Derek Barnes CDG

15 May 1950 to 22 December 2021

In Memoriam

On Wednesday, the 22nd of December, 2021, we lost the unique individual, friend and colleague; Derek Barnes. Derek passed peacefully in his sleep, a victim of a most aggressive case of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) that was diagnosed in the spring of 2021.

Derek worked in the mid to late seventies as front of house manager at the Watford Palace Theatre, The Roundhouse, and The Royal Court. He started work in the late 70’s as a casting Director ( breaking ground as the first black casting director) and he worked as a casting director until he retired in 2018. A 40 year career in which he was a prominent member of the CDG ( Casting Directors Guild).

He worked for 15 years for Central TV. 1978 – 1993 . He was then for a time an independent casting director for a few years. He then was head of casting for Zenith TV from 1997- 2003. Then a casting director for the BBC on Casualty and other shows from 2003 till his retirement in 2018.

Derek was “a trailblazer”, It’s impossible to list all of Derek’s accomplishments suffice to say that Derek launched the careers of countless television and film stars and major celebrities, a few minutes reading Derek’s IMDb page will reveal some real surprises.

In addition Derek chose to spend considerable amounts of his free time casting numerous productions for Y Touring /Theatre of Debate starting in the late 1980’s when he cast a number of tours of The Inner Circle a play about Aids as HIV was then know as.