Geoffrey was born in Stockport and attended drama school in Manchester. For generations of pre-school viewers, he was the popular presenter known to viewers as ‘Geoffrey’. He appeared in over 1,000 editions of Thames TV’s long-running children’s series Rainbow (1973 – 1991). He joined after the original presenter, actor/writer David Cook, decided to leave to concentrate on other work. He tipped off Hayes, having performed alongside him in repertory theatre. Geoffrey would remain with the show for the next two decades. He also wrote for the programme and appeared on The Sooty Show (ITV, 1977) and Altogether (ITV, 1981).
He became typecast and found new acting and TV jobs hard to find. He later used his Rainbow celebrity to appear in pantomimes and summer seasons. He appeared as a taxi driver in a video for Oasis tribute band No Way Sis’s 1996 single I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing, mimicking (sort of) Patrick Macnee’s appearance in Oasis’s Don’t Look Back in Anger video. Four years later, he appeared in a Virgin Money TV commercial driving a cab (again). In 2002, he staged a one-man show Over the Rainbow, at the Edinburgh Fringe. He also appeared with Bungle in the Tony Christie/Peter Kay charity single (Is This The Way To) Amarillo. He made guest appearances on Never Mind the Buzzcocks (2002) and Pointless Celebrities (2015).
In an interview in 2015 for the Daily Express, Hayes recalled his time on Rainbow with fondness: “I’m very proud of Rainbow and even now, over 20 years since it finished in 1993, people remember it with affection. Amazingly, I still get recognised. People stop me and thank me for being an important part of their childhood – it’s humbling.” In recent years, he drove a taxi for a living and stacked supermarket shelves. He then retired and divided his time between London and Spain. He died in hospital from pneumonia and is survived by his wife Sarah and their son Tom.
TV acting credits include: Dixon of Dock Green (1968); Softly Softly: Task Force (1969, 1970 and 1975); Det Con Scatliff in Z Cars (27 episodes, 1971 – 1974) and Harriet’s Back in Town (1973).
Video Clips on the Internet
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PICTURED: Geoffrey Hayes. SUPPLIED BY: Online. COPYRIGHT: Unknown.