Ben Willbond

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Ben Willbond
Birth name Benjamin Thomas Willbond
Born (1973-01-18) 18 January 1973 (age 41)[1]
Medium Stand up, Television, Radio
Nationality English
Years active 1995 - present
Genres Stand up, satire
Notable works and roles Horrible Histories, The Thick of It, Rev.
Website www.benwillbond.com

Benjamin Thomas "Ben" Willbond (born 18 January 1973)[1] is an English comedian and actor with numerous credits in television, radio and film.

Early life[edit]

Willbond was educated at Stamford School in Lincolnshire and read Russian and French at the University of Oxford.

Career[edit]

Along with Arnold Widdowson, Willbond was part of the comedy duo "Ben & Arn", who won Perrier Award for "Best Newcomer" in 1999,[2] and formed the self-proclaimed "thinking man’s French pop duo".[3] Priorité à Gauche[4] He then went on to perform his solo character shows at several Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, the last being in 2005 which also starred Katy Brand and Jim Field Smith.[4][5]

He is perhaps best known for his regular role in CBBC's Horrible Histories, in which he plays a wide variety of historical figures, most memorably recurring roles as Henry VIII and Alexander the Great. Along with the five other members of the Horrible Histories starring cast, Willbond is also the co-creator, -writer and -star of Yonderland, an eight-part family fantasy comedy series that premiered on SkyOne on November 10, 2013.[6] In addition he is the co-writer of Bill, an upcoming BBC-produced comedy film based loosely around the early life of William Shakespeare, which will involve the same starring troupe.[7] Filming began in February 2014 and the film is due for release in early 2015.[8]

Previously, Willbond had starred in a short-lived sketch show for ITV2 called Laura, Ben & Him[2] with Marek Larwood and sometime writing partner Laura Solon. He also appeared in Solon's BBC Radio 4 sketch show, Laura Solon: Talking and Not Talking. Other notable television work includes the recurring roles of Steve Warwick in the BBC comedy Rev,[9] Adam Kenyon in BBC Four's The Thick of It[2] and as a television director in the movie-length final episode of the Ricky Gervais comedy Extras (BBC Two).[2] He has also appeared in Katy Brand's Big Ass Show[2] for ITV2 and Mayo[10] for BBC One.

Willbond's other radio credits include BBC Radio 4 series Deep Trouble, Double Science, Recorded for Training Purposes and the first series of Electric Ink. He also starred in the YouTube romantic comedy "Nigel and Victoria."

His 2010 short film Tooty's Wedding, which he co-wrote with Solon, won numerous international comedy awards and was screened as part of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.[11] Other notable film work includes the movie Starter for 10 (UK 2006).[12] In 2007 he had a short appearance in St Trinian's,[10] as a nervous school inspector.

Personal life[edit]

Willbond is a keen cricketer and plays for the Thunderers.[13] He speaks Russian and French as well as English and he can play the violin. He and wife Charlotte have one son.[14]

Awards[edit]

Year Project Award Event Notes
2011 Tooty's Wedding Best Comedy Short Rhode Island International Film Festival
2011 Tooty's Wedding Best Foreign Short & Best Direction (Short) LA Comedy Festival
2011 Tooty's Wedding Jury Prize Best Short Film Friars Club Comedy Film Festival
2011 Tooty's Wedding Best Comedy Aesthetica Short Film Festival
2011 Tooty's Wedding Award of Merit Accolade Competition
2011 Horrible Histories Best Acting Kidscreen Awards Entire Cast
2012 Horrible Histories Best Acting Kidscreen Awards Entire Cast

Filmography[edit]

Year Project Role Notes and references
1999 Ben & Arn's Big Top Ben Edinburgh Fringe Festival performance[2]
1999 The Now Show BBC Radio 4[10]
2001 Le Hip Parade François Play UK television series[15]
2004 - 2007 Deep Trouble Writer / performer ('Lieutenant Jack Trainor') BBC Radio 4[16]
2005 Mayo Simon Johnston BBC One[17]
2005 The Catherine Tate Show Gym Trainer BBC Two[18]
2006 Starter for 10 Julian Film[10]
2006 - 2008 Recorded for Training Purposes Writer / performer BBC Radio 4[10][19]
2007, 2012 The Thick of It Adam Kenyon BBC Two[20]
2007 St Trinian's Performer Film[10]
2008 Lead Balloon Jamie BBC Two[21]
2008 Laura, Ben & Him Writer, performer, co-creator ITV 2[10]
2009–2013 Horrible Histories Principal sketch performer CBBC[10]
2010 - 2011 Rev. Stephen Warwick BBC Two[10]
2013 Yonderland Various
2014 Inside No. 9 Jeremy Episode: "Sardines"

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b {England and Wales Birth Index 1916-2005}
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2011". Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "Biography". Priorité à Gauche. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Daoust, Phil (17 August 2005). "Ben Willbond". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Dominic, Maxwell. "Laura Solon, Ben Willbond." Times, The (United Kingdom) 22 August 2005: Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 8 Dec. 2011.
  6. ^ "Sky1 to visit Yonderland". Sky1 website. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Stars of Horrible Histories to make Shakespeare film". BBC Media Centre. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Bill: production details". British Comedy Guide. comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "BBC Two - Rev., Series 2, Episode 4". BBC. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Ben Willbond" (PDF). Avalon Management Group Ltd. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  11. ^ Mann, Andrea (15 December 2011). "British Comedy Short 'Tooty's Wedding' Is Sundance-Bound (EXCLUSIVE CLIP)". Huffington Post UK. Aol (UK). Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  12. ^ Lawrenson, Edward. "Starter For Ten." Sight & Sound 16.11 (2006): 82. Associates Programs Source Plus. Web. 8 Dec. 2011.
  13. ^ http://www.henryarlington.com/news/we-catch-actor-ben-willbond-star-horrible-histories-rev
  14. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1941093/resume
  15. ^ "Le Hip Parade". Tiger Aspect Productions. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  16. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Comedy - Deep Trouble". BBC. August 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  17. ^ "Mayo". Channel Ten. 11 March 2006. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  18. ^ http://www.avalon-usa.com/assets/files/BEN_WILLBOND(5).pdf
  19. ^ Wolf, Ian. "Recorded for Training Purposes". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  20. ^ "BBC Four - The Thick of It - Adam Kenyon". BBC. October 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  21. ^ "Two - Lead Balloon, Series 3, Karma". BBC. 4 December 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 

External links[edit]