Motormouth is back
PUBLISHED: 15:02 06 January 2006 | UPDATED: 08:57 24 May 2010
BEN Elton first shot to fame in the 1980s as the ranting, left-wing comedian with the oversized glasses, forever poking fun at Mrs Thatch on the cult TV show Saturday Live.
BEN Elton first shot to fame in the 1980s as the ranting, left-wing comedian with the oversized glasses, forever poking fun at Mrs Thatch on the cult TV show Saturday Live.Since then he has gone on to forge a successful writing career, penning numerous comedy scripts as well as novels, plays and stage shows.Now, at the age of 46, Ben is embarking on Get A Grip, his first stand-up tour since 1997.He will be appearing at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend on Thursday, February 16.Ben's comedy career began in 1981 when he started performing at the London Comedy Store.His big break came in 1986, landing the job as host of Channel Four's Saturday Live, propelling him into the public eye with his trademark fast-talking style and catchphrase, "a little bit of politics there."At the age of 23 Ben co-wrote the ground breaking hit BBC sitcom The Young Ones. He then went on to write for all the principle comedians of his generation, including Lenny Henry, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson and Harry Enfield with hit series such as Happy Families, and Filthy Rich and Catflap.BlackadderIn 1985 Ben began his hugely successful writing partnership with Richard Curtis. The pair wrote the hit comedies Blackadder 2, Blackadder the Third and Blackadder Goes Forth.Three years later Ben published his first novel, Stark, which became an instant number-one bestseller and was turned into a television series in which Ben starred.This was followed by a string of successful titles including Popcorn, Dead Famous and Inconceivable, which was turned into the film, Maybe Baby, starring Joely Richardson and Hugh Laurie.Having studied drama at Manchester University, it is unsurprising that Ben has gone on to write a number of stage plays, the first of which was Gasping, in 1990.The stage play of Popcorn landed him the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and went on tour nationally from September 1998 till May 1999. Blast from the Past successfully premiered at the West Yorkshire playhouse in March 1998.In 1992 Ben began his acting career, starring in his own adaptation of his novel, Stark, which was filmed entirely in Australia. That year Ben also appeared alongside Michael Keaton as Verges in Kenneth Branagh's acclaimed feature film, Much Ado About Nothing.More recently, Ben has embarked on a career in musical theatre, co-writing The Beautiful Game with Andrew Lloyd Webber, and then the rock musicals We Will Rock You with music by Queen and Tonight's the Night with music by Rod Stewart.Nowadays Ben divides his time between living in Notting Hill, London, and Fremantle, Western Australia.He became an Australian citizen in 2004 and now enjoys dual citizenship of the UK and Australia.His wife, Sophie Gare, is a saxophonist in an all-girl band called The Boom Babies.Ben Elton will be appearing at the Cliffs Pavilion on Thursday, February 16 at 8pm.Tickets are £19.50, £18.50 and £16.50, and are available from the box office. Telephone 01702 351135.