Matt Berry

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For the Canadian town, see Matt Berry, Edmonton. For the former FCC General Counsel and Virginia politician, see Matthew Berry (politician).
Matt Berry
Matt Berry 2013.jpg
Berry in 2013
Born Matthew Charles Berry
(1974-05-02) 2 May 1974 (age 40)
Bromham, Bedfordshire, England
Alma mater Nottingham Trent University
Occupation Actor, writer, comedian, musician

Matthew Charles "Matt" Berry (born 2 May 1974) is an English actor, writer, comedian and musician. Berry is perhaps best known for his role as Douglas Reynholm in The IT Crowd, from 2007 until the final episode in 2013. He is also well known for his appearances in Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, The Mighty Boosh and Snuff Box. He plays Beef in House of Fools and the title character in Channel 4 sitcom Toast of London.

Berry is renowned for his voice; he has voiced several advertisements, most notably for Volvic, The Natural Confectionery Company, Absolute Radio and MoneySupermarket. He has regularly worked closely with The Mighty Boosh and other associated actors such as Richard Ayoade and is known for playing eccentric, flamboyant, woman-obsessed[1] characters.

Early life and education[edit]

Berry was born in Bromham, Bedfordshire, to Pauline (née Acreman) and Charles Berry. Matt has one older sister, Johanna. He attended Nottingham Trent University, where he received a BA in Contemporary Arts in 1997.

Career[edit]

He began his career as a runner before appearing in the video game magazine show Game Over on BSkyB's computer and technology channel .tv, between 1998 and 1999.[2] Though commissioned as an editorial show on the subject matter, episodes contained a large number of comedy sketches with Berry as the main performer. These showcased a wide range of characters, one of which was a sketch about The Exorcist entitled "Fear Pushed Through the Ring". It was this sketch and others like it that resulted in Berry, and producers Rik Henderson and Richard Pitt, being fired from the show.[citation needed]

Berry's first prominent TV role was playing Todd Rivers/Dr Lucien Sanchez in the cult 2004 comedy series Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and the 2006 spin-off Man to Man with Dean Learner.[3] He later appeared as the eccentric and sinister tycoon/explorer Dixon Bainbridge in The Mighty Boosh.[4][5] Berry first met The Mighty Boosh duo while performing at the Hen and Chickens Theatre, where they were resident in 2000.[6] He can be seen in a small cameo performance in the The Mighty Boosh Live DVD.[7]

Berry wrote and starred in the comedy show Snuff Box on BBC Three with Rich Fulcher, whom he met during the filming of the first series of The Mighty Boosh.[8][9] Fulcher co-starred as Bainbridge's lackey, Bob Fossil.[10] Berry has starred as Douglas Reynholm since the second series of The IT Crowd.[11] He was nominated as Best Male Comedy Newcomer in the 2007 British Comedy Awards for this role, but lost out to James Corden for Gavin and Stacey. In July, 2012, he appeared as vainglorious actor Stephen Toast in the pilot episode of a Channel 4 sitcom, co-written with Arthur Matthews, called Toast of London; notwithstanding mixed reviews, a series was subsequently commissioned, the first episode being broadcast on October 20, 2013.

In November 2007, Berry starred alongside Simon Farnaby and Boosh regular Rich Fulcher in The Golf War on E4.[12] Film appearances include The Devil's Chair (2006)[13] and Moon (2009). In 2008 he became the face of Adult Swim's spoof charity appeal "Save the Workers".[14] Berry featured in Season 3, episode 9 of The Sarah Silverman Program, filmed in Los Angeles for Comedy Central. Berry stars in the video (directed by Richard Ayoade) for the 2007 Super Furry Animals song "Run-Away".[15] He also appeared as an antiques expert in the ITV sketch show Monkey Trousers with Vic and Bob and Steve Coogan.[16]

Berry has provided many voiceovers for both radio and television advertising, including Absolute Radio, Volvic mineral water, Müller Corner adverts and characters on several adverts for The Natural Confectionery Company. He has also been in the sketch show The Wrong Door as a recurring bit-part character who runs into a snooker hall and shouts "Stop playing snooker!" before whispering an implied impossible wager to one of the players and completing an unfeasible trick shot. In 2012 he worked with Team17 on their video game title Worms Revolution, providing voice over, as fictional wildlife documentary maker Don Keystone, for both the game and the video advertisements produced for it.[17]

In 2010, Berry played journalist Michael Duffy in the BBC production Five Daughters, which portrayed events surrounding the Ipswich murders of 2006. Berry starred in a short film called The Search—"a lonely man's search for the existence of life outside our universe takes a remarkable turn when he connects with a recently bereaved family".[citation needed] In 2011, he played the voice of Allen in Aqua Unit Patrol Squad's "Allen Part 2". He appeared as a contestant in the British comedy panel game Shooting Stars, acting the part of Vangelis.[18]

In 2012 and 2013, BBC Radio 4 aired series of his comedy "I, Regress" where he takes the role of Dr Berry, a brilliant but unorthodox regressive therapist. During each 15-minute episode, Berry guides and explores the psyche of a guest patient, attempting to treat his or her problems in surreal dreamlike sequences.[19]

Berry appeared in the film adaptation of the David Nicholls novel One Day, playing the role of Aaron, Dexter's agent. He briefly featured in the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, introducing ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" by way of a mock weather forecast.

Berry played the title character in the 2013 Portlandia episode "Squiggleman".

In October 2013 Berry starred in Channel 4 comedy series Toast of London and appeared in the BBC 2 2014 series House of Fools, written by and starring Reeves and Mortimer.

Music[edit]

Berry composed all the music for Snuff Box,[20] as well as the music for AD/BC: A Rock Opera, which he co-wrote with Richard Ayoade.[21] AD/BC was a half-hour parody of overblown musicals in general and Jesus Christ Superstar in particular, telling the story of the innkeeper who allowed Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus to sleep in his manger. AD/BC was broadcast in December 2004 and featured Fulcher and Mighty Boosh stars Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding. He also performed a song for an episode of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace entitled "One Track Lover", a spoof of cheesy romantic 80s songs.

Berry also wrote music for the BBC 2 Steve Coogan comedy Saxondale and appeared in the first and third episodes of the second series of the show.[22] He composed the theme song for the Channel 4 sketch show Blunder.[23] He is also credited on The Peter Serafinowicz Show.

Berry has released five studio albums: Jackpot (1995), Opium (self-released, 2008), Witchazel (Acid Jazz Records, 2011) and Kill the Wolf (2013) and "Music for Insomniacs" (2014).[24][25] He stated in the first issue of Bearded Magazine in 2007 that he was producing and collaborating on new material with 1960s soul singer Geno Washington and was to record a new album.[26] This would become 'Witchazel', which Berry originally released as a one day only free download in March 2009.[27] The album was later officially released as a CD and paid-for digital download.[28]

Berry has toured with a number of bands including Jonas 3 and The Maypoles.[29] The latter comprises former Bluetones singer Mark Morriss and Singer/Clarinet player Cecilia Fage.[30] Rich Fulcher has joined Berry on stage for several appearances. Geno Washington has also joined Berry onstage at London gigs for encores of the Snuff Box theme.

In October 2007, Berry provided a brand new track "Cream Pie" to Bearded Magazine for readers to download for free,[31] followed by a cover of the Blur song "Sing" in November 2007. 'Cream Pie' is still available to supporters of Beardaid.

Berry voiced his appreciation of the television themes of Ronnie Hazlehurst in an episode of Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe, and his band played out the Screenwipe Christmas special with a rendition of Hazlehurst's theme tune for 1980s British sitcom Sorry!.

Until 2010, Berry presented a show on Absolute Radio, where he still performs various voiceovers and is described as "the voice of Absolute Radio".[32] The now-defunct Matt Berry Podcast regularly featured in the Top Ten of the iTunes podcast chart and its producer Vince Lynch was nominated for Best Online Producer at the Radio Academy Production Awards.

In 2011 he appeared in the music video for "Reset", a song from Route One or Die, the debut album from London based experimental band Three Trapped Tigers

In 2012 part of the Snuff Box theme appeared briefly in the film Dredd, the line "but it was bronze" playing from a computer terminal in the Grand Hall of Justice in the latter half of the film.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-10-20/toast-of-londons-matt-berry-im-typecast-as-lady-obsessed-and-sleazy
  2. ^ “” (2007-04-28). "''Episode of Game Over on Youtube'', 1999". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  3. ^ "''Man to Man with Dean Learner'' episode guide". Tv.com. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  4. ^ The Mighty Boosh credits at IMDB
  5. ^ "''The Mighty Boosh News Updates'', 31 March 2004". Themightyboosh.blogspot.com. 2004-05-04. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  6. ^ "Interview with Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  7. ^ The Mighty Boosh Live credits at IMDB
  8. ^ "Official ''Snuff Box'' site". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  9. ^ Charlton, Dave. "''Snuff Box'' at twitchfilm.com". Twitchfilm.net. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  10. ^ The Mighty Boosh episode cast at IMDB
  11. ^ "''The IT Crowd 2.0''". Dvdtimes.co.uk. 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  12. ^ "27.09.2007". Retrieved 2007-10-20. 
  13. ^ The Devil's Chair IMDB page
  14. ^ "Save the Workers Campaign". adultswim.co.uk. Adult Swim. 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  15. ^ “” (2007-09-24). "Super Furry Animals, "Runaway"". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  16. ^ "''Monkey Trousers'' DVD". Babycow.co.uk. 2005-07-04. Retrieved 2010-08-04. [dead link]
  17. ^ http://www.videogamer.com/xbox360/worms_revolution/news/matt_berry_lends_his_voice_to_worms_revolution.html
  18. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b013yynr
  19. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2012/jan/08/andrew-hillsdon-i-regress
  20. ^ "''Matt Berry on the Music of Snuff Box''". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  21. ^ AD/BC: A Rock Opera
  22. ^ "''Saxondale''". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  23. ^ "Bloomsbury Theatre". Thebloomsbury.com. 2007-05-24. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  24. ^ "Matt Berry Official Web Page". Acid Jazz Records. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
  25. ^ "My new album… ‘KILL THE WOLF’". Matt Berry. 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2013-04-18. 
  26. ^ "''Bearded Magazine". Beardedmagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  27. ^ http://www.witchazelfreedownload.com/
  28. ^ acidjazzrecords. "Matt Berry Official Web Page". Acid Jazz Records. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
  29. ^ "Onion Talking: Matt Berry – The Devil Inside Me". thevelvetonion.com. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  30. ^ "Matt Berry and the Maypoles, Tunbridge Wells April 4th". http://beautiful-life-as-i-know-it.blogspot.co.uk/. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  31. ^ "''Bearded Magazine". Beardedmagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  32. ^ "Matt Berry's Profile on Absolute Radio". Absoluteradio.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 

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