Simon Donald drawing Sid the Sexist in a copy of his book, Him off the Viz
|Known for||Co-founder of Viz|
Born Newcastle upon Tyne 1964. Schools: West Jesmond Infant School 1969-1973, West Jesmond Junior School 1973-1975, Heaton School (comprehensive) 1975-1980, Newcastle College of Arts & Technology 1981-1983.
In 1976 Simon joined Newcastle’s People’s Theatre, training in theatre skills. He acted in several of the theatre’s ground breaking Young People’s Theatre productions He worked as assistant stage manager for the RSC on their People's Theatre visit in 1977. He also performed at the Gulbenkian Theatre. He left the People's in 1980.
Between 1981-1983 Simon was singer and lyricist with comedy rock band Johnny Shiloe’s Movement Machine. The band comprised Dave Rose (music writing and drums), Paul Rose (guitar) and Gary Shaw (bass).
In 1981, he appeared in an episode of BBC2’s Something Else programme. In 1983 he co-wrote and appeared in an episode Sparks, also on BBC2.
He specialised as an antagonist on Carlton TV’s live debate programmes in the early 1990s and moved on to play an important role in the BBC’s I Love series, and Channel 4’s 100 Greatest.
He presented a self-penned film at the launch of BBC Choice (now BBC3), and did the same for a project by Carlton ‘The Great London Debate’.
In 2004 he presented The Regionnaires, a six-part north-east regional panel show broadcast on ITV Tyne Tees, which he co-wrote with his former Viz partner Alex Collier.
In 2005 he met Hungover Stuntmen and in 2006 joined their management team. He became their sole manager in 2007. The band recorded an album in Ibiza, played the Ibiza Rocks Festival two years running and appeared at Newcastle Arena with Paul Weller. His work with the band stopped when Simon became full-time carer for his eldest brother Steve, who was diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2008 and died the following November.
In 2005 Simon started performing stand-up comedy. Initially working the circuit on Tyneside and Wearside where he compered both The Horse’s Mouth in Newcastle and Mack’em Laugh in Sunderland. After taking a break to care for his terminally ill brother Simon returned to stand-up comedy, beginning to appear on stage as the characters he had previously talked about in his routine. He soon picked up representation by "Off The Kerb" one of the largest producers and managers of comedy in the UK.
In the summer of 2009 he moved to London to work the comedy circuit in the capital, as well as gigs around the United Kingdom, which included runs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2009 and 2010. He has performed his Sold Out solo show in Newcastle. In 2012-13, he hosted spoof-panel show Fuckwits at The Stand Comedy Club in Newcastle.
- Dipper, Andrew (April 5, 2012). "Viz creator Donald calls Fuckwits to The Stand". Giggle Beats.
- "www.SimonDonald.com - Simon Donald's website
- Simon Donald questions and answers on the Channel 4 website (reference)
- "Brown bids for Viz" - an article by Jessica Hodgson, dated May 25, 2001 (reference)