jules also had a starring role in a children's TV comedy Maid Marian and His Merry Men. Written by Tony Robinson, and based on the Robin Hood story, it ran for 4 series, plus a 'Christmas Special'. Danny plays the part of a Rastafarian called Barrington, the singing, dancing right-hand man to 'gang leader' Maid Marian!
In 2003, Danny was in the black sitcom The Crouches, set in London's East End but, as you can read in his interview (see link below), he is not always complimentary about TV's attitude's to black actors and the work available to them!
Danny John-Jules' most famous role by far is that of well-dressed, but very vain, 'The Cat', along with his alter ego Duane Dibbley, in Red Dwarf. Danny appeared in all 52 episodes of the 8-series Sci-Fi comedy, bursting on to the scene in episode 1. His character's first lines were, "How am I looking? I'm looking nice. Hey, I'm looking better than nice ...Even my shadow looks nice!"
In 1982 he was in Barnum - The Musical, in which he had to perform on the high trapeze, which he found very scary although he had a safety wire attached! Several years later, he was in Dave Clark's Time - The Musical (1987) at London's Dominion Theatre. He played Captain Ebony in a strong cast that included Laurence Olivier and Cliff Richard, with whom Danny sings a duet.
Danny John-Jules was born in London in 1960, and went to Rutherford Comprehensive school in Marylebone. His first TV appearance was as an uncredited 'extra' in Scum (1977), the highly controversial drama about life in a borstal. Danny was also in the film version 2 years later.
2002 saw the launch of the BBC's new chidren's digital channel CBBC and CBeebies. Danny John-Jules starred in Story Maker as Milton Wordsworth. His character appears at night in a library where, with the help of his two puppets, Jelly and Jackson, they create new stories on their computer for the library, before disappearing at dawn.
In complete contrast, Danny John-Jules was also working on the action/horror film Blade II (2002) at the time. In this film, starring Wesley Snipes and Ron Perlman, he plays the character Asad.
Leonor Varela, Danny John-Jules, Marit Velle Kile
& Ron Perlman in Blade II
Danny John-Jules as
The Story Makers
Danny John-Jules as Mac in
Danny John-Jules & Robbie Gee in The Crouches
Playboy of the West Indies
Danny John-Jules as Barrington in
Maid Marian and her Merrie Men
Danny John-Jules as
Danny John-Jules signed this photograph for me of
him as Duane Dibbley in Red Dwarf
Danny John-Jules as The Cat in Red Dwarf
Red Dwarf cast featured on
the Radio Times cover
3 images of The Cat in
Click on a name below to take you to that page