Jasper Carrott

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Jasper Carrott
Birth name Robert Norman Davis
Born (1945-03-14) 14 March 1945 (age 69)
Acocks Green, Birmingham, England
Medium Stand-up, television
Years active 1973–2005 (singer)
1975–present (comedian)
Spouse Hazel Jackson (1973–present)
Children Lucy Davis
Jenny Davis
Hannah Davis
Jake Davis
Website JasperCarrott.com

Jasper Carrott, the stage name of Robert Norman Davis OBE (born 14 March 1945), is an English comedian, actor, television presenter, and personality.

Early life[edit]

Born in Shaftmoor Lane, Acocks Green (which he said sounded like the address for "the home of a professional rapist"),[1] in Birmingham, Carrott was educated at Acocks Green primary school and Moseley School. He worked as a trainee buyer at a city centre department store, the Beehive, with schoolmate Bev Bevan.

Career[edit]

Rise to fame[edit]

In February 1969 he started his own folk club, "The Boggery", in nearby Solihull with his friend Les Ward. Carrott performed folk songs and as an MC. His banter overtook the songs and he became more a comedian than singer. He also worked as a musical agent (with John Starkey, who was his manager from 1974 to 1992), as Fingimigig, managing among others Harvey Andrews. He toured UK rugby clubs. He recorded an album in 1973 called Jasper Carrot – In the Club, which he sold from his van. The album contained the original "Magic Roundabout", although mainly material used in his next three LPs (such as "Hare Krishna", "Car Insurance", "Bastity Chelt", and "Hava Nagila") plus the Fred Wedlock song "The Folker".

He had a UK Top 5 chart hit in August 1975 with the novelty record "Funky Moped", written by Chris Rohmann and produced by Jeff Lynne. The B-side was a risqué monologue parodying the children's TV series The Magic Roundabout. This was banned by the BBC, which is widely believed to have contributed to its success, which in turn led to his appearance on the BBC's Top of the Pops.

By the late 1970s, Carrott had developed anecdotal sketches which he still performs 30 years on. Often they purport to be auto-biographical; many celebrate the Birmingham accent and culture, including his support of Birmingham City.

His live performances were recorded as Jasper Carrott Rabbitts on and on and on... and Carrott in Notts. Notable hits were "Bastity Chelt", a song in Spoonerism, "The Football Match" describing a visit to Old Trafford, "The Nutter on the Bus" including the cry "Has anybody seen my camel?"), "The Mole" ("There's only one way to get rid of a mole – blow its bloody head off!") and "Zits" – an explanation of American slang for spots that brought the word into use in Britain.

In 1979 he published A Little Zit on the Side, a humorous autobiography. The follow-up, Sweet and Sour Labrador, mixed sections of stand-up routines with similar autobiographical material, much of it related to his world travels.

Jasper was one a compère for the Birmingham Heart Beat Charity Concert 1986, which featured local bands such as Electric Light Orchestra and the Moody Blues, with a finale that included George Harrison from the Beatles.

On 15 September 2007 he was inducted into the Birmingham Walk of Stars at the Arts Fest 2007 celebrations. The award was presented by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham. Carrott is the second inductee, following Ozzy Osbourne.

Carrott was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the British Comedy Awards on 6 December 2008.

His first appearance on television was a half-hour show for BBC Midlands on 11 August 1975 in a programme about local football called "The Golden Game". Then in 1976, A Half Hour Mislaid with Jasper Carrott recorded at Pebble Mill. His break came two years later when Michael Grade asked for a pilot for LWT. Grade liked it and five further shows were recorded, which became his first TV series, An Audience with Jasper Carrott, in 1978,[2] this partnership with LWT lasted until 1981, The Unrecorded Jasper Carrott (1979) and Beat the Carrott (1981) are the best known live stand-up performances from his time with LWT.

He moved to the BBC forCarrott's Lib, a Saturday night comedy broadcast live, and then a string of BBC shows. The most notable were Carrott's Commercial Breakdown, which broadcast weird adverts from around the world, and the sketch and stand-up shows Carrott Confidential, 24 Carrott Gold, The Jasper Carrott Trial and Canned Carrott, some of which also featured Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis.

Carrott played Heinrich in the 1987 British comedy film, Jane and the Lost City.[3]

Canned Carrott also featured a spoof police drama called The Detectives, co-starring Robert Powell, which turned into a series. In 2002–2004, he starred in the sitcom All About Me.

He performed in several of the Secret Policeman's Ball charity concerts for Amnesty International, and returned to the stage in 2004 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham featuring classic routines from his career. He returned to singing for the musical Go Play Up Your Own End (written by Malcolm Stent, songs by Harvey Andrews) in 2005.[4]

In 2005, he appeared in and put on the first of Jasper Carrott's Rock With Laughter concerts. He appeared alongside Bill Bailey, Bonnie Tyler, Lenny Henry, Bobby Davro, the Lord of the Dance troupe and Bev Bevan.[citation needed] This became a regular at the NEC in Birmingham, usually in December and sometimes alternating with his "Jasper Carrott's Christmas Crackers" events, but there have also been a few summer shows too.

In summer 2007, Jasper hosted the Endemol-produced game show Golden Balls for ITV1. Promising ratings led to a second series in January 2008. A third series began in April 2008, and a fourth in October 2008. A fifth and six series were shown in 2009.

He hosted the Sunday night national pub quiz, Cash Inn.

He was 20th in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians show.

Literary work[edit]

Carrott has written three humorous autobiographical paperbacks: A Little Zit on the Side (1979), Sweet and Sour Labarador (1982) and Carrott Roots...and Other Myths (1986). He also wrote an odd novel called 'Shop! or A Store is Born'.

Also of interest is a book by Jasper's former manager John Starkey, Jasper and Me (1993; Etsiketsi Books).

Business interests[edit]

Carrott was part-owner of the production company Celador, makers of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? In 2006, he and wife Hazel sold their shares for £10m as part of a management buyout.

Personal life[edit]

Carrott has been married to his wife Hazel (née Jackson), a former local journalist, since 1973. They have two daughters: Lucy Davis (born 1973), an actress best known for playing Dawn Tinsley in The Office; and Jenny Davis.

Carrott is a supporter and former director of Birmingham City FC. He was awarded an OBE in 2002 "for charitable services".[5] The University of Birmingham awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2004,[6] following a similar award from Aston University in 1995.

Carrott lives in Dorridge, close to Solihull. He was a runner and supported Knowle Fun Run through sponsorship and publicity, in 2001 paying several thousand pounds in £10 for each person who beat him.[citation needed] He is also a patron and fundraiser for Sunfield Children's Home, a school for children with autism. The school is in Clent.

Filmography[edit]

Filmography
Year Title Role Notes
2012 The One Jasper Carrott Himself 9 January 2012
2007-2009 Golden Balls Presenter
2004 24 Carrott Gold: The Best of Jasper Carrott Himself recorded live at the NIC in Birmingham
2002-2004 All About Me Colin Craddock
1999 Jasper Carrott – Back to the Front Himself
1997 The Jasper Carrott Trial Himself based on the original BBC radio series
1996 Carrott's Commercial Breakdown 4 Himself
1994 Carrott-U-Like Himself
1993 Carrott's Commercial Breakdown 3 Himself
1993-1997 The Detectives Bob Louis 30 episodes, 5 series & 1 Special
1992 One Jasper Carrott Himself recorded live at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
1991 Carrott's Commercial Breakdown 2 Himself
1990 24 Carrott Gold Himself recorded live at Stratford Upon Avon
1990-1992 Canned Carrott Himself
1989 Carrott's Commercial Breakdown Himself
1987 Jane and the Lost City Heinrich / Herman / Hans
1987 Stand-up America Himself
1987 Carrott Confidential Himself this includes an election special broadcast on BBC2, and a special trailer for the 2nd series, broadcast on Friday 15 January 1988, which took the form of a mini sketch with Jasper dressed as Anne Robinson on 'Pointless Views'
1985 American Carrott Himself
Jasper Carrott – Learner Driver(Mother in Law) Himself short animated film, unknown TX date
1984 Jasper Carrott – I've Got This Mole Himself short animated film, LWT
1982-1983 Carrott's Lib Himself
1982 The Secret Policeman's Other Ball Himself
1981 Beat the Carrott Himself live from the London Palladium
1981 Carrott Del Sol (Sago) Himself
1980 Carrott Gets Rowdie Himself
1979 The Unrecorded Jasper Carrott Himself live from the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
1978 An Audience With Jasper Carrott Himself
1976 A Half Hour Mislaid with Jasper Carrott Himself

Discography[edit]

  • Jasper Carrott in the Club (live LP, Criminal Records 1973)
  • Funky Moped/The Magic Roundabout (DJS 388, 7 inch single, DJM Records 1975)
  • Jasper Carrott Rabbitts on and on and on.. (DJLPS 462/DJF 20462, live LP, DJM Records 1975)
  • Disco Hits 75 (ADE P 18, compilation LP, Arcade Records 1975) (features Jaspers top 5 hit 'Funky Moped')
  • 20 Original Top Hits (2475 501, compilation LP, Polystar Records 1975) (features Jaspers top 5 hit 'Funky Moped')
  • Bickenhill Rovers Skin'ead Supporters Song/Car Insurance (DJS 649, 7 inch single, DJM Records 1976)
  • Carrott in Notts (DJF 20482, live LP, DJM Records 1976)
  • 12 Days of Christmas/Local Radio Promotion (DJS 10815, 7 inch single/DJR 18002, 12 inch single, DJM Records 1977)
  • A Pain in the Arm (DJF 20518, live LP, DJM Records 1978)
  • Disco Saturday Night 40 (PLD 8004, Double LP compilation, Pickwick Records 1978) (features Jaspers top 5 hit 'Funky Moped')
  • The Best of Jasper Carrott (DJF 20549, live LP, DJM Record 1978)
  • The Un-Recorded Jasper Carrott (DJF 20560, live at Drury Lane TV soundtrack LP, DJM Records 1979)
  • BBC Fun At One (BBC REB 371, LP, BBC Records 1979)(features one track from Jasper 'Car Insurance')
  • Made in Australia (L 375 16, live in Australia LP, DJM/Festival (Australia) 1980)
  • 12 Days of Christmas (K-8144, 7 inch single, DJM/Festival (Australia) 1980)
  • Beat the Carrott (DJF 20575, live at the London Palladium TV soundtrack LP, DJM Records 1981)
  • The Secret Policeman's Other Ball (HAHA 6003, live LP, Springtime Records 1981)(features one track from Jasper 'Australian Motor Insurance Claims')
  • We Are Most Amused:The Very Best of British Comedy (RTD 2067, Double LP, Ronco Records 1981)(features one track from Jasper 'Nutter on the Bus.)
  • The Best of the Chat from Carrott's Lib (DJF 20580, live TV series soundtrack LP, DJM Records 1982)
  • The Stun (Carrott Tells All) (DJF 20582, live LP, DJM Records 1983)
  • Noel Edmonds presents Listen with Mother (BBC REC 525, LP, BBC Records 1984)(Jasper reads 'Gary the Greatest' by Margaret Joy from The Noel Edmonds Show 1982)
  • Jasper Carrott in America (RNLP 817, live in America LP, Rhino Records 1985)
  • Cosmic Carrott (Laugh 1, live in America LP, CBS Portrait Records 1986)
  • Jasper Carrotts Condensed Classics (CCD 30, CD, Chrysalis/Dover Records 1991)
  • The Complete Secret Policeman's Other Ball (ESDCD, 2-CD set, Island 1991) (features two tracks from Jasper 'Australian Motor Insurance Claims' and 'Confessions of a Van Driver')
  • 24 Carrott Gold (EMI TC EMC 3655, live Stratford Upon Avon TV soundtrack 1990, Audio Cassette, EMI Records 1991)
  • Canned Carrott For The Record (EMI 8 31146 2, 2 CD TV soundtrack, EMI Records 1994)
  • Jasper Carrott-Back to the Front volume 1 (TLCD 04, TV soundtrack CD, Sound Entertainment 2000)
  • Jasper Carrott-Back to the Front volume 2 (TLCD 05, TV Soundtrack CD, Sound Entertainment 2000)
  • 24 Carrott Gold – The Best Of Jasper Carrott (TCLCD 58, live at the NIC Birmingham, Sound Entertainment 2004)
  • Classic Carrott volume 1 – Canned Carrott For The Record (2CD TV soundtrack, Sound Entertainment 2005)
  • Classic Carrott volume 2 – 24 Carrott Gold (TV soundtrack CD, Sound Entertainment 2005)
  • Classic Carrott volume 3 – One Jasper Carrott (TLCD050, TV soundtrack CD, Sound Entertainment 2005)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Carrott, Jasper. 1982. Sweet & Sour Labrador.
  2. ^ Ed Doolan interviews...Jasper Carrott (a.k.a.The Other Side of Jasper Carrott) (2005) Radio BBC7
  3. ^ "Biography". Jasper Carrott: The Official Website. Retrieved 15 November 2007. 
  4. ^ Go Play Up Your Own End, BBC review 2005, retrieved: 13/02/2011
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 56797. p. 10. 31 December 2002.
  6. ^ "Comic to get honorary doctorate". BBC News. 3 June 2004. 

External links[edit]