Timothy can currently be seen on the very successful Great Canal Journeys on Channel 4, for which he has presented for the last nine seasons with his wife Prunella Scales. He has also just recently finished shooting the BBC costume drama Gentleman Jack with Suranne Jones.
Timothy West was born on 20 October 1934 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, the son of actors Harry Lockwood West and his wife Olive (Carleton-Crow). Educated at John Lyon School and the Polytechnic, he first appeared on the stage in 1956 at the Wimbledon Theatre in a production of Summertime. He then spent several season in repertory at such venues as Wimbledon, Newquay, Hull Northampton, Worthing and Salisbury. He made his London debut at the Piccadilly Theatre in the comical farce Caught Napping in 1959.
Timothy West last appeared on stage at The Bristol Old Vic playing Lear in King Lear. He also starred in The Donmar Warehouse production, The Vote, alongside Judi Dench, Mark Gatiss and Catherine Tate.
His performances on the London stage have included Gentle Jack, The Italian Girl, Abelard and Heloise, The Homecoming, Beecham, Master Class, When we are Married, The Sneeze, It’s Ralph, Twelve Angry Men and The Birthday Party, The Old Country and The Collection. He starred in A Number at the Menier Chocolate Factory which subsequently transferred to South Africa.
Other notable performances include: King Lear, Long Day’s Journey into Night, and Luther all for the National Theatre and Laughter (The Royal Court), Falstaff in both parts of Henry IV (English Touring Theatre) and Solness in Ibsen’s The Master Builder on tour and in London; Caryl Churchill's A Number (Sheffield Crucible); The Winslow Boy (Rose Theatre, Kingston, and UK Tour) and Quartet (UK Tour).
In 2012 he played Professor Serebryakov in Uncle Vanya at Chichester Festival Theatre and Romka in The Handyman UK Tour.
Television includes: EastEnders, Broken Biscuits, Edward VII, Churchill and the Generals, Brass, The Monocled Mutineer, The Good Doctor Bodkin Adams, What the Butler Saw, The Contractor, Blore, M.P., Beecham, Framed, Eleven Men Against Eleven, Murder in Mind, Bedtime, Bleak House, A Room with a View, Going Postal, Lewis, Exile, Titanic, Coronation Street and Last Tango in Halifax (Series 2).
Recent films: We The Kings, Going Postal, Ever After, Joan of Arc, Villa des Roses, Iris, The Fourth Angel, Beyond Borders and Endgame.
Work as Director has included HMS Pinafore for Carl Rosa Opera.
He has taken part in over 500 radio broadcasts and recorded many Talking Books. His autobiography A Moment Towards the End of the Play, and So You Want to be an Actor (co- written with his wife Prunella Scales) are published by Nick Hern Books.
He was made CBE in 1984, and is currently President of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and of the Society for Theatre Research.