A chat with Nigel Plaskitt, English actor, puppeteer, producer, and both stage and television director.
How are you and what do you do?
I am good, I am Nigel Plaskitt, an English actor, puppeteer, producer, and both stage and television director.
How did you get into working with the Muppets?
I started working with The Jim Henson Co on Labyrinth in the spring of 1985. I had slightly known the team before as through the 1970’s I was working on a TV programme called Pipkins for ATV at their Elstree studios. The Muppets moved in next door for 5 years to shoot the original Muppet Show so I was able to observe and learn.
The projects I worked on for them were:
- The Tale of the Bunny Picnic
- The Muppet Christmas Carol
- Muppet Treasure Island
- The Secret Life Of Toys - Mew and others
- Lost in Space - The Robot team
- Doctor Dolittle - Animation Director
- Mopatop's Shop - Moosey Mouse and many others
- ITV Digital - Monkey
- An Audience with Joe Pasquale - Gonzo's cousin Kevin
- That Puppet Game Show. Voice over, Udders McGhee and others
Through them, I worked for Sesame Workshop (formerly Children's Television Workshop) setting up productions of 'Sesame Street' in Russia, Poland, Spain, Palestine, Israel, and Germany. I also played the voice of Tungar in Panwapa.
…and other commercials.
What would you suggest to young people intending to get into Acting?
Take every opportunity you can to do it as a hobby.
Could you tell people about the new project you are doing?
I am working on a new TV series - Monty & Co. The first series has been transmitted on The BBC CBeebies channel and is now on the iPlayer. I am the producer as well as the principal performer.
How old were you when you got into acting?
I was in my early twenties when I started Pipkins but I had been an amateur actor before that. I’d also worked in a small theatre whilst I was still at school at weekends and school holidays.
How was your experience at Mopatops Shop?
Mopatops Shop was great fun to do. Not only did I have a great character to play - Moosey Mouse - but I also played around 200 of the guests - trying to find a different voice for each. Incidentally Moosey was one of the mice that appear in The Muppet Christmas Carol.
So young people recognise you, could you perform a line you have said in Mopatops Shop or the Muppets Show?
Take a look at YouTube https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mopatop%27s+shop
Can you tell us a memory that will never leave you from working with the Jim Henson company?
There are many. I think working on The Secret Life of Toys which we shot in Cologne in Germany. Living away from home I got to know the team much better. Really a great group of people to be working with.
How did you get into working with the Jim Henson company?
I was working on a show called Spitting Image in 1985 and one of my colleagues told me about Labyrinth.
What is your favourite film or TV show you ever did?
I have to say most of them. They’ve all been so different from Doctor Who to Spitting Image. Can’t choose one.
Who is the most famous person you worked alongside?
Michael Caine in The Muppet Christmas Carol.
What’s is it like narrating for Thomas the Tank Engine?
It was very quick. I read the letter in the voice of the Rev Awdry. I’d worked with the producer Simon Spencer on Mopatops Shop and he asked me to do it.
If you got to meet Jim Henson what was he like?
I can’t say I really knew Jim as most of my work with Henson’s was after his death. All my colleagues who worked with him for many years had a lot of love and respect for him.