From BT adverts and Teletubbies to Undercover – the screen journey of Daniel Rigby

The comedian and actor stars in Dave's first scripted comedy tonight - but you might be surprised by where you've seen him before...

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TV’s a funny old world, with some actors popping up all over the place in roles you’d never expect – but Daniel Rigby definitely takes the cake. Or rather, the Tubby toast.

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To many, he’s the slightly hapless guy from the current BT advertising campaign (below – taking over from Kris Marshall’s character who left the adverts a few years ago) but that barely begins to address his CV, which continues tonight as he leads police infiltration comedy Undercover.

After all, he’s also a Bafta-winning actor (beating out Benedict Cumberbatch and Matt Smith for the Best Actor award in 2011) and has appeared in shows ranging from Cardinal Burns and Black Mirror to The Street – and now he’s taking his talents to, of all places, Teletubby land…

“I sing the Teletubbies theme tune!” Rigby told RadioTimes.com, in a presumed bid to become a popular pub quiz question of the future. “Yeah, it’s the same one and it was so much fun! Tinky Winky… Dipsy…”

The news that Rigby was involved in the remake of the children’s classic has been around for a while (he describes his narrating gig on the show as both “the best thing that’s ever happened to me” and “super-weird”), but little did the world suspect that the guy from the BT ads would also be singing the title music. 

“It’s impossible to be in a bad mood when you’re doing that job,” said Rigby. “I went to see them filming it live, and it’s people in these massive 8-ft suits, absolutely knackered.

“It’s so physical – they’re constantly dancing and singing, so they have to have a break about every ten minutes, because they’re just exhausted and sweaty. But everyone’s in a great mood, because you’re in the middle of Teletubby land, everything’s neon and plastic, everyone’s going ‘Teletubbies love each other very much’ and ‘Big Hug’ and it’s good – it’s great.”

Still, Rigby’s current role is a million miles away from Teletubby land. The actor plays neurotic (and allergy-prone) policeman Chris, who attempts to infiltrates the Armenian mob in Dave’s first scripted comedy, Undercover.

“Chris is totally out of his depth,” Rigby told RadioTimes.com. “He’s an idiot put into a very perilous situation, and he’s trying to garner some respect by doing this job, and make people take him seriously. Unfortunately, it’s not having the desired effect…”

He added: “He’s trying to do the right thing – but he has a complete knack for doing the wrong, weird thing.”

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Undercover begins on Dave tonight at 9.00pm