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Alan Carr

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Alan Carr
Carr at the 2007 British Comedy Awards
Birth nameAlan Graham Carr
Born (1976-06-14) 14 June 1976 (age 48)
Weymouth, Dorset, England
EducationMiddlesex University
GenresObservational comedy
Paul Drayton
(m. 2018; sep. 2022)
Parent(s)Graham Carr (father) Christine Carr (mother)
Relative(s)Gary Carr (brother)
WebsiteOfficial website

Alan Graham Carr (born 14 June 1976)[1] is an English comedian, broadcaster and writer. His breakthrough was in 2001, winning the City Life Best Newcomer of the Year and the BBC New Comedy Awards. In the ensuing years, Carr's career burgeoned on the Manchester comedy circuit before he became known for co-hosting The Friday Night Project (2006–2009) with Justin Lee Collins. This led to the release of a short-lived entertainment show Alan Carr's Celebrity Ding Dong (2008), and he went on to star in the comedy chat show Alan Carr: Chatty Man (2009–2016) which aired on Channel 4. Since 2017, Carr often stands in as a team captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. In 2019, he became a judge on RuPaul's Drag Race UK. In 2021, he began hosting BBC One's Interior Design Masters.

Carr hosted the radio show Going Out with Alan Carr on BBC Radio 2 (2009–2012), as well as releasing his autobiography book Look Who It Is! (2008), and going on three arena stand-up comedy tours: Tooth Fairy Live (2007), Spexy Beast Live (2011) and Yap, Yap, Yap! (2015). Carr has won three British Comedy Awards (2007, 2008, 2013), two National Television Awards (2012, 2015) and a BAFTA TV Award (2013).

Early life


Alan Graham Carr was born on 14 June 1976 in Weymouth, Dorset, elder son of Christine and Graham Carr, and spent the majority of his childhood in Northampton.[1][2] His father, whose family comes from the North East of England,[3] is a former Northampton Town manager and Newcastle United chief scout.[4][5] Carr has a younger brother, Gary.[6]

Carr went to Weston Favell Upper School in Northampton and graduated from Middlesex University with a 2:1 BA (Hons) degree in Drama and Theatre Studies.[7][8]

After completing his degree in his early 20s, Carr moved to Manchester, aspiring to be a comedian. He lived in Chorlton-cum-Hardy after which he moved to Stretford, which he cites as an inspiration for his comedic work.[9] Carr worked in a call centre for five years and performed on the comedy circuit in his spare time, before moving into comedy as a full-time career.[10][11]



Television and film


Carr's early TV career included guest appearances on 8 Out of 10 Cats in 2005 and The Law of the Playground in 2006.[12][13] He and Justin Lee Collins co-hosted The Friday Night Project from series two in 2006 until it was cancelled after the end of series eight in February 2009.[14] Carr went on to host two series of Channel 4's game show Alan Carr's Celebrity Ding Dong from 2007 to 2009, and the chat show Alan Carr: Chatty Man, which ran for 16 series from 2009-2016, with Christmas Specials in 2016 and 2017.[15]



Carr made his radio presenting debut on Christmas Day 2007 for BBC Radio 2 as part of their Festive Highlights with the show Alan Carr's Christmas Box.[16] He filled in on BBC Radio 6 Music on 16 February and 14 June 2008 for Adam and Joe and co-presented The Russell Brand Show on 4 October 2008. He also presented Alan Carr's Comedy Outings for BBC Radio 2 in 2008.

On 25 April 2009, Carr began hosting Going Out with Alan Carr, a new show for BBC Radio 2, in conjunction with Emma Forbes (later replaced by Melanie Sykes). The show was broadcast every Saturday evening from 6 pm to 8 pm.[17] On 6 March 2012 it was reported that he had made the decision to leave to focus on his Chatty Man show.[18] His last show was on 31 March 2012. Carr was replaced by Liza Tarbuck. He returned on Boxing Day 2015 for a one-off show on the station.

For four weeks in January/February 2017, Carr again returned to BBC Radio 2 to sit in for Paul O'Grady on his Sunday show. Carr reunited with Sykes to present a 10-week show called Summer Escapes sitting in for Graham Norton on Saturdays from July to September on BBC Radio 2 yearly from 2017 until its final run in 2020 following Norton's departure from the station. It included features based around summer including the British Seaside Survey.



Carr performs stand-up regularly, on tour and on television. He became a regular performer on the Manchester comedy circuit in his 20s, where he met fellow comedians Jason Manford, Justin Moorhouse and John Bishop, and had his own monthly comedy and cabaret show Alan Carr's Ice Cream Sunday at the Manchester Comedy Store.[19][20][21]

In 2001, Carr won the City Life Best Newcomer of the Year and the BBC New Comedy Awards.[22][23]

Carr has been featured in three Edinburgh shows and in 2007 he toured throughout the UK, which was followed by a DVD entitled Tooth Fairy Live. He has performed at the Apollo Theatre in London, which was televised for the BBC One series Live at the Apollo, and has been featured in the Royal Variety Performance.

He has appeared and performed at many festivals, including the Reading and Leeds Festivals, Latitude Festival in Suffolk and Kilkenny Comedy Festival in Ireland. He has performed stand-up internationally, including an appearance at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal.[24]

In March 2010, Carr took part in Channel 4's Comedy Gala, a benefit show held at the O2 Arena in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital in London.



Look Who It Is! is Carr's autobiography published in 2008.[25] It details his life from growing up in Weymouth to presenting The Friday Night Project. In the book, Carr recounts how he grew up in the shadow of his father Graham, and was therefore expected to grow up to be a great football player, despite his childhood "puppy fat". The book laments on his schooldays - he was picked last for the football team when the other students found out his lack of talent and his father forcing him to refuse to communicate with a friend because he was apparently "gaying him up". Carr also tells the story of how puberty left him with "big teeth" and a camp voice.

Personal life


Carr is gay, but does not consider his sexuality to be a focal part of his act; in 2008, he said: "I just think gay people need to get over themselves. Just because you're gay and on the telly doesn't mean you're a role model. I'm just a comedian. That's all I am. What am I meant to do? Do I go down the Julian Clary route and talk about fisting and poppers? I don't talk about being gay and I think what better equality for gays than that?"[6] According to Carr, he has been comfortable with his sexuality from a very young age. When Eddie Izzard was a guest on Chatty Man and asked Carr when he came out of the closet, he replied that he was "never really in" and other children were already making fun of his camp behaviour when he was eight or nine years old.[26]

In January 2018, Carr married his partner of ten years, Paul Drayton, in Los Angeles.[27] The wedding was officiated by his best friend Adele.[28] The couple announced their separation in January 2022 following Drayton's conviction for drink-driving.[29] Carr lives in West Sussex, three miles from Horsham.[30]



When accepting his award for Best Entertainment Personality at the British Comedy Awards in December 2008, Carr dedicated it to Karen Matthews, who had earlier that month been found guilty of kidnapping Shannon Matthews, her own daughter. Carr was quoted by BBC News as stating: "I should dedicate this award to her [Karen]. She would be my dream guest. I think she's a gay icon. People like a bit of rough, don't they?"[31]

Shahid Malik, MP for Matthews' constituency of Dewsbury, described Carr's comments about Matthews as "sick and insensitive". Carr subsequently apologised for his comments, saying "I realise what I said was insensitive and I am very sorry for any offence caused."[32] On his own website he added: "For those of you who have enjoyed my comedy and seen my act over the last seven years you all would have got used to my tongue-in-cheek style and near-the-knuckle observations. Last night at the Comedy Awards [...] I was being ironic, these aren't my real sentiments obviously."[33]

Stand-up shows

Year Title Notes
2006–07 Tooth Fairy
2011 Spexy Beast
2015 Yap, Yap, Yap
2020–21 Not Again, Alan!
2021–23 Regional Trinket

DVD releases

Title Released Notes
Tooth Fairy Live 12 November 2007 Live at London's Hammersmith Apollo
Spexy Beast Live 14 November 2011 Live at Manchester's Arena
Yap, Yap, Yap! Live 16 November 2015 Live at London's Hammersmith Apollo




Year Title Role Notes
2005–2006 8 Out of 10 Cats Himself 7 episodes
2006 The Law of the Playground Himself Documentary comedy: 7 episodes (series 1)[13]
2006–2009 Friday/Sunday Night Project Presenter
2007–2008 Alan Carr's Celebrity Ding Dong Two series; 12 episodes
2007, 2018 Live at the Apollo 3 episodes
2008 The Comedy Map of Britain Himself
2009–2017 Alan Carr: Chatty Man Presenter 181 episodes (series 1–16; two Christmas specials)
2009–2020 The One Show Guest Presenter 10 episodes
2010 The New Paul O'Grady Show Guest Presenter 2 episodes
2010–2016 Channel 4's Comedy Gala Presenter
2011 Who Do You Think You Are? Himself Episode: "Alan Carr"
My Favourite Joke One series
2011–2017 Alan Carr's Specstacular Presenter
2012 Playing It Straight UK Narrator
Comedy World Cup Contestant Team Captain, 2 episodes
2012–present Stand Up to Cancer Co-Presenter
2014 Stars at Your Service
The Singer Takes It All Presenter
Celebrity Deal or No Deal Contestant Won £41,000 for Stand Up to Cancer
2016 Alan Carr's 12 Stars of Christmas Presenter Channel 4 game show
Alan Carr's Happy Hour 3 episodes (series 1)
National Treasure Himself 1 episode
2016, 2018 Peter Kay's Comedy Shuffle 2 episodes
2017 The Price is Right
2017–present 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Team Captain 12 episodes
2018 The Remote Controller Presenter Non-broadcast pilot for Channel 4
I Don't Like Mondays Channel 4 game show
The Great Celebrity Bake Off Himself TV special; 1 episode
Hollyoaks 1 episode
Alan Carr's Christmas Cracker Presenter TV special
2019 Alan Carr's Celebrity Re-Play 2019 TV special
2019–present There's Something About Movies Sky One panel show
RuPaul's Drag Race UK Judge
2020 Meet the Richardsons Himself 1 episode
Secrets of the Driving Test Narrator 6 episodes
Michael McIntyre's The Wheel Contestant Christmas Special[34]
2020–2022 Alan Carr's Epic Gameshow Presenter ITV game show
2021 DNA Journey Himself TV documentary
The Masked Singer UK Guest Panellist Episode 6; Quarter Final

(Series 2)

Royal Variety Performance Host [35]
2021–present Interior Design Masters with Alan Carr Presenter
2022 Alan Carr's Adventures With Agatha Christie Presenter 3 episodes[36][37]
2022–present RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs. the World Judge [38]
2023 Changing Ends Himself 6 episodes[39]
Mamma Mia! I Have a Dream Judge Talent show
2023–present Amanda And Alan's Italian Job Co-presenter Alongside Amanda Holden. 16 episodes
Picture Slam Host Second series commissioned[40]
TBA Amanda & Alan's Spanish Job Co-presenter Alongside Amanda Holden[41]


Year Title Role Notes
2009 Nativity! Critic
2015 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water Seagull (voice) UK version


Year Award & Category Notes
2001 City Life Best Newcomer of the Year [22]
BBC New Comedy Award [23]
2007 British Comedy Awards: Best Live Stand-up [42]
2008 British Comedy Awards: Best Comedy Entertainment Personality [43]
2012 National Television Award: Best Chat Show Host [44]
2013 BAFTA Award: best entertainment performance [45]
British Comedy Awards: Best Comedy Entertainment Personality [46]
2015 National Television Award: Best Chat Show Host [47]


  • Carr, Alan (2008). Look Who It Is!. HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 978-0007278220.
  • Carr, Alan (2016). Alanatomy: The Inside Story. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0718180751.


  1. ^ a b "Alan Carr - Who Do You Think You Are? A mysterious change of name..." The Genealogist. Who Do You Think You Are?. 26 September 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  2. ^ Corbin, Tianna (10 July 2020). "What Alan Carr has had to say about life in Northampton". northantslive. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  3. ^ Swan, Kim (7 May 2011). "Comedian Alan Carr back to his North East roots".
  4. ^ "'Graham Carr: Ex-Newcastle chief scout takes director role at Northampton Town'". bbc.co.uk/sport. 22 August 2017.
  5. ^ Barkham, Patrick (20 November 2007). "'I couldn't be cool if I tried'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 March 2009.
  6. ^ a b Day, Elizabeth (15 April 2008). "Elizabeth Day meets award-winning comedian Alan Carr". The Observer. London. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
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  10. ^ "Alan Carr: Give kids call centre jobs - DecisionMarketing". Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Alan Carr - Interview @ Designer Magazine". designermagazine.tripod.com. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
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  13. ^ a b The Law of the Playground (Documentary, Comedy), Zeppotron, 21 July 2006, retrieved 15 May 2022
  14. ^ The Friday Night Project (Comedy), Princess Productions, Channel 4 Television Corporation, 4 February 2005, retrieved 6 September 2022
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  17. ^ "Going Out With Alan Carr - Next on - BBC Radio 2". BBC.
  18. ^ Noah, Sherna (6 March 2012). "Alan Carr gives up radio show to reclaim his weekends". Independent.ie. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  19. ^ "Alan Carr looks back on his early days on the Manchester comedy scene". Manchester Evening News. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  20. ^ "Alan Carr". Archived from the original on 22 January 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2008.
  21. ^ "Sundae bloody sundae". Manchester Evening News. 17 February 2007. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  22. ^ a b "BBC Radio 2 - Alan Carr - Profile". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 4 May 2022.
  23. ^ a b "BBC Three - BBC New Comedy Awards - About the New Comedy Awards". BBC. Retrieved 4 May 2022.
  24. ^ "The Official Alan Carr Website – Biography". alancarr.net. Archived from the original on 9 April 2010. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
  25. ^ Carr, Alan (29 September 2008). Look Who It Is!. Harper Collins. ISBN 9780007278237.
  26. ^ "Eddie Izzard - Full Interview on Alan Carr: Chatty Man". YouTube. 10 February 2017.
  27. ^ "Alan Carr gets married to long-term boyfriend in LA". BBC News. 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  28. ^ "Adele 'got ordained to marry Alan Carr'". BBC News. 3 April 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  29. ^ Fuller, Christian (26 January 2022). "Alan Carr's husband Paul Drayton jailed for drunkenly hitting police car". The Argus. Brighton. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  30. ^ Nicola Methven, TV Alan in split from husband after 13yrs, Daily Mirror, London, 22 January 2022, page 9.
  31. ^ Carr sorry over comedy award dedication Digital Spy. 8 December 2008. Retrieved 23 January 2008
  32. ^ "Comedian sorry for Matthews joke". BBC News. 7 December 2008. Archived from the original on 10 December 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2008.
  33. ^ Apologies All Round Archived 1 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine. 8 December 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2008.
  34. ^ "Michael McIntyre's The Wheel, Series 1, Christmas Special". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  35. ^ "Alan Carr to Host this Year's Royal Variety Performance 2021". itv.com/presscentre. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  36. ^ "Alan Carr's Adventures With Agatha Christie - Channel 4 commissions new three-part series from Boom for More 4". channel4.com/press. 6 May 2022.
  37. ^ "Alan Carr's Adventures with Agatha Christie - All 4". www.channel4.com. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  38. ^ "Drag Race announces UK All Stars edition – with a gag-worthy twist". 21 December 2021.
  39. ^ "Filming commences on ITVX comedy Changing Ends". itv.com/presscentre. 29 January 2023.
  40. ^ "Alan Carr's Picture Slam is back and bigger than ever!". bbc.co.uk/mediacentre. 14 February 2024.
  41. ^ "Amanda Holden and Alan Carr head off to sunny Spain for their biggest renovation project yet in Amanda & Alan's Spanish Job". bbc.co.uk/mediacentre. 20 April 2024.
  42. ^ "The British Comedy Awards - The British Comedy Awards - Winners 2007". www.britishcomedyawards.com. Retrieved 4 May 2022.
  43. ^ "The British Comedy Awards - The British Comedy Awards - past winners". www.britishcomedyawards.com. Retrieved 4 May 2022.
  44. ^ "Alan Carr wins National Television Award". BBC News. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2022.
  45. ^ "Alan Carr wins entertainment performance BAFTA". ITV News. Retrieved 4 May 2022.
  46. ^ "The British Comedy Awards - The British Comedy Awards - Winners 2013". www.britishcomedyawards.com. Retrieved 4 May 2022.
  47. ^ Awards, National Television. "Winners | National Television Awards". www.nationaltvawards.com. Retrieved 4 May 2022.