Warwick’s acting career came about purely by chance. Back in 1981 his Grandmother heard a radio announcement calling for ‘short people’ to appear in the new ‘Star Wars’ ﬁlm ‘Return of the Jedi’. He played the tiny Ewok, Wicket, who became one of the ﬁlm’s lead creature characters.
In 1984, after the success of ‘Return of the Jedi’, Lucas went on to make two Ewok movies for ABC television, ‘Caravan of Courage’, and in 1985, ‘Battle for Endor’, Warwick reprised his role as Wicket in both. Also in 1985, Warwick appeared alongside David Bowie in the fantasy ﬁlm, ‘Labyrinth’.
In 1987, Warwick was called to Elstree Studios in London for a meeting with Ron Howard and George Lucas. They discussed a new project called ‘Willow’, written speciﬁcally with Warwick in mind. This epic fantasy has since become a ﬁrm favourite with family audiences throughout the world. After the success of ‘Willow’, Warwick was immediately back in front of the camera, this time for the small screen. He was cast in two series of the BBC television classic, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’. In ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ Warwick portrayed the swashbuckling mouse, Reepicheep, and in ‘The Silver Chair’ he played Glimfeather the owl.
Up until this point in his career, Warwick had always been cast as a ‘goodie’. On reading the script for ‘Leprechaun’, he was thrilled to learn that this Leprechaun was in fact a ‘baddie’. The ﬁlm achieved cult status with movie fans, which prompted no less than ﬁve sequels to be made!
In 1997, George Lucas invited Warwick to return to that famous galaxy far, far away for ‘Star Wars – Episode 1: The Phantom Menace’. Warwick played no less than four roles in the ﬁlm, including the characters Wald and Weazel. As well as the many roles on the big and small screens, Warwick has trodden the boards of theatres throughout the United Kingdom. As well as appearing in and directing numerous productions of ‘Snow White’, he has also appeared in ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Aladdin’. In 2001, Warwick joined the faculty of that most famous school for Witchcraft and Wizardry, Hogwarts. Warwick plays Professor Flitwick , the Goblin Bank Teller and Griphook in all eight ‘Harry Potter’ ﬁlms, one of the most successful ﬁlm series of all time!
Ricky Gervais wrote an episode of his hit comedy ‘Extras’ to feature Warwick and fellow Harry Potter cast member Daniel Radcliffe. Episode 3 in the series presents both Warwick and Daniel in a very different light!
In 2011, he starred in BBC comedy series ‘Life’s Too Short’, written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Warwick co-created the show which saw him playing an exaggerated version of himself alongside guest stars including Liam Neeson, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Barry from Eastenders.
2012 saw Warwick travel the globe in the hugely popular, ‘An Idiot Abroad 3’ with Karl Pilkington. The unlikely pair were sent by Ricky Gervais to follow in the footsteps of Marco Polo from Venice, Italy, through India to China. Warwick has appeared in another classic sci-ﬁ universe, ‘Dr Who’. ‘ A Nightmare in Silver’, written by acclaimed writer Neil Gaiman, saw the return of the Cybermen with Warwick in the role of Porridge, The Emperor of the known universe.
In 2013, Warwick made his West End debut in ‘Spamalot’, starring as Patsy alongside his Life’s Too Short co-star, Les Dennis. As a life-long Monty Python fan, this was a dream role for Warwick. So successful was his debut that ‘Spamalot’ writer and ‘Python’ Eric Idol asked him to reprise the role for a sell-out run at The Hollywood Bowl in August 2015.
In 2016, Warwick realised a dream by founding and touring with The Reduced Height Theatre Company and their ﬁrst production, ‘See How They Run’. Warwick and his family embarked on another tour of the UK in their VW campervan for a second series of their travel show for ITV, ‘Weekend Escapes’, and he added another string to his bow by becoming a game show host for a new series of ‘Celebrity Squares’, for which he has since made a second series. He was also thrilled to be asked to once again return to that galaxy far, far away for the greatly anticipated ‘Star Wars – Episode VII’. This autumn, Warwick will ﬁnd out who he is in the BBC series, ‘Who Do You Think You Are’. He’ll present a brand new afternoon quiz for ITV and appear in two Christmas TV specials; The ﬁrst, a one-off episode of the hugely popular ‘Jonathan Creek’. The second, a musical penned by Eric Idol entitled, ‘The Entire Universe’ with Professor Brian Cox. He’ll also be back in that galaxy far, far away for ‘Rogue One – A Star Wars Story’.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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