Cornes appeared in three series of Blackadder, in two episodes of The Young Ones and in the TV show Bottom, as barman Dick Head. He made an appearance in the first episode of Filthy, Rich & Catflap as a binman. Appeared in the Comic Strip episode 'Slags'. Appearances on 'Saturday Night Live'. Cornes also starred in children's drama Grange Hill as Mr. Geoff Hankin (1990-2002); provided voices for characters in children's television series TUGS, and featured in the Doctor Who story Kinda as the Trickster (1982). He also appeared in Red Dwarf as Paranoia in the series one episode "Confidence and Paranoia." He also appeared several times in the BBC Scotland sitcom Rab C. Nesbitt, once as a DSS Clerk and again as a barman in a highland pub. He appeared in the 2002 S Club Juniors video "One Step Closer." In November 2010 he appeared as 'Dave' in Episode 6 of E4 comedy Phoneshop. He appeared as the Tooting Flasher in Matt Berry's Toast of London pilot. Appeared in 'Hustle'. Also appearances in 'French and Saunders', 'The Lenny Henry Show', 'The Detectives', 'After You've Gone', 'My Family'.
Stage appearances include Ken Campbell's 'The Warp' at the Liverpool Everyman, several roles at the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond. Figaro at The Watford Palace Theatre, as well as pantomime roles. Co-writer and performer 'The WOW Show' at the Wyndham's Theatre. He toured Britain with Neal from the Young Ones.[clarification needed]
A stand up comedian since 1980, he was a regular compere at London's Comedy Store throughout the 1980s and won best Stand Up Comedian at the Charrington London Fringe Awards in 1987.
Cornes was one of the lead writers for Mr Bean, The Animated Series, and a writer on Cavegirl and Channel 4's Gophers!. He was a co-writer of Channel 4's animation series The Bird, and writer/storyliner on What's Up Doc?, a writer and performer on Thames TV's After Hours and joint writer on two series of The WOW Show on Radio 4. He has appeared in various children's television shows such as My Parents are Aliens, Bear Behaving Badly, Jackanory.
In a 2010 interview in The Times, Cornes was cited as one of fellow comedian Sean Lock's biggest comedic influences. Lock said: "He’s not very well known but he is my main influence — he used to compere at the Comedy Store. He’s the comedians’ comedian. He used to be very unpredictable, which is a great skill in a comedian, not knowing where to go next. He also used to play the physics teacher in Grange Hill." 
- Hayles, David (February 20, 2010). "The world according to Sean Lock". Times Newspapers Ltd. (Times Online). Retrieved May 2, 2010.
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