Marcus Brigstocke

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Marcus Brigstocke
Marcus Brigstocke 2008.jpg
Marcus Brigstocke during The Early Edition
Born (1973-05-08) 8 May 1973 (age 40)
Guildford, Surrey, England[1]
Medium Television, Radio, Stand up
Nationality British
Genres Satire
Subject(s) Politics
Spouse Sophie Prideaux (2001-2013, divorced)
Notable works and roles Argumental
Love Actually

Marcus Alexander Brigstocke (born 8 May 1973) is an English comedian, actor and satirist who has worked extensively in stand-up comedy, television, radio and in 2010-2011 musical theatre. He is particularly associated with the 6.30pm comedy slot on BBC Radio 4, having frequently appeared on several of its shows. Brigstocke also had a small role in Richard Curtis's romantic comedy Love Actually as Mike, a radio DJ who interviews Billy Mack (played by Bill Nighy). In 2011, Brigstocke was forced to apologise to the Jewish community after making anti-semitic remarks in a newspaper interview.

Early life[edit]

In childhood, Brigstocke attended St. Edmunds School in Hindhead, Surrey.[2] In Chichester he went to Westbourne House School[citation needed] before going onto King's School, Bruton in Somerset. He also attended Netherton Hall School,[citation needed] a boarding school in Farway, Devon. He studied Drama at the University of Bristol,[2] but did not complete his degree.

Comedy career[edit]

Many of the central themes of Brigstocke's work were first addressed during his time as a student at the University of Bristol. While at Bristol he often performed in the comedy trio Club Seals, which later made the transition to TV in the series of short programmes We Are History.

He has a successful radio career including The Now Show (with Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis) and Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off. The Now Show provided an outlet for his fierce dislike of David Blaine, referring to Blaine himself as a "Git Wizard", and his "Above The Below" stunt as Freakdangle. Brigstocke hailed the failure of Blaine's "Drowned Alive" as proof that Blaine is "not special; not magic; just a moistened git". He is increasingly enjoying mainstream success, recently having appeared on such broadly popular TV shows such as Have I Got News for You and Jack Dee's Live at the Apollo series.

Brigstocke plays an arts journalist named Marcus in the Neil Gaiman film A Short Film About John Bolton, and a radio DJ in the Richard Curtis film Love Actually. On 9 April 2006, Brigstocke appeared in BBC Radio 4's Classic Serial adaptation of The Code of the Woosters as Bertie Wooster with Andrew Sachs as Jeeves.

He hosts his satirical programme on BBC4, The Late Edition, which has been described as "Newsnight with jokes".[3] It is loosely based on the format made popular by the American programme The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. This commitment led to his absence from the final two Now Show series of 2006, his place filled by other comedians referred to by the rest of the cast as "our replacement Marcus Brigstocke". He did however return to series in 2007.

Brigstocke's first stand up comedy DVD Planet Corduroy, produced by Phoenix Film & Television Productions, was released in November 2007.

In April 2008 he and fellow comedian and snowboarder, Andrew Maxwell founded the Altitude Festival - a comedy and music festival in the ski resort of Meribel, in the French Alps.

In September 2008, Brigstocke was team captain for the recording of the first series of a new TV comedy panel debating show, Argumental for UK TV channel Dave, He is the Captain of the Red Team. In this, he competes against Rufus Hound with a variety of guest participants, under the chairmanship of John Sergeant.[4]

In 2009, Brigstocke starred in the UK tour of the hit American live improv show, Totally Looped.[5]

His second stand-up show God Collar toured in 2009. In June 2010, Brigstocke announced that he had signed a publishing deal with Transworld to turn the God Collar Tour into a book.[6]

He has also worked for television shows aimed at children for CBBC: Stupid! and Sorry I've Got No Head.

Pac-Man joke[edit]

One of the best-known jokes Brigstocke uses is an ironic commentary on the controversy regarding the influence of video games on children:

If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.

This joke is frequently quoted on the internet and often attributed to famous figures in electronics (such as an apocryphal CEO of Nintendo, "Kristian Wilson," although Hiroshi Yamauchi held that position from 1949 to 2002), but Brigstocke vehemently claims authorship of the joke:

Ah! Bloody Pacman....It is my joke. I wrote it, then I took the rest of the day off as I was so chuffed with it. I am gutted that it has been claimed and passed around by so many people. Intellectual property law will not save me, the false claims will continue until I am man enough to give it all up. All I can say is -- it seems that it is very unlikely that it was written by a Nintendo employee in 1989, being as Pac Man was still around and not much of a childhood memory, there were very few claims that gaming influenced children's behaviour, and that the wording of it is identical to how it has been delivered in my stand up routine for 6 years! For those that are interested it has also been attributed to Bill Gates, but then so has Windows! Bitter? Well perhaps just a little. It was sent to me by someone at Channel 4 a few years back after I did it on Channel 4 in a late night stand up show! Hope that clears everything up.
 
— Marcus Brigstocke[7]

Anti-semitic controversy[edit]

In 2011, Brigstocke had to apologise for joking about Orthodox Jews having sex through a sheet.

In an interview with Metro to promote his book "The God Collar", he was asked about any religious trivia he had encountered researching the book – which is about atheism.

Mr Brigstocke said: "Orthodox Jews make love to each other though a hole in a sheet, which other than a Halloween night prank seems a bit ridiculous to me."

Twitter users pointed out to Mr Brigstocke that this was an antisemitic myth. Antony Jackson wrote: "Orthodox Jews don't and never have made love through a sheet. It is another antisemitic rumour to make Jews seem weird.

"Tzitzit is a religious garment worn daily, about the size of a small sheet, with a hole in the middle & strings on the corners. If you saw that drying outside and had no frame of reference, what would you think? It might have been useful to check that rumour with an Orthodox Jew before writing it."

Excuse My French (BBC2)[edit]

Brigstocke took part in the BBC programme Excuse My French, which was broadcast on BBC2. On the programme he, Ron Atkinson and Esther Rantzen were immersed in the French language by staying in a French town in the Provence region, being compelled to adapt to the French lifestyle and speak the language. His ultimate assignment was to perform a live stand-up comedy act in French to a French audience, a task at which he excelled. According to the programme, he continues to learn French, and has since performed more stand up in France (predominantly in English, but with sections in French).

Selected radio credits[edit]

Selected television credits[edit]

DVD[edit]

Theatre[edit]

Brigstocke made his musical theatre debut as King Arthur in the UK tour of Spamalot for a limited engagement in 2010. His performance sparked an extremely negative backlash in the national press, leading Times critic Bob Merriweather to call his acting "pants". He then starred in 'The Railway Children' as Albert Perks at the Waterloo Station Theatre in 2011.[8]

"I Don't Smoke"[edit]

In 2000, a sample of a comedy sketch performed by Brigstocke, Dan Tetsell and Danny Robins as part of a Bristol University revue in which an individual assuredly proclaims that he is a non-smoker was featured in DJ Dee Kline's "I Don't Smoke", alongside another line in the style of Jim Davidson's character 'Chalky White'.

The sample was used without the knowledge of the comedians until the voice of Brigstocke was recognised by Tetsell, who heard the track whilst shopping, resulting in the trio successfully claiming publishing rights for the track, which entered the UK charts at number 11.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Brigstocke is dyslexic. During an appearance on the BBC TV show Room 101, first broadcast in January 2007, he admitted to having had weight problems as a younger man, and was once in rehab for food addiction. He still battles with his excessive appetite. He was expelled from King's School, Bruton for "beastie-ing" a car (that turned out to belong to one of the groundsmen) and shoplifting from the local shops to feed both his alcohol needs and "excessive appetite". In his book God Collar he reveals "I started sniffing solvents when I was thirteen and progressed to a limited range of other recreational drugs, with a preference for downers or opiate-style highs."[citation needed] During his early adulthood, he was a Goth.

During the early nineties he worked, part-time, as a podium dancer at London nightclub the Ministry of Sound. He was also working on an oil rig at this time.[2][10][11]

Brigstocke likes snowboarding – he had set up a stand up tour in the Alps and a comedy festival called The Altitude Festival.[12] He's performed in beatboxing battles on stage with Shlomo and Bellatrix.[13]

During an episode of The Late Edition filmed in October 2007, Brigstocke 'admitted' being an atheist, and was presented with an Out Campaign T-shirt by his guest and atheist Richard Dawkins to which Brigstocke replied: "Look at that. Outed, outed as an atheist and proud to be so."[14] During an appearance on The One Show in July 2009, Brigstocke reflected that "a lot of people have signed up to the Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens thing", and on being an atheist, that "I was, I probably still am, but I'm not so sure now. It can be a sort of weird and quite a cold experience, actually, if you don't then develop something to believe in."[15]

Brigstocke endorsed Caroline Lucas and the Green Party in their successful bid for the seat of Brighton Pavilion in the 2010 General Election.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nevin, Charles (19 November 2005). "When you're smiling". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-08-12. 
  2. ^ a b c Oglethorpe, Tim (21 April 2001). "Interview: Marcus Brigstocke - Savage past of Marcus; Marcus Brigstocke of The Savages on his misspent youth and how he got back on the straight and narrow". The Mirror (London, England). MGN Ltd. (archive)
  3. ^ "Four - The Late Edition". BBC. 23 January 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  4. ^ "UKTV autumn '08: Dave". Broadcastnow.co.uk. 2008-09-17. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  5. ^ "Totally Looped". Totally Looped. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  6. ^ "Marcus Brigstocke Official Twitter Page". Twitter. Retrieved 2010-07-23. 
  7. ^ "Official Site for the stand-up comic, writer, presenter & actor". Marcus Brigstocke. Archived from the original on 16 May 2012. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  8. ^ Paddock, Terri (29 March 2010). "Spamalot Crowns Brigstocke, Nicholas’ Pirate King". What's On Stage.com. Retrieved 30 March 2010. 
  9. ^ Topham, Gwyn (2 June 2000). "Comic trio enjoy financial rewards of a sample life". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 June 2010. 
  10. ^ Brew, Simon (23 March 2009). "Marcus Brigstocke interview". DenOfGeek.com.
  11. ^ "Would I Lie to You?". BBC TV. 24 August 2009.
  12. ^ "Official Site for the stand-up comic, writer, presenter & actor". Marcus Brigstocke. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  13. ^ "Shlomo’s Glasto diary 09 – Part 4 – Marcus Brigstocke vs Bellatrix beatbox battle". Shlomo Beatboxing Adventures blog. 21 September 2009.
  14. ^ "excerpt on youtube". YouTube.com. Retrieved 2010-06-08. [dead link]
  15. ^ The One Show. BBC. 2009-07-27.
  16. ^ "Marcus Brigstocke supports the Greens and Caroline Lucas". Yorkshire and Humber Green Party. 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 

External links[edit]