Angus Deayton

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Not to be confused with Angus Deaton.
Angus Deayton
Lise Mayer and Angus Deayton 1.jpg
Deayton and partner Lise Mayer at the Lighthouse Gala auction in aid of the Terrence Higgins Trust in March 2007
Birth name Gordon Angus Deayton
Born (1956-01-06) 6 January 1956 (age 58)
Surrey, England[1]
Medium Television, stand-up comedy
Nationality English
Years active 1988–present
Genres Satire, parody
Partner(s) Lise Mayer
(1991–present)
Notable works and roles Patrick Trench in
One Foot in the Grave
Have I Got News for You

Gordon Angus Deayton (/ˈdtən/; born 6 January 1956)[citation needed] is an English actor, writer, musician, comedian and broadcaster. He was the original presenter of the satirical panel game Have I Got News for You, a job from which he was dismissed in October 2002 after a second round of tabloid allegations about his personal life. He also played Victor Meldrew's long-suffering neighbour Patrick Trench in the comedy series One Foot in the Grave.

Early life[edit]

The youngest of three sons of a Prudential plc insurance broker/manager and a home economics school teacher,[2] Deayton was brought up in Banstead, Surrey, and attended Oakhyrst Grange School and Caterham School. He showed early promise as a footballer, and had a trial with Crystal Palace.[3][4] He was captain of the Caterham U16 Rugby team.

Deayton read languages at New College, Oxford,[4] where he was recruited into the Oxford Revue, performing with them at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This led to the creation of the parody band the Hee Bee Gee Bees in 1980, with the songs written by Richard Curtis and Philip Pope. Their best-selling single "Meaningless Songs (In Very High Voices)" (plus the B-side "Posing in the Moonlight") was a parody of the falsetto style of disco hits by the Bee Gees.

Radio and television career[edit]

Deayton founded his career on Radio Active, a parody of British local radio stations broadcast on BBC Radio 4 between 1981 and 1987, which he co-wrote and performed. It transferred to television as KYTV between 1989 and 1993. Deayton presented a tribute to Radio Active and KYTV colleague and friend (and long-time BBC producer) Geoffrey Perkins for BBC Radio 4 on 4 October 2008. Deayton was frequently a straight man alongside Rowan Atkinson. He starred with Atkinson as a pool attendant and a man on a park bench in the Mr. Bean episode "The Curse of Mr. Bean" and appeared opposite Atkinson in the Black Adder episode "Born to be King" (1983) as one of the Jumping Jews of Jerusalem. He also appeared in sketches on Alexei Sayle's Stuff.

In 1990 Deayton was cast as the Meldrews' neighbour Patrick Trench in the British suburban sitcom One Foot in the Grave and was selected as host of Have I Got News for You. The same year, he featured in a TV advert for the Vauxhall Nova. Andre Ptaszynski tried to persuade him to take the lead role in Steven Moffat's sitcom Chalk, a role eventually taken by David Bamber.[5]

Deayton's suave manner as host of Have I Got News for You led to his being nicknamed "TV's Mr Sex", by a Time Out listings writer.[6] He was much in demand as a presenter of television specials including the BBC's New Year's Eve show and the BAFTA Awards. He also featured in a series of advertisements for Barclaycard and the films Savage Hearts and Elizabeth.

In one episode of Coupling, he appears in a fantasy sequence alongside Mariella Frostrup. In addition, he hosted the late-1990s BBC show Before They Were Famous, which showed early and frequently embarrassing clips of TV and film stars (including Deayton himself) when they were relatively unknown.

In May 2002, the News of the World suggested he had taken cocaine and had sex with prostitutes.[7] He was ridiculed by Paul Merton and Ian Hislop in the following episode of Have I Got News For You but continued as presenter. Deayton began the episode with: "Good evening and welcome to Have I Got News For You, where this week's loser is presenting it.". He added later, "For those watching at home, don't adjust your sets, my face really is this red".[8] After more allegations in October, Deayton was sacked two episodes into the new series after Merton and Hislop repeatedly implied during the programme that Deayton should resign.

After Have I Got News for You,[9] his work included a reunion of the Radio Active cast in a new episode broadcast in December 2002. In 2003, he guest-starred as Downing Street's spin doctor in an episode of the BBC comedy Absolute Power, starring Stephen Fry and John Bird. He starred in the BBC comedy Nighty Night shown from January 2004. Deayton had a cameo role as a hotel receptionist in the 2004 Fat Slags film. A few months later, he presented ITV's cookery reality show Hell's Kitchen and then the quiz Bognor or Bust. In January 2006 he hosted an ITV show based upon self-help videos called Help Your Self.

Deayton is associated with Comic Relief/Sport Relief and featured in its broadcasts. He co-presented the Sport Relief charity programme Only Fools on Horses in July 2006. Deayton appeared for the England team as a second-half substitute in the Soccer Aid match in support of UNICEF on 27 May 2006. He returned as a starting player for England in the 7 September 2008 rematch.

In 2007 he was in Casualty, playing an exaggerated version of himself in a Comic Relief-related story. Deayton returned to the BBC in June 2007, hosting a comedy panel game, Would I Lie to You?. In November 2007, he was censured by the BBC for making a "pungently personal" joke about Jimmy Savile and his mother on the show.[10] Deayton left the show in 2009 and was replaced as host by Rob Brydon.[11] Deayton was host of the third series of Hell's Kitchen (first broadcast on 3 September 2007 at 9:00 pm). He was sacked in 2009 after arguments with chef Marco Pierre White.[12] Claudia Winkleman was his replacement.[13]

In 2008 he also presented Comedy Sketchbook, a nostalgic look at classic comedy sketches, on BBC1. He presented the 2008 British Comedy Awards on 6 December 2008, after host Jonathan Ross stepped down because of controversy surrounding The Russell Brand Show prank telephone calls row.[14]

His feature film appearances include the mysterious, all-knowing man in That Deadwood Feeling (2009, co-starring Jack Davenport, Dexter Fletcher and David Soul), Swinging with the Finkels (2011, written and directed by Jonathan Newman, with Mandy Moore and Martin Freeman),[15] and Playing the Moldovans at Tennis (2012). He returned to BBC Radio 4 in 2011 to host the panel show It's Your Round.[16]

On 12 December 2012, Deayton joined the BBC drama series Waterloo Road as a cynical teacher and for a further season as deputy head, George Windsor. He made his first appearance in episode 27 of the eighth series, which was broadcast in 2013.[17] In December 2012 he appeared in an edition of the BBC Two series World's Most Dangerous Roads, in which he and co-traveller Mariella Frostrup were filmed driving along the east coast of Madagascar.[18] He co-stars with Anna Chancellor in the BBC sitcom Pramface (2013).

Personal life[edit]

At Oxford, Deayton was in a relationship with the actress Helen Atkinson-Wood (a co-star on Radio Active and KYTV). Whilst touring with the HeeBeeGeeBees in Australia in the 1980s, Deayton saved Atkinson-Wood's life when he rescued her after she was caught in a rip tide whilst swimming off Sydney’s Manly Beach.[19] Deayton later[when?] lived with 1970s singer/songwriter Stephanie de Sykes.[20] Since the early 1990s, he has been in a long-term relationship with scriptwriter Lise Mayer.[21]

Deayton is a Manchester United supporter.

Tabloid allegations and reaction[edit]

In May 2002 the British tabloid newspaper News of the World published allegations about Deayton's affair with a woman who later claimed she was a prostitute and about his use of cocaine.[22] In October there were further reports of another affair, and he was asked to step down as the quizmaster of Have I Got News For You on 29 October 2002.[23][24] Deayton was dismissed despite it being believed that a majority of the programme's audience opposed the decision to fire him. One online poll, on the BBC's own website, showed over three-quarters of respondents wanting Deayton to stay on as the programme's host.[25]

The BBC said Deayton's position as a satirical commentator on the week's news had become "untenable".[23] Deayton's Have I Got News for You co-star Paul Merton, speaking on the interview show Parkinson, compared Deayton's sacking to "the Marx Brothers—we lost Zeppo, it's not a big deal". He also stated that he believed Deayton would soon return to television on other programmes because "you can't keep talent like that down".[26] Merton later revealed that he never got on with Deayton, finding him "arrogant and aloof". However, he refused to condemn Deayton's behaviour in relation to the sex scandals, saying, "I wouldn't have done it myself, but disapprove? I don't want to set myself up as a moral arbiter". Merton denied all knowledge of Deayton's allegedly blaming him and co-star Ian Hislop for his dismissal from the programme, revealing that the only time Deayton discussed his predicament with him was when he thanked Merton for making the scandal "funny on television". Merton also stated that despite their differences he wished Deayton well for the future.[27]

Stephen Fry has supported Deayton by refusing to appear on the show again.[28]

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1989 KYTV Mike Channel TV series
1991 Mr. Bean A Lifeguard in Swimming Pool and A Man in Park TV series
1990–2000 One Foot in the Grave Patrick Trench TV series
1990–2002 Have I Got News for You Presenter TV series
2003 Absolute Power (comedy) Colin Priestley (S01 E04, S02 E06) TV series
2004–05 Nighty Night Don Cole TV series
2007–08 Would I Lie to You? Presenter TV series
2012-14 Pramface Mr Alan Derbyshire TV series
2013-15 Waterloo Road George Windsor TV series
2014 World Cup Epic Fails Presenter One-off TV show

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ FreeBMD Births Database: DEAYTON, Gordon A. Mother's maiden name: Weir. District: Surrey Mid Eastern. Vol. 5g Page 332.
  2. ^ Anstead, Mark (18 July 2008). "Angus Deayton: Fame and Fortune". The Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 18 July 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2008. 
  3. ^ Debrett's People of Today - Angus Deayton
  4. ^ a b Profile at Gordon Poole Agency Speaker Bureau
  5. ^ After the Chalk Dust Settled, featurette on Chalk Series 1 DVD, ReplayDVD.co.uk, prod. & dir. Craig Robins
  6. ^ "Angus Deayton: Answering questions for a change". BBC News. 24 May 2002. Archived from the original on 6 December 2006. Retrieved 25 December 2006. 
  7. ^ Duffy, Jonathan (24 May 2002). "Deayton in the lion's den". BBC News. 
  8. ^ Duffy, Jonathan (24 May 2002). "Sex Scandal". BBC News. Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  9. ^ "Quiz host Deayton fired by BBC". BBC News. 30 October 2002. 
  10. ^ Plunkett, John (5 November 2007). "Deayton rapped for 'pungently personal' Jimmy Savile gag | Media | guardian.co.uk". Guardian (London). Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  11. ^ Parker, Robin (11 March 2009). "Brydon to host BBC1 quiz". Broadcastnow. Archived from the original on 17 March 2009. Retrieved 11 March 2009. 
  12. ^ Rollo, Sarah (22 February 2009). "Deayton 'axed' from 'Hell's Kitchen'". Digital Spy. 
  13. ^ "Winkleman to be new Kitchen host". BBC News Online. 23 February 2009. 
  14. ^ Tara Conlan (31 October 2008). "Jonathan Ross pulls out of hosting British Comedy Awards". The Guardian (London: guardian.co.uk/media). Archived from the original on 3 November 2008. Retrieved 31 October 2008. 
  15. ^ Swinging with the Finkels at the Internet Movie Database
  16. ^ "It's Your Round". Radio 4 programmes. BBC. Archived from the original on 4 March 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  17. ^ Angus Deayton joins teaching staff of 'Waterloo Road' - Waterloo Road News - Soaps - Digital Spy
  18. ^ "World's Most Dangerous Roads: Episode Guide". BBC Two. Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  19. ^ "Smarter Than The Average! - The HeeBeeGeeBees Story In Angus Deayton’s Own Meaningless Words". Smarterthantheaverage.tumblr.com. 5 September. Retrieved 2 May 2010.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  20. ^ Ironside, Virginia (28 October 1994). "Dear Stephanie de Sykes". The Independent (London). Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  21. ^ "Have they got news for him? Angus Deayton returns to prime time TV". This is London. 24 May 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  22. ^ Duffy, Jonathan (24 May 2002). "Deayton in the lion's den". BBC News. Archived from the original on 13 January 2007. Retrieved 25 December 2006. 
  23. ^ a b "Quiz host Deayton fired by BBC". BBC News. 30 October 2002. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2008. 
  24. ^ "This one could run and run". The Scotsman (Edinburgh). 30 October 2002. Retrieved 25 December 2006. [dead link]
  25. ^ "BBC : Was the BBC right to sack Angus Deayton?". BBC News. 4 November 2002. Retrieved 20 December 2010. 
  26. ^ [1] @ 2:37
  27. ^ Moir, Jan (21 April 2003). "Daily Telegraph: Have I got juice for you". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 20 December 2010. 
  28. ^ "BBC : Fry boycotts 'pathetic' quiz". BBC News. 16 April 2003. Archived from the original on 16 April 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009. 

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
N/A
Hell's Kitchen presenter
2004–07
Succeeded by
Claudia Winkleman
Preceded by
N/A
Host of Would I Lie To You?
2007–08
Succeeded by
Rob Brydon