||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2012)|
Hawks in 2003
|Born||Antony Gordon Hawksworth
12 May 1960
Brighton, Sussex, England
|Known for||Morris Minor and the Majors, "Stutter Rap (No Sleep Til Bedtime)", Playing the Moldovans at Tennis, Round Ireland with a Fridge|
Antony Gordon Hawksworth, better known as Tony Hawks, (born 1960) is a British comedian and author.
Born in Brighton on 12 May 1960, Hawks was educated at Brighton Hove and Sussex Grammar School (1971–76) (became Brighton Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College in 1975) and Brighton College (1976–78). He stated during an appearance on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue that he briefly attended the University of Manchester.
After leaving a drama degree at Manchester University prematurely, Hawks appeared in the West End musical Lennon.  By 1988, before he found chart success, he was already appearing in BBC Radio 4's 'Big Fun Show' with Paul Merton, John Irwin and Josie Lawrence.
Hawks first attempted to break into show business as a singer-songwriter, but it was with a novelty record that he had his first brush with fame. As leader of the trio Morris Minor and the Majors, he reached number 4 in the UK Singles Chart with the Beastie Boys parody, "Stutter Rap (No Sleep til Bedtime)" in 1988. It went on to sell 220,000 copies, and was number one in Australia. The follow-up, a pastiche of Stock Aitken Waterman called "This Is the Chorus", fared less well.
A TV series followed from this, Morris Minor's Marvellous Motors, written by and starring Hawks. In it the fictional bandleader attempted to maintain his pop career while running a garage. It ran for one series in 1989.
Hawks performs stand-up comedy, and is a regular on TV and radio panel games in the UK, including I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, Just a Minute, The Unbelievable Truth and Have I Got News for You, although he first came to prominence as one of two resident performers — the other was Jo Brand — on semi-successful BBC monologue show The Brain Drain.
He has also appeared in Red Dwarf in a number of supporting roles, on several occasions as a voice artist for intelligent machines. Hawks provided the voice of a vending machine in "Future Echoes" and "Waiting for God" and the voice of a suitcase in "Stasis Leak", and appeared on screen as The Guide in "Better Than Life", The Compere in "Backwards", and Caligula in "Meltdown". On the 29 May 2009, Hawks featured in an episode of "Carpool", with his Red Dwarf co-star Robert Llewellyn.
He also provided the voice-over for a restaurant advertisement in the episode "Me²", although this role was uncredited. In the first few seasons of Red Dwarf, Hawks performed a warm-up act for the live audience before taping began. He has appeared as a pundit the television series Grumpy Old Men and as a contestant on the BBC quiz show School's Out.
In November 2010, he was a guest on a number of TV and radio programmes to discuss the film version of Round Ireland with a Fridge, including Simon Mayo's BBC Radio 2 show, "Loose Ends", BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Scotland. He was also a contestant on a special edition of Mastermind for Children in Need; featured as part of Comic Relief 2011.
In March 2011, he travelled to Japan to appear at the Okinawa International Movie Festival where Round Ireland with a Fridge was nominated for Best Comedy. In late 2011, Hawks completed his first national theatre tour for a decade, taking his one man show, 'Random Fun' to 30 towns and cities around the UK. He was also a guest on many television and radio shows during the tour including BBC Breakfast and The Wright Stuff.
In August of 2013, he, as well as many other comedians appeared in the Television adaptation of the Radio show Just a Minute for the 45th anniversary of the show. He makes more than 1 appearance in the series of the television show.
Hawks has written five books:
- Round Ireland with a Fridge: His first book was an account of his attempt to hitchhike around Ireland with a fridge to win a bar bet. It sold over 800,000 copies. (ISBN 0-09-186777-0)
- Playing the Moldovans at Tennis: His second book, also the result of a drunken bet (with the comedian Arthur Smith), this time involved an attempt to beat each member of the Moldova national football team in a game of tennis, based on the theory that people good at one sport aren't necessarily good at others. (ISBN 0-09-187456-4)
- One Hit Wonderland: His third book, describes his attempt, over 10 years after his first, to write a second hit song. This culminates in him performing on Albanian television with Norman Wisdom and Tim Rice (ISBN 0-09-188210-9)
- A Piano in the Pyrenees: The Ups and Downs of an Englishman in the French Mountains: An account of his purchase of a house in the Pyrenees in the south of France, after deciding that the two things he wanted in life were to meet his soul mate, and to purchase an "idyllic house abroad somewhere abroad". (ISBN 0-09-190267-3)
- The Fridge Hiker's Guide to Life
Hawks has also contributed to the collection The Weekenders.
The full-length feature film version of his book Round Ireland with a Fridge, starring Hawks, Josie Lawrence, Ed Byrne and Sean Hughes, was released in 2010. The follow-up, Playing the Moldovans at Tennis, with Steven Frost, Angus Deayton, Morwenna Banks and Laura Solon, was released in 2012.
Hawks donated half of the royalties from his book Playing the Moldovans at Tennis to a trust fund for Moldova, which was used to open the Hippocrates Centre, a medical centre that provides rehabilitative therapy for disabled children from socially vulnerable families. Hawks continues to support Hippocrates through fundraising and personal involvement.
Hawks is the co-founder and public face of the 'Tennis for Free' campaign which aims to make Britain's existing municipal tennis facilities available to all.
He won the British Actors Equity Tennis Tournament for three years running.
He is frequently confused with pro-skateboarder Tony Hawk, largely because the latter's video game franchise uses the possessive apostrophe ("Tony Hawk's"). Hawks maintains a list of emails intended for the skateboarder and his mischievous responses to them, on his website. On 2 January 2008, he appeared on an edition of Celebrity Mastermind, with Tony Hawk as his chosen specialist subject. Hawks noted that his correspondents "might be able to do backside varials but they can't spell to save their lives".
- GRO Birth register: MARCH 1960 5h 100 Brighton
- "Tony Hawks (A. 1976-78) | Old Brightonians - The Alumni of Brighton College". Old Brightonians. 2006-01-14. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
- [Round Ireland with a Fridge ISBN 0-09-186777-0]
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 369. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Tony Hawks (2007-03-26). "A Piano in the Pyrenees". Shvoong.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
- "TONY HAWKS: What Book...?". Daily Mail. 2010-11-12. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
- "Tony Hawks". Tony-hawks.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
- "Tennis for Free". Tennisforfree.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
- "Music". Tony Hawks official website. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
- "Tony Hawks". Tony-hawks.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
- Radio Times 22 December 2007-4 January 2008
- Celebrity Mastermind, BBC One, 2 January 2008
- Tony-Hawks.com (Official website)
- Tony Hawks' Twitter
- Download Tony Hawks' music free
- Tennis For Free website
- Tony Hawks and Chesney Hawkes MySpace page
- Round Ireland With A Fridge
- YouTube interview with Tony Hawks