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Subject: British Comedy: The Adrian Edmondson FAQ v1.36
This article was archived around: Fri, 23 May 1997 16:18:13 GMT
Last updated: 30 September 1996
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ADRIAN EDMONDSON FAQ (v1.4)
1. Who is he?
2. How about some personal details?
3. Press Release
4. What has he done since?
5. Other information and quotes
6. Contributions and thanks
1. Who is he?
A British comedian and actor, he became famous co-starring with Rik Mayall in
the hit BBC sitcom, The Young Ones. Since then, he's co-starred again with Rik
Mayall in Bottom, and does other comedy work, as well as writing the odd novel,
and popping up in various TV shows.
2. So, what about his life before hitting the big time?
He was born on January 24 1957 in Bradford. He lived with his father, who
taught abroad for the Armed Forces. At the age of 12 he entered Pocklington
Public (i.e. privately-funded) boarding school, and afterwards went to
Manchester University to study drama. There, he met Rik Mayall, and apparently
went around with him chanting "We're going to become stars!". He eventually got
a 2-1 (equivalent to a 'B')...
3. How did he hit the big time?
(Quoting without permission from a press release)
Adrian Edmondson Biography
"Adrian trained in studio drama at Manchester University, where he met Rik
Mayail and formed the partnership that was to become Twentieth Century Coyote.
In 1977 he took a one-man show to the National Student Drama Festival, and
Twentieth Century Coyote appeared at the Edinburgh Festival to great critical
acclaim and media interest; the show was recorded for Radio 4.
After Edinburgh came a period of touring with various two-man shows throughout
Britain, until Adrian joined the number of talented artists then appearing at
London's Comedy Store. Throughout 1979 and 1980, Ade made numerous appearances
on the growing comedy circuit before going on to co-found The Comic Strip at
the Boulevard Theatre in late 1980.
After their hugely successful premiere at the Boulevard, The Comic Strip made
an album and a short film in the summer of 1981 and set out on a national tour
in September. In 1982 they toured Australia, including a two-week season at the
Adelaide Festival of the Arts.
Adrian scripted one and played leading parts in all episodes of THE COMIC STRIP
PRESENTS, seen on Channel 4. He went on to play `Vyvyan' in BBC TV's hugely
successful THE YOUNG ONES, written by his Twentieth Century Coyote partner and
star Rik Mayall, Ben Elton and Lise Mayer. He also appeared in FRIDAY NIGHT,
SATURDAY MORNING and BOOM BOOM, OUT GO THE LIGHTS before going on to film his
first starring role in Sandy Johnson's THE MAGNIFICENT ONE.
In 1983, Adrian toured in KEVIN TURVEY AND THE BASTARD SQUAD for Pola Jones
Associates, and then played Trofimov and Gayev in THE WHITE GLOVE at the Lyric
After another series of THE YOUNG ONES and appearances in THE LENNY HENRY SHOW
and in two further episodes of THE COMIC STRIP, Adrian went on to play the
title role in The Comic Strip feature film SUPERGRASS, released in 1985.
Early in 1985, Adrian played the lead role of Alun in HONEST, DECENT AND TRUE,
a play devised by Les Blair and produced by Graham Benson, and 'Guy' (again,
the lead) in the Paul Jackson produced and directed HAPPY FAMILIES for BBC TV.
Ade and Rik Mayall then wrote ten episodes of THE DANGEROUS BROTHERS, a strand
within a ten week series of SATURDAY NlGHT LIVE, and co-starred in FILTHY, RICH
AND CATFLAP - another Paul Jackson production for BBC TV. In the same year, he
played Tiny in Central Tv's HARDWICKE HOUSE.
In 1989, Adrian starred alongside John Gordon-Sinclair in Lawrence Marks and
Maurice Gran's SNAKES AND LADDERS, a six-part series for Yorkshire TV directed
by Baz Taylor, before playing a guest lead, Von Richtofen, in BBC TV's
BLACKADDER GOES FORTH.
Adrian co-starred, this time with Alison Steadman, in NEWS HOUNDS, directed by
Les Blair for Working Title and BBC TV, which won the British Academy of Film
and Television Arts Award for Best Single Television Drama of 1990. Later that
year, Adrian starred as Brad In Robin Lefevre's West End revival of the cult
hit THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW at the Piccadilly Theatre, before going to Yugoslavia
to film THE POPE MUST DIE, directed by Peter Richardson for Palace Pictures.
Adrian and Rik Mayall have written and starred in two (now three) series of
BOTTOM, a five-part series produced and directed by Ed Bye for BBC TV. They
co-starred in the 1991 West End production of Samuel Beckett's WAITING FOR
GODOT at the Queen's Theatre. In June 1992, Adrian appeared with the Ballet du
Rhin at Sadlers Wells Theatre as narrator of CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS. He has
recently finished recording IF YOU SEE GOD, TELL HIM for Marcus Mortimer at BBC
TV, in which he stars opposite Richard Briers.
Adrian started a film company with other leading members of The Comic Strip,
for which he has written and directed BAD NEWS, MORE BAD NEWS and PRIVATE
ENTERPRISE. He wrote CONSUELA and MR JOLLY LIVES NEXT DOOR, both of which were
directed by Stephen Frears. He also starred in and wrote DIRTY MOVIE. Most
recently, he played John Major in THE RED NOSE OF COURAGE, screened (after the
polls closed) on election night In 1992.
In another development Adrian has also directed several successful pop videos
including the controversial PRIME MOVER for Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love
Reaction, HOURGLASS, TRUST ME TO OPEN MY MOUTH and 853 5937 for Squeeze, The
Pogues' FIESTA, Sandie Shaw's PLEASE HELP THE CAUSE AGAINST LONELINESS and LIKE
THE WEATHER by 10,000 Maniacs."
4. What has he done since?
* Three series of BOTTOM, co-written and co-starring with Rik Mayall. These are
available on BBC Video. The last series was screened in Autumn 1995.
* ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS as a food reviewer. His wife is Jennifer Saunders...
* IF YOU SEE GOD, TELL HIM (a 1993 sitcom) with Richard Briers.
* THE COOK'S TALE, an Anna Lee mystery, as ... The Cook.
* He has also appeared in numerous Comic Strip films, notably EAT THE RICH, BAD
NEWS and MORE BAD NEWS - with Rik Mayall and Nigel Planer. In the Bad News
films, Adrian played Vim Fuego (otherwise known as Alan Metcalf), lead
guitarist and vocalist in the heavy metal band Bad News - basically, a
British version of Spinal Tap.
* Two seperate stage productions of BOTTOM in Easter 1993 and Autumn 1995, both
of which are available on BBC Video. A third production is planned for
January -> March 1997.
* THE GOBBLER, his first novel, recently released in paperback. The blurb
at the front reads:
"Julian Mann, the hard drinking, preening and sexually provocative star of
the hit TV sitcom Richard The Nerd, feels caught on the horns of a
dilemma: should he be concentrating on his career, which is on the slide
after an unseemly bout of fisticuffs at the BAFTA awards; or following his
baser instincts and bedding every young girl in sight?
His twin dreams of comic immortality and a penthouse flat full of booze
and young models seem to be frustrated by his wife and children; by Tom,
his wife's best friend from University days, a pretentious 'National
Theatre player' who appears to be competing with Julian on the small
screen adn in the bedroom; by the tax man, who's chasing him for sixty
thousand pounds; and by Lillith, a psychotic fan, and member of a strange
Herculean cult whose eight-year-cycle of death and regeneration might
augur Julian's imminent nemesis..."
He started writing the book after he decided to take six months off, and
ended up playing Sim City and hoovering most of that time. Apparently, it was
to be originally called Wild Turkey, but it got changed to The Gobbler, which
still has a turkey reference in it, as well as a crass reference to oral
sex... In a book reading, Adrian also commented that Richard The Nerd was a
bit like Blackadder. The ISBN number is 0-7493-2233-0
* HOW TO BE A COMPLETE B*STARD, co-written with someone else post-Young Ones.
The ISBN number is 0-86369-182X.
* He has also co-written a book with Robert Llewelyn (Kryten from Red Dwarf).
Unfortunately, the precise details of the book escape me at this moment.
Irrelevant things such as the title. Help!
5. OTHER INFORMATION AND QUOTES
* Talking to a bookseller in New Zealand, he said "The thing with all the
characters me and Rik play is, and you might have noticed this, they're all
the f**king same - just a different setting." He also mentioned that he and
Rik had tried to write a new series of Bottom in January 1996, but realised
that there wasn't much more that they could do as there was nothing left in
the kitchen that they could hit each other with!
* I had the chance to talk to him during a book signing in London. It turns out
that he's been on the Internet for 3 years, but was previously unaware of the
FAQ. We swapped details so if he's reading this, hi!
* "I love you dearly, but shut up!" - to a fan at said book signing, who asked
him a question, then proceeded to interrupt him as he was answering...
* During said book signing, he also observed that it wasn't very interesting to
write for television any more, and that TV seemed to be in a decline,
pointing out that radio and cinema had declined before it.
* He also once appeared on stage at the Hysteria AIDS benefit gig with the
words "You might remember me ... I used to be very funny."
His agent is: Jonathan Altaras
Jonathan Altaras Association Limited
2 Goodwins Court
LONDON WC2N 4LL
Tel : +44 (0) 171 497 8878
Fax : +44 (0) 171 497 8876
Thanks go to Adam Davies, Mike Moore, Damon Shawcross and Simon Young for
Other files available include the Young Ones FAQ, the Ben Elton FAQ and the Rik
Mayall FAQ. These files can be found via the following methods:
FTP - src.doc.ic.ac.uk/public/media/tv/collections/tardis/
WWW - http://pobox.com/~brit-com/Comedy/index.html
You can throw your brickbats, comments and additions to me via:
Finally, this FAQ is postcard-ware i.e. if you really liked it then I
would appreciate a postcard from you! The address is:
Also, if you want any British items, E-mail me. I sometimes go to the
States and can accept American currency.