Adam Howden

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Adam Howden
Born (1983-07-01) 1 July 1983 (age 36)[1]
ResidenceLondon, United Kingdom
OccupationActor/Voice actor [2]
Years active2005–present
AgentBrown, Simcocks and Andrews [3]

Adam Howden (/ˈhdən/; born 1 July 1983) is an English actor who has worked in video games, television, theatre, film, and audiobooks.[3]

With video games, his most notable roles are as Anders in Dragon Age II, as Shulk in Xenoblade Chronicles and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, as Tintin for the video game based on the film, The Adventures of Tintin, as Pipin in the Final Fantasy XIV expansion pack Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, and as Fenton Paddock in the point-and-click adventure game Lost Horizon.[2][3] On television, Adam has done guest star acting on the BBC One soap opera Doctors as Martin Rivers (2008), Ben Hardwick (2013), and DC Gerrard Norcroft (2015), performances as Steven Lilwall on the BBC One series New Tricks, and two roles, as Fred and Jack Parsons, for the TV series documentary Dark Matters: Twisted But True on Science Channel.[2][3] In theatre, Adam has worked on various plays, most notably during 2015 in the role of Stu for a revival of Anthony Neilson's play Stitching at the House of Wolf, and also the role of Dickie Greenleaf for the play adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley at New Diorama Theatre, for which Adam received a Best Supporting Male nomination at the Offies 2016 (The Off West End Theatre Awards).[3][4] Regarding film, Adam has done main roles on short films like Towers by the filmmaker Azhur Saleem, but also small parts on films like Delicious and as Rupert Drummond on the horror film Scar Tissue.[2][3] For his work in audiobooks, Adam has also performed narration for Wicked Beloved, a novel by the novelist Susanne Saville.[5]

Acting bug and education[edit]

Fond of acting since his early school years,[6] Adam chose the subject for his GCSE studies, then his A Levels at the Strode College in 1999.[7] Inside that school, Adam studied Drama, Film Studies, and English Literature until his 2001 graduation; moment where, as Adam left the school, he then knew that acting was his vocation.[6][7]

Wanting the proper training and skills for his future job, Adam then auditioned at Drama schools.[7] Eventually, he got accepted at the Drama Centre, location he much appreciated for its welcoming atmosphere from both the students and the teachers, but also for its rich actors pedigree (e.g Colin Firth, Michael Fassbender, etc.).[6][7] Alongside other alumni like Ryan Gage, Rolan Bell, Gwendoline Christie, Jodie McNee, and Joseph MacNab,[8] Adam studied important acting techniques (e.g. traditional Shakespeare, Stella Adler),[9] including some involving his voice for, as he explains, "working on your voice is very important in all areas of acting, not just voice-overs."[6]

Voice-over beginnings[edit]

Following his 2005 graduation,[8] Adam's first TV role was as a student during "Slow Bomb", the finale of the action series Ultimate Force starring Ross Kemp.[2][3] For that work, Adam took his breaks inside a trailer with Simon Lenagan, another guest-star.[7][10][11] In that caravan, Adam discussed with his colleague how he wanted to do voice-over.[7] And as the dialogue progressed, Simon encouraged Adam to present his voice reel at Just Voices, a voice-over agency he had co-founded.[7][11][12][13] Which Adam did and since then, the actor started his career in voice-overs;[14] first doing commercials (e.g.: Nintendo, Twix, Berkley, etc.) and corporate voice-overs.[3][12][15] Soon came video games, with additional voices in Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening,[2][3] then as Fenton Paddock in Lost Horizon (video game),[2][3] a main role which Adam has, as he explains, "a soft spot for".[12]

Notable video game roles[edit]

Various voice roles (Dragon Age: Origins/Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening) and Anders (Dragon Age 2)[edit]

For his first dive into the video game industry and BioWare's franchise, Adam auditioned for Dragon Age: Origins at the voice studio Side UK, reading and obtaining there a couple of roles.[6][16] Directed by Catherine Livingstone, Dragon Age's voice director,[3] he recorded various voices such as the Ostagar prisoner, which Adam has said he was "quite fond of" and "the first time I'd ever seen myself as a computer sprite."[6] Alongside that performance, he worked as two Ostagar army minions (soldier and officer) and, for the Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening add-on, as the Constable Aidan.[6][17]

Then for Dragon Age 2, released in 2011, came Adam's breakthrough as Anders.[3] Originally played by Greg Ellis (actor) in Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, BioWare offered Adam the part when Greg couldn't perform it due to unspecified reasons that reduced his involvement in the second part only to apparitions as Cullen.[18] With that new role, Adam returned in Dragon Age's universe, recording his voices with Catherine Livingstone who, back in Canada, guided Adam in his sessions;[3] either by advising him on Anders's progression — as actors do not receive a complete script for secrecy reasons — and checking over his voice tone so that it didn't derail.[17] In preparation for the role, Adam also listened to Greg Ellis's performance.[6] But as the character had evolved from the first installment where he was cheerful, Adam followed his instincts since Anders, as the actor explains, "is written quite differently. He maintains a sense of humor but you learn so much more about him in DA2 and you see a much darker side to him."[6]

About those two projects, Adam is very proud to be involved in them, praising their diverse storytelling opportunities, with rich narration branches that allowed players to play again and uncover new secrets about its universe, unlike others which gamers complete once and then abandon.[17] He also added that thanks to Anders, his popularity rose immensely as he noticed more supporters following his Twitter account since that role, and that it was the most frequent character fans ask him to pull out when meeting him.[12][17] Concerning the controversy over Anders's actions in the game, Adam expressed his entire support for him, explaining that he was his actor and, as he learned at his acting lessons, actors must not judge their characters and must deal with their actions.[17] He also, on episode 21 of the MCMBuzz Podcast, denounced and condemned the homophobia some YouTube and Twitter users have exhibited over a gay romance storyline between his character and Garrett Hawke, the hero of the game.[17] During that podcast episode,[17] Adam defended that romance storyline and also said — in reply to all the prejudiced Twitter users who believe that it must have been difficult for Adam to play the role since he's heterosexual — that he has acted other gay characters before (e.g. Hanschen Rilow in Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening (play)),[3][19] that performing a gay romance never bothers him, that it was a pleasant kissing session between his lips and his hand, and that his performance for this love storyline even got him praises from a friend who played the game and told him: "You do come on quite strong, now Adam."[20]

Tintin (The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn)[edit]

Among his childhood reads, Adam always loved The Adventures of Tintin, created by the Belgian comic book artist Herge.[12] So when Side UK passed video game auditions for the hero's voice, Adam was excited at the idea of performing as Tintin.[17] Although one audition employee expressed doubts that Adam would obtain the role — as the character is sixteen years old and Howden in his late twenties — the actor refuted the man with an excellent Tintin voice audition.[17] Therefore, Adam obtained the coveted role for this secretive project and also got to work thrice with Phil Evans, who had voice-directed him on Lost Horizon and Star Wars: The Old Republic.[3][17]

Regarding its content, Adam described the game as a platformer inspired by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson's production where, as he says, "they've taken two of the Tintin books and combined them for the film, and the game sort of follow that story of the film, but will also go on other adventures as well, so that you can do other things."[21] But unlike Xenoblade Chronicles and the Dragon Ages which he recorded alone in the booth, Adam performed alongside other actors this time.[6][7][17] Among them was Lewis MacLeod (actor),[17] who voiced Captain Haddock and whose talent impressed Adam who described him as "just so confident and he can just do it. He just turns it on, he can change his voice, turn on a sixpence, and it's brilliant."[22] In sum, Adam really enjoyed his Tintin experience and was impatient to play the game when it would come out in October 2011.[17]

Shulk (Xenoblade Chronicles and Super Smash Bros.)[edit]

After a successful November 2010 audition for an unidentified Nintendo RPG, Adam was offered the role of Shulk, main hero of the video game Xenoblade Chronicles directed by Tetsuya Takahashi through his company, Monolith Soft.[6][16] Already released in Japan for the Nintendo Wii on 10 June 2010 and set in Europe for 19 August 2011,[23][24] Adam's job was to participate in Xenoblade's English translation for the 2011 release.[16] Therefore, his recording — helmed by Justin Villier at Side UK — happened over four straightforward weeks; unlike the Dragon Ages' and Tintin's which occurred in separate stages set according to their productions' situations.[3][16]

Like at his audition where he read the game's opening, Adam's performance had to correspond to the character's design and the casting director's desires.[6][16] In sum, a bold and intelligent young adult who slowly becomes more mature during his quest;[6] with, as Adam was told, "a neutral English voice, not posh sounding, but should sound educated."[16] So Adam applied a tone which, as he says, "is not completely different from my own voice, it's a variation of my own voice. How I was when I was 19, probably!"[16] And to ensure his acting corresponded well to Tetsuya Takahashi's intentions, he also listened to the Japanese voice track, which allowed him to find the proper emotion for his scenes.[6] As the recording team's mission was a faithful and expert localization of Xenoblade's storyline, they also — along with a translator and a Nintendo producer — had to adjust their translation according to whatever problems in the booth.[16] For instance, if the duration of the character's mouth animation didn't correspond with the voice actor's performance, the crew would either shorten or lengthen the dialogue while keeping fidelity with the original's intent.[6][16] And if the crew had questions over certain lines or terms, the translator would help them.[6][16]

Of the RPG, Adam described it as "a philosophical game. It explores our place in the universe, do we really exist, God, do we make our own fate or are we on a set course, as well as love, revenge, and friendship."[6] On a personal note, he was proud of Xenoblade and wished the game had gotten more recognition for its merits.[7] About his performance, the actor's work was applauded as he and the entire voice crew got a "Best Vocal Ensemble in a Video Game" nomination in 2013 at the BTVA Video Game Voice Acting Award.[25] Also, as the original Wii game was re-released in 2015 for the New Nintendo 3DS XL,[26] Adam performed as Shulk again for the English version of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U which came out on October 2014 (Nintendo 3DS) and November 2014 (WiiU).[27]

Howden returned for Xenoblade Chronicles X in 2015 and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 in 2017, albeit in roles other than Shulk.

Writing interests[edit]

Apart from acting, Adam loves to pen down stories; which is, for him, "a good way to stay sharp when I'm not acting."[6] Among those projects came "Bin Men" and "Dogging",[28][29] two 2011 comedic shorts he shot with Jamie Baughan — his Drama Centre colleague — and the director Sankar Jayaraman, who filmed him in 2010 on "Bubble Burst".[2][3][8]

Among Adam's other wishes would be to make a biopic about his mother's family life in 1960s East Africa and play his grandfather.[30] As he explains, "I've been told so many amazing stories of their time there and having visited there myself I want others to see what a beautiful place it is. It's all in my head, I just need to write the bugger."[30]

Stage work[edit]

List of roles in theatre plays
Year Title Role Director Company Source
2001 Twelfth Night Antonio Andrew Harries Bath Theatre Royal [3]
2002 Fathers and Sons Arkady John Bechizza Drama Centre [3]
2003 Pains of Youth Alt Georgina Sowerby Drama Centre [3]
2003 Le Cid Le Cid Marguerite Forsythe Drama Centre [3]
2003 Artists & Admirers 'Arry Brown Di Trevis Drama Centre [3]
2004 Romeo and Juliet Romeo Jon Lee Drama Centre [3]
2004 Mary Stuart The Earl of Leicester Annie Tyson Drama Centre [3]
2005 The Duchess of Malfi Pescara Di Trevis Drama Centre [3]
2005 Mephisto Hendrik James Kemp Drama Centre [3]
2006 Spring Awakening Hanschen Rilow Aoife Smyth Union Theatre, London [3][19]
2011 The Malcontent Malevole Rae McKen Custom/Practice at White Bear Theatre [3]
2014 Richard III Buckingham Rae McKen Custom/Practice at White Bear Theatre [3]
2015 Romeo and Juliet Benvolio Rachel Valentine Smith The Faction [3]
2015 Joan of Arc La Hire/Montgomery Mark Leipacher & Rachel Valentine Smith The Faction [3]
2015 The Talented Mr. Ripley Dickie Greenleaf Mark Leipacher The Faction [3]
2015 Stitching Stu Pip Minnithorpe House Of Wolf [3]
2017 Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Donnie Kirshner Marc Bruni U.K. Tour Cast [3]

Filmography[edit]

Feature films and shorts[edit]

List of roles in Feature films and shorts
Year Type of film Title Role Director Notes Source
2005 Short film Dancing with Lucy Harry Laerke Vindhal [3]
2006 Short film Toast Dave Aneta Challis [3]
2006 Short film Dirty Work Special Agent 1 Carl Allegard [3]
2007 Short film The Death Certificate Mark Samson Carl Allegard [2][3]
2010 Short film Bubble Burst Philip Mann Sankar Jayaraman [2][3]
2012 Short film The New Start Tommy David Elliot [2][3]
2011 Short film Bin Men Junior Bin Man Sankar Jayaraman Written and Produced by Adam Howden [28]
2011 Short film Dogging Junior Doggie Sankar Jayaraman Written and Produced by Adam Howden [29]
2015 Short film Towers Evan Azhur Saleem [2][3][31]
2011 Feature Film The Comedian Adam Tom Shkolnik [2][3]
2011 Feature Film Scar Tissue Rupert Drummond Scott Michell [2][3]
2012 Feature Film Delicious Suited Man Tammy Riley-Smith [2][3]

Video games[edit]

List of voice performances in video games
Year Title Role Voice Director Game Studio Notes Source
2009 Dragon Age: Origins Various Roles (Ostagar Prisoner, Ostagar Officer, and Ostagar Soldier) Caroline Livingstone BioWare [2][3]
2010 Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening Various Roles (Constable Aidan) Caroline Livingstone BioWare [2][3]
2010 Lost Horizon Fenton Paddock Phil Evans Deep Silver [2][3]
2010 Fable III Various Roles Kate Saxon Lionhead Studios [2][3]
2011 Inazuma Eleven 2 Various Roles (Prime Minister Stuart Vanguard, team members) Mark Healy Nintendo [2][3][32]
2011 Dragon Age II Anders and Brekker Caroline Livingstone BioWare [2][3]
2011 Star Wars: The Old Republic Various Roles (Overseer Prithor, etc.) Phil Evans Lucas Arts/BioWare [2][3]
2011 Dragon Age II: Legacy Anders Caroline Livingstone BioWare [3]
2011 Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin Anders Caroline Livingstone BioWare [33]
2011 Xenoblade Chronicles Shulk Mark Healy Nintendo [2][3]
2011 The Secret of the Unicorn Tintin Phil Evans Ubisoft [2][3]
2013 Soul Sacrifice Player Character Male Kate Saxon Sony [2][3]
2013 Soul Sacrifice Delta Player Voice Side UK Sony [3]
2013 Company of Heroes 2: The British Forces Tommy Side UK Sega & Relic Entertainment [2][34]
2014 Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Shulk Justin Villiers Nintendo [2][3]
2014 Assassin's Creed Unity Various Roles (Le Peletier, etc.) Justin Villiers Ubisoft [2][3]
2015 Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Pipin Tarupin, Various Roles Matt Delamere Square Enix [1][2][3]
2015 Xenoblade Chronicles X Male Avatar (Classic) Side UK Nintendo [2][35]
2015 XCOM 2 UK Soldier Firaxis Games [2][36]
2016 Battlefleet Gothic: Armada Solar Admiral Spire Side UK Sony [37][38]
2016 Battlefield 1 Pilot, Various Roles Justin Villiers EA DICE [3]
2016 FIFA 17 Various Roles Aaron McHardy EA Canada [3]
2016 Horizon Zero Dawn Various Roles Jo Green Guerrilla Games, Sony [3]
2017 Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Pin Tarupin Matt Delamere Square Enix [1][2][3]
2017 Xenoblade Chronicles 2 The Architect, Shulk Jimmy Livingstone & Matt Roberts Monolith Soft As Shulk in the Challenge Battle Mode DLC [39]
2018 Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Leander Mark Healy Level-5 [40]
2018 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Shulk Mark Healy Nintendo [2][3][41]
2019 Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers Thaffe Square Enix [1][2][3]

Television[edit]

List of live-action performances in television
Year Title Role Episode(s) Notes Source
2005 Ultimate Force Student Ep.:"Slow Bomb" (Series 4, episode 5) [2][3]
2007 Holby City Jason 'Bilf' Travers Ep.: "Countdown" (Series 9, episode 37) [2][3]
2008-2009 New Tricks Dr. Steven Lilwall 2 episodes: "Couldn't Organise One" (Series 5, episode 5) & "Death of a Timeshare Salesman" (Series 6, episode 5) [2]
2008 Doctors Martin Rivers Ep.: "The Ticking Clock" (Series 10, episode 32) [2][3]
2011 Whitechapel Stuart Third series role. Adam's scenes were cut in the final edit. [3][42][43]
2012 Dark Matters: Twisted But True Fred/Jack Parsons (rocket engineer) Fred: "Pavlov's Children, Raining Aliens, Glow Girls" (Season 2, episode 12) / Jack Parsons (rocket engineer): "Magical Jet Propulsion, Missing Link Mystery, Typhoid Mary"(Season 2, episode 13) [2][3]
2013 Doctors Ben Hardwick Ep.: "Crossing the Line" (Series 14, episode 220) [2][3]
2013 The Intern Lawrence Wright Ep.: "Jess, Will and Andy" (Series 1, episode 4) [3][44][45]
2015 Doctors DC Gerrard Norcroft Ep.: "Best Laid Plans" (Series 17, episode 126) [2][3]

Audiobooks[edit]

List of voice performances
Year Author Title Publisher Award Source
2012 Susanne Saville Wicked Beloved Ignition Studios [5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Adam Howden: Behind the Voice Actors (Page Profile)". Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao "Adam Howden (IMDB Page Profile)". Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu "Spotlight: ADAM HOWDEN (Page Profile)". Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  4. ^ "OffWestEnd.com - The_offies2016 - The definitive guide to London's Off West End theatre scene, featuring listings and details for over 80 theatres, news, discussion and exclusive special offers". Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  5. ^ a b Wicked Beloved Audiobook : Susanne Saville (Audible.com). Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Dave Ward. "Adam Howden Interview (RPG Site)". Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Gary Smith (15 April 2014). "Adam Howden Interview - Xenoblade Chronicles, Fable 3, Dragon Age Voice Actor (Part 1 of 3)". Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  8. ^ a b c Central Saint Martins (29 June 2013). "London Drama Centre - Previous Students 1999-2013". Archived from the original on 6 September 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  9. ^ Hydrogen-Mag (16 December 2014). "The Gage Effect - Hydrogen: Mag". Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  10. ^ "Simon Lenagan (IMDB Page Profile)". Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  11. ^ a b @A_Howdz. "Adam Howden Tweet (19 September 2016)". Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  12. ^ a b c d e MCMBuzz (Admin). "Interview with Adam Howden (MCM BUZZ - Movies, TV, Comics, Gaming, Anime, Cosplay News & Reviews)". Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  13. ^ "Who runs Just Voices Agency?". Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  14. ^ @SimonLenagan. "Simon Lenagan tweet (22 September 2016)". Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  15. ^ JustVoices. "UK & USA Male Voiceover Artists at Just Voices Agency". Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Orla Madden (24 March 2013). "Ninterview: Meet Adam Howden - Voice Actor For Shulk - Nintendo Life". Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Johan Sijbesma (10 October 2011). "MCM Buzz Podcast 21". podcast (Podcast). MCMBuzz. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  18. ^ David Gaider (21 April 2011). "David Gaider (BioWare Forum message (21 April 2011)". Archived from the original on 10 October 2016. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  19. ^ a b Mary Couzens (8 July 2006). "Spring Awakening at the Union Theatre". London SE1 Community Website. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  20. ^ Johan Sijbesma (10 October 2011). "MCM Buzz Podcast 21". podcast (Podcast). MCMBuzz. Event occurs at 1:09:42. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  21. ^ Johan Sijbesma (10 October 2011). "MCM Buzz Podcast 21". podcast (Podcast). MCMBuzz. Event occurs at 31:38. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  22. ^ Johan Sijbesma (10 October 2011). "MCM Buzz Podcast 21". podcast (Podcast). MCMBuzz. Event occurs at 45:42. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  23. ^ "Xenoblade ゼノブレイド". Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  24. ^ "Hey Europe, Xenoblade Chronicles Is Arriving Two Weeks Early - Siliconera". 8 July 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  25. ^ "Xenoblade (video game) Awards". Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  26. ^ "Xenoblade Chronicles™ 3D for New Nintendo 3DS XL - Action RPG". Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  27. ^ "Smash Bros". Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  28. ^ a b Adam Howden (7 September 2011). "Bin Men". Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  29. ^ a b Adam Howden (7 September 2011). "Dogging". Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  30. ^ a b Susanne Saville. "The Chatty Cat Café: Adam Howden". Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  31. ^ Park Road Pictures (2015). "Towers : Press Kit" (PDF). Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  32. ^ @A_Howdz. "Adam Howden tweet (27 August 2016)". Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  33. ^ BioWare.com (2011). "BioWare | Dragon Age". Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  34. ^ Company of Heroes (29 September 2015). "COH2: The British Forces - Audio & Voice Recording (Dev Diary)". YouTube. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  35. ^ GameXplain (13 November 2015). "Xenoblade Chronicles X - All English Voice Options for Player Characters". YouTube. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  36. ^ "X-COM 2 (IMDB Page Profile)". Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  37. ^ @A_Howdz. "Adam Howden Tweet (22 April 2016)". Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  38. ^ "Battlefleet Gothic Armada Steam Store Page". Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  39. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJPz_5OegEg&t=1467s"
  40. ^ https://youtube.com/watch?v=4HUF7-2j9XE?t=150"
  41. ^ "Smash Bros". Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  42. ^ @A_Howdz. "Adam Howden Tweet (22 April 2016)". Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  43. ^ @A_Howdz. "Adam Howden Tweet (19 November 2013)". Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  44. ^ ""Jess, Will and Andy" (IMDB Page Profile)". Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  45. ^ @A_Howdz. "Adam Howden Tweet (24 April 2013)". Retrieved 27 September 2016.

External links[edit]