Bremner at the Savoy Hotel, London
|Born||Roderick Keith Ogilvy Bremner
6 April 1961
|Occupation||Comedian, impressionist, playwright|
|Spouse(s)||Susan Shackelton (1987-1995)
Tessa Campbell Fraser (m. 11 September 1999)
Roderick "Rory" Keith Ogilvy Bremner, FKC (born 6 April 1961) is a Scottish impressionist, playwright and comedian, noted for his work in political satire and impressions of prominent British politicians. He is also known for his work on Mock the Week as a panellist (for Series 1 and 2), award-winning show Rory Bremner...Who Else? and sketch comedy series Bremner, Bird and Fortune, which features veteran comedians John Bird and John Fortune.
Early life 
Born in Edinburgh, Rory Bremner was born to Major Donald Stuart Ogilvy Bremner (December 1907–1979) (who was 53 years old at Rory's birth) and his second wife Ann Simpson (1922–2001). He has an older brother and an older half-sister (from his father's first marriage). Bremner was educated at Clifton Hall School and Wellington College and then studied Modern Languages at King's College London, graduating with a degree in French and German in 1984.
While at university, Bremner worked in the cabaret circuit in the evenings and was involved in the drama club. He first came into the limelight in 1985, when his single, "N-N-Nineteen Not Out" (released under the name The Commentators) became a big hit in the British charts. It was a parody of Paul Hardcastle's number one hit, "19", with Bremner impersonating cricket commentators, including Richie Benaud and Brian Johnston, and replacing references to the Vietnam War with references to the England cricket team's disastrous 1984 home series against the West Indies in which the England captain David Gower had averaged 19.
Bremner contributed to Spitting Image and Week Ending, and by 1987 he had his own BBC Two show, Now - Something Else. He later moved to Channel 4 with Rory Bremner, Who Else? where his output became more satirical and the sporting commentators gradually came to represent a smaller proportion of his repertoire. Having teamed up with veterans, John Bird and John Fortune, he now hosts Bremner, Bird and Fortune, which (along with its predecessor Rory Bremner, Who Else?) has won numerous awards. Occasional one-off specials are also shown, with Bremner impersonating Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and various other government figures. In the 1990s he became a semi-regular cameo turn on the Channel 4 improvisation show Whose Line Is It Anyway? and in 2005 he was a team captain on the BBC Two improvisational satire show Mock The Week. Bremner now regularly performs on Sunday AM, impersonating politicians, with a review of recent political events. He has also presented a BBC Radio 4 series, Rory Bremner's International Satirists, in which Bremner talks to comedians and impressionists from various European countries. In September 2009, he presented a BBC Four documentary, Rory Bremner and the Fighting Scots, about the history of Scots serving in the British Army. In the run-up to the 2010 UK General Election, he undertook a 20-date Election Battlebus Tour, his first stand-up comedy tour in five years.
Bremner has translated three operas into English: Der Silbersee by Kurt Weill, Carmen by Georges Bizet and Orpheus in the Underworld by Jacques Offenbach. He has also translated a Bertolt Brecht play into English. He appeared on the programme on BBC Four in 2012 called "The Story of Light Entertainment", when it was about impressionists.
Strictly Come Dancing 
Personal life 
Bremner's first marriage was to Susan Shackleton, a teacher, in 1987, the couple divorcing in 1995. On 11 September 1999, Bremner married Tessa Campbell Fraser, and has two daughters, Ava and Lila. They live in Oxfordshire.
He was awarded Honorary Life Membership of King's College London Students' Union in the early 2000s. In 2005 he was made a Fellow of his alma mater King's College London. Additionally, he was awarded an honorary fellowship by Queen Mary, University of London in 2008.
Bremner speaks French, German and Spanish. He is also studying Russian in order to read Russian poetry better in the original.
Bremner has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and has openly addressed it in interviews. In May 2011, he presented a short programme "ADHD and Me" on Radio 4 about living and coping with the condition.
In 2009, Bremner was the subject of the series Who Do You Think You Are? in a quest to research about his father, whom he barely knew. His father had served in the 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment during the war and was often away from home. Bremner traveled to 's-Hertogenbosch, the Dutch city liberated by the East Lancs, amongst other places to retrace his father's footsteps. Together with his brother, they traced their father's ancestry and discovered that their great-grandfather John Ogilvy had served as a surgeon general during the Crimean War and was later posted to various British colonies.
Prank call to Margaret Beckett 
On 3 May 2005, Bremner dressed up as Michael Howard and walked along the campaign trail in the marginal seat of Wellingborough. He eventually caught up with Howard himself.
The Big Brecht Fest 
In April 2007, he was also involved in The Big Brecht Fest at the Young Vic Theatre in London celebrating the work of German dramatist Bertolt Brecht, where a series of newly-translated versions of some of his short plays were performed. One of the plays that was staged, the short comedy of manners A Respectable Wedding, was retranslated by Bremner, who also penned the title to the series. His translation had a positive reception from critics, although it did draw the ire of some for the removal of any class-conflict edge to the play, directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins as a squirming farce that relies heavily on the comic value of embarrassment.
- "Rory Bremner". Who Do You Think You Are?. Wall to Wall for BBC One. 2 February 2009. No. 1, series 6.
- "No one's safe from his satire". independent.co.uk. 7 December 1997.
- "Bremner's Unique King's Performance". kcl.ac.uk. 19 October 2007.
- "News & views - KCL Alumni Online: Rory Bremner". 23 March 2010.
- "West Indies in England, 1984 - Test Averages". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2009-02-02.
- BBC - Press Office - This Is Scotland press pack: Programs
- "Rory Bremner - Election Battlebus Tour". The Stage.
- "Rory Bremner: Making a new impression". London: The Independent. 2005-07-25.
- "Orpheus in the Underworld". scottishopera.org.uk. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
- Andrew Marr (21 November 2011). "Start the Week". Start the Week podcast. BBC. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
- "Bremner makes an impression with translation of Brecht". Text " Independent, The (London) " ignored (help); Text " Find Articles at BNET.com" ignored (help)[dead link]
- "Strictly Come Dancing signs up Lulu and Edwina Currie". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 6 September 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
- "Alumnus Rory Bremner made King's Fellow". kcl.ac.uk. 11 August 2005.
- Queen Mary awards Honorary Fellowship to TV impersonator Rory Bremner
- "An Evening with Rory Bremner". News. King's College, London. 2007-07-24. Archived from the original on 2007-08-13. Retrieved 16 November 2008.
- "ADHD rings such a bell with me". BBC. 23 May 2011.
- "Beckett tricked by Bremner on phone". Evening Times. 2007-02-26. Retrieved 2007-03-06.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Rory Bremner|
- Profile at the BBC
- Rory Bremner at TED
- Rory Bremner at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Rory Bremner in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Profile at Who Do You Think You Are