Richard Ayoade

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Richard Ayoade
Richard Ayoade at Soho Hotel (cropped).jpg
Ayoade at the Soho Hotel, London, 7 March 2011
Born Richard Ellef Ayoade
(1977-12-25) 25 December 1977 (age 36)
Whipps Cross, London, England
Residence East Dulwich, South London
Alma mater University of Cambridge
Occupation Actor, comedian, writer, director, presenter
Years active 1998–present
Notable work(s) 'Dean Learner' in Garth Marenghi's Darkplace
'Maurice Moss' in The IT Crowd
'Saboo' in The Mighty Boosh
Host of Gadget Man
'City Gent' in Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Spouse(s) Lydia Fox[1] (2007–present)

Richard Ellef Ayoade (/.ˈɑːd/ eye-oh-AH-dee, born 25 December 1977) is a British comedian, actor, writer, TV presenter and director of Nigerian and Norwegian descent, best known for his roles as Dean Learner in Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and Maurice Moss in The IT Crowd.[2] He is a team captain on panel show Was It Something I Said?.[3] He presents factual show Gadget Man, having taken over from Stephen Fry after series one.[4] He is a director, having directed films such as Submarine (produced by Ben Stiller), The Double, which stars Jesse Eisenberg, as well as directing various music videos for well known bands such as Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Kasabian. Ayoade often works alongside Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt, Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher in shows such as The Mighty Boosh, Nathan Barley and Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy.

Early life and education[edit]

Ayoade was born on 25 December 1977 in Whipps Cross, London,[5] to Layide Ade Laditi Ayoade, a Nigerian father, and Dagny Amalie (née Baassuik), a Norwegian mother.[6][7][8][9] The family moved to Ipswich in Suffolk when he was young.[2]

Ayoade studied at St. Joseph's College[10] in Ipswich and later read law at St Catharine's College, Cambridge (1995-1998), where he won the Martin Steele Prize for play production[11] and was president of the Footlights from 1997 to 1998.[12] Ayoade studied law, citing that his parents would not approve of studies considered to be of the "Regency era",[13] adding that "a non-vocational degree seemed such an outlandish indulgence".[14] Ayoade states that the law is no longer a viable "fall back" for him and would need to "go back to square one".[15]

Career[edit]

While in Footlights, Ayoade acted in and wrote many shows. He and Footlights vice-president John Oliver wrote two pantomimes together: Sleeping Beauty, and Grimm Fairy Tales. Ayoade acted in both Footlights' 1997 and 1998 touring shows: Emotional Baggage and Between a Rock and a Hard Place (directed by Cal McCrystal).[16]

Garth Marenghi[edit]

Ayoade co-wrote the stage show Garth Marenghi's Fright Knight with Matthew Holness, whom he also met at the Footlights, appearing in the show at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2000 where it was nominated for a Perrier Award.[13] In 2001, he won the Perrier Comedy Award[17] for co-writing and performing in Garth Marenghi's Netherhead, the sequel to Fright Knight'.

In 2004, Ayoade and Holness took the Marenghi character to Channel 4, creating the spoof horror comedy series Garth Marenghi's Darkplace. He directed and also appeared as Dean Learner, Garth's publisher, who plays Thornton Reed, a hospital administrator who bears a trademark shotgun and answers to hospital boss "Won Ton". Ayoade's Darkplace character, Dean Learner, was resurrected in 2006 to host a comedy chat show, Man to Man with Dean Learner, on Channel 4. The different guests were played each week by Holness.

The Mighty Boosh[edit]

In The Boosh radio series Richard played the part of Tommy Nookah in the second episode, Jungle, originally aired on 23 October 2001. Ayoade was part of the original cast of Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding's The Mighty Boosh: he was selected to play the role of dangerous villain Dixon Bainbridge. However, by the time the radio series transferred to television he was under contract by Channel 4 and was only able to act in the pilot before leaving the Boosh. The part was taken by fellow Darkplace actor and eventual IT Crowd costar Matt Berry. He later returned in the second series, to play the part of the belligerent shaman Saboo, where he improvised the line 'an erotic adventurer of the most deranged kind' when describing Kirk, a fellow shaman played by Noel Fielding's girlfriend's nephew. Ayoade continued his association with The Mighty Boosh in the third series, acting as script editor and also reprising his role of Saboo in the episodes "Eels", "Nanageddon", "The Strange Tale of the Crack Fox" and "Party".

The IT Crowd[edit]

Ayoade is now a recognisable face in Britain owing to his role as the technically brilliant but socially awkward Maurice Moss in Channel 4's The IT Crowd. In 2008 he won the award for an outstanding actor in a television comedy series at Monte-Carlo Television Festival for his performance. Also in 2009, Ayoade co-starred with Joel McHale in an unaired Americanisation of The IT Crowd pilot, reprising his character without any changes to his appearance or character.

Was It Something I Said?[edit]

Ayoade is a team captain on the Channel 4 panel show Was It Something I Said?, which began airing on 6 October 2013 and co-starring David Mitchell as host and Micky Flanagan as fellow team captain.[18][19]

Submarine[edit]

In 2010, Ayoade released his debut directorial feature, Submarine, a coming-of-age comedy-drama film adapted from the 2008 novel of the same name by Joe Dunthorne. The film stars newcomers Craig Roberts and Yasmin Paige with Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor and Paddy Considine. The film was produced by Warp Films and Film4 and musician Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys contributed five original songs to the soundtrack.

The film premiered at the 35th Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010.[20] Following a generally positive reception it was picked up by the Weinstein Company for a North American release.[21] The film also played at the 54th London Film Festival in October 2010 and was played out of competition at the 27th Sundance Film Festival in January 2011.[22][23] It was also screened along with 400 other films at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival the next month.[24] It went on general release in the UK on 18 March and was released on 3 June in the US. It won the 2011 London Awards for Art and Performance. Ayoade was also nominated for a BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer at the 65th British Academy Film Awards.

Music video work[edit]

Ayoade has directed videos for the Arctic Monkeys ("Fluorescent Adolescent", "Crying Lightning" and "Cornerstone"), Super Furry Animals ("Run Away", which has Matt Berry in the lead role.[25]), the Last Shadow Puppets ("Standing Next to Me" and "My Mistakes Were Made For You") and Vampire Weekend ("Oxford Comma" and "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa"), as well as videos for Kasabian ("Vlad the Impaler", which starred Noel Fielding) and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs ("Heads Will Roll"). In 2007 he directed a live Arctic Monkeys DVD entitled At the Apollo, which was recorded at the Manchester Apollo. It was previewed at Vue cinemas across the UK during October 2008 and was released on DVD the following month, winning the "Best DVD" title at the NME Awards that year.

Other work[edit]

In 2005, he played the role of Ned Smanks in Chris Morris' and Charlie Brooker's Nathan Barley. Ayoade directed, co-wrote and co-starred (with fellow Darkplace and IT Crowd cast member Matt Berry) in AD/BC: A Rock Opera, and has appeared on T4. He helped write The Mighty Book of Boosh, along with Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt, Rich Fulcher, Dave Brown and Michael Fielding. He is also featured in Paul King's film, Bunny and the Bull,[26] where he plays the role of an extremely boring museum tour guide.[27]

In November 2007, Ayoade appeared on Channel 4's The Big Fat Anniversary Quiz, which marked the channel's 25th anniversary. In January 2011, he appeared on The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2010, then appeared again in December 2012 on The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2012, and once again on "The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2013" in December 2013.[28] In March 2011, Ayoade directed the episode Critical Film Studies in season 2 of Community. Ayoade directed comedian Tommy Tiernan's world stand-up tour, Crooked Man, which was released in November 2011.[29]

Ayoade starred in the American comedy film The Watch (2012),[30] alongside Submarine producer Ben Stiller. He will direct a new comedy, The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska.[31][32] He also plays the character 'City Gent' in the show Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy.[33]

Ayoade replaced Stephen Fry as presenter in the second series of Channel 4's Gadget Man, in September 2013.[34][35]

Filmography[edit]

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2003–2007 The Mighty Boosh Saboo 5 episodes
Writer - 1 episode
2004 Garth Marenghi's Darkplace Dean Learner / Thornton Reed Writer, director
2005 Nathan Barley Ned Smanks
2006 Man to Man with Dean Learner Dean Learner Writer, director, executive producer
Time Trumpet Himself
Snuff Box Music show host 2 episodes
The Big Fat Anniversary Quiz Team with David Mitchell
2006–2010, 2013 The IT Crowd Maurice Moss
2010 The Big Fat Quiz of the Year Team with Noel Fielding 2010 episode
2011 Community Director - Critical Film Studies episode
2012 Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy City gent 3 episodes
Full English Edgar Voice only
Never Mind the Buzzcocks Host Season 26, episode 7
The Big Fat Quiz of the Year Team with Gabby Logan 2012 episode
The Big Fat Quiz of the '00s Team with Noel Fielding
2013 Strange Hill High Templeton Voice only
Gadget Man Host Series 2
Was It Something I Said? Team Captain
The Big Fat Quiz of the Year Team with Noel Fielding 2013 episode
The Big Fat Quiz of the '90s (2013) Team with Bob Mortimer
2014 "Duck Quacks Don't Echo" Contestant 1 episode
"The Last Leg" Guest

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2003 Hello Friend Computer man Short film
2004 The Life and Death of Peter Sellers Wedding photographer
2004 AD/BC: A Rock Opera Joseph Writer, director
2005 Festival Dwight Swan
2009 Bunny and the Bull Museum curator
2010 Submarine Writer, director
2012 The Watch Jamarcus
2013 The Double Writer, director
2014 The Boxtrolls Filming

Other[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2008 At the Apollo Director Arctic Monkeys' live concert film
2011 Crooked Man Director Tommy Tiernan's stand-up tour film

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rebecca Hardy (1 October 2010). "It's not all happy families! Acting legend James Fox on his Lewis star son Laurence – and what he really thinks of daughter-in-law Billie Piper". Daily Mail. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Patrick Barkham (1 October 2008). "I really don't think I'm cool". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Was It Something I Said? – C4 Panel Show – British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  4. ^ Published 1 May 2013, 11:58 BST (2013-05-01). "Richard Ayoade replaces Stephen Fry on Channel 4's 'Gadget Man' – TV News – Digital Spy". M.digitalspy.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-20. 
  5. ^ Nevin, Charles (19 November 2005). "When you're smiling". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Høy kred og halvt norsk". Film Magasinet. 
  7. ^ "Moss becomes boss". The Irish Times. 11 March 2011. 
  8. ^ Miramax Films (19 April 2012). "Submarine production notes" (PDF). 
  9. ^ "Richard Ayoade Starts Production On New Project "The Double"". 18 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Mills, Pat (5 October 2012). "DREDD: HE IS THE LAW!". wordpress.com. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "Reporter 5/8/98: St Catharine's College". Cambridge University Reporter. 5 August 1998. 
  12. ^ "Alumni: 1997–1998". Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Alexis Petridis (14 January 2011). "Richard Ayoade: Meet Mr Modest". The Guardian. 
  14. ^ DeFore, John (10 June 2011). "Submarine is director Richard Ayoade's coming of age". The Washington Post. 
  15. ^ Keough, Peter (17 June 2011). "Interview with Richard Ayoade, director of Submarine". The Phoenix. 
  16. ^ "Richard Ayoade – CV". theitcrowd.co.uk. 
  17. ^ "Richard Ayoade". Jo Unwin Literacy Agency. Retrieved February 2014. 
  18. ^ Was It Something I Said? – Production Details & Cast and Crew – British Comedy Guide. Comedy.co.uk. Retrieved on 16 October 2013.
  19. ^ "David Mitchell recruits Richard Ayoade and Micky Flanagan for new series". United Kingdom: The Guardian. 6 June 2013. Retrieved February 2014. 
  20. ^ Brad Frenette (27 July 2010). "Toronto International Film Fest announces 2010 lineup". National Post. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  21. ^ Diana Lodderhose and Pamela McClintock (15 September 2010). "Weinsteins win 'Submarine' bidding war". Variety. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  22. ^ David Gritten (7 October 2010). "London Film Festival preview". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  23. ^ Germain Lussier (2 December 2010). "2011 Sundance Film Festival Out of Competition Films Announced". /Film. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  24. ^ Scott Roxborough (17 January 2011). "Berlin Announces Forum Lineup". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  25. ^ Super Furry Animals – Run-Away on YouTube
  26. ^ "Made in Britain: Warp Films at 10; Bunny and the Bull". British Film Institute. Retrieved February 2014. 
  27. ^ "Bunny and the Bull (2009) – New Cinema Wallpaper of the Day – Mighty Boosh meets Gondry meets Withnail & I meets Sideways". cinemaisdope.com. 7 June 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-06-10. 
  28. ^ "Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2010". Channel 4. 3 January 2011. 
  29. ^ Sheridan, Colette (28 October 2011). "Far from Hollywood". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  30. ^ Nisha Gopalan (26 July 2012). "The Watch’s Richard Ayoade on Breaking Into Comedy and Playing the Nerd". Vulture. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  31. ^ Kemp, Stuart (1 February 2012). "Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska Join ‘The Double’ Cast". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  32. ^ Kemp, Stuart (9 February 2012). "Berlin 2012: Studiocanal Takes U.K. Rights to Richard Ayoade's ‘The Double’". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  33. ^ Richard Ayoade at the Internet Movie Database
  34. ^ "Gadget Man Series 2". Channel 4. 29 August 2013. 
  35. ^ "Richard Ayoade replaces Stephen Fry on Channel 4's 'Gadget Man'". Digital Spy. 1 May 2013. 

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Sarah Moule
Footlights President
1997–1998
Succeeded by
Kevin Baker