Charlie Higson

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Charlie Higson
Charlie Higson 2013 (cropped).jpg
Higson at the 2013 British Comedy Awards
Born
Charles Murray Higson

(1958-07-03) 3 July 1958 (age 62)
Frome, Somerset, England
OccupationActor, comedian, author
Years active1980–present
Spouse(s)Victoria L Fullick (1995–present)
ChildrenThree

Charles Murray Higson (born 3 July 1958) is an English actor, comedian, author, and former singer. He has also written and produced for television and is the author of the Enemy book series.

Early life[edit]

Born in Frome, Somerset, Higson was educated at Sevenoaks School, Kent and at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich (where his brother taught from 1986 to 2008, latterly as Professor of Film Studies). At UEA, Higson met Paul Whitehouse, David Cummings and Terry Edwards. Higson, Cummings and Edwards formed the band The Higsons, of which Higson was the lead singer from 1980 to 1986. They released two singles on the Specials' 2 Tone Records label. This was after he had formed the punk band The Right Hand Lovers, wherein he performed as "Switch".[1] Higson then started squatting in London[2] and became a decorator, including decorating the house of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.[3]

Career[edit]

Higson started writing for Harry Enfield with Paul Whitehouse and performing comedy. He came to public attention as one of the main writers and performers of the BBC Two sketch show The Fast Show (1994–2000). He also worked with Whitehouse on the radio comedy Down the Line.[4] In 1994 Higson co-wrote (with Lise Mayer) the screenplay for the film thriller Suite 16.

He worked as producer, writer, director and occasional guest star on Randall & Hopkirk from 2000 to 2001. Subsequent television work has included writing and starring in BBC Three's Fast Show spin-off sitcom Swiss Toni. He has starred in Tittybangbang on BBC Three[citation needed] and first appeared as a panellist on QI in 2007. In 2010 he co-directed and starred in the series Bellamy's People.

In 2013 Higson adapted Agatha Christie's A Caribbean Mystery for ITV's Agatha Christie's Marple series. In an addition to the plot, Miss Marple attends a talk given by the ornithologist James Bond (played by Higson himself): there she meets Ian Fleming, who is inspired to borrow the speaker's name for the protagonist of his new novel, Casino Royale.[citation needed] In 2015 Higson reimagined the novel Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson for ITV Studios into a ten part adventure series, set in the 1930s titled Jekyll and Hyde. In 2017, Higson appeared as Ian Winterman in series three of Broadchurch, and as Ronnie Maguire in series three of Grantchester.

2020 saw Higson compete on Richard Osman's House of Games.[5] alongside Chizzy Akudolu, Kate Williams, and Tom Allen.[6]

Higson has also starred in Lobby Land, a radio sitcom on BBC Radio 4, as Tom Shriver MP.[7]

Books[edit]

Higson published many novels through the early to mid-1990s which take a slightly dystopian look at everyday life and have a considerably more adult tone than his other work, with characters on the margins of society finding themselves spiralling out of control. This has led Time Out to describe him as "The missing link between Dick Emery and Bret Easton Ellis".[8]

Higson wrote a series of five Young Bond novels, aimed at younger readers and concentrating on the James Bond's school-days at Eton starting with SilverFin, released in 2005, and ending with By Royal Command (2008).[9] Higson had been at school with Jonathan Evans, former Director General of MI5.

Higson wrote a post-apocalyptic, zombie-horror series of books for young adults. The eponymous first book in the series, titled The Enemy, was released in 2009.[10] At a school event at Abingdon School on 14 September 2011, Charlie told children: "Originally it was going to be three books and then my publisher, Puffin, said make it five, and now we're up to it being seven."[11] The seventh novel, The End, was published in 2015.[12]

In 2018 Higson wrote a Fighting Fantasy gamebook titled The Gates of Death, which was published by Scholastic books as part of their campaign to relaunch the Fighting Fantasy franchise. He is a long term FF enthusiast, having attended Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 in London the previous year and also made a cameo appearance in the Ian Livingstone gamebook Blood of the Zombies.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Higson lives in London with his wife and three sons.[14]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Film Role Distributor Notes
1994 Suite 16 Meteor Film Productions Co-writer
1996 Shooting Stars: Unviewed and Nude Alan Ball / Hans Solo Uncredited
1998 The Land Girls Subaltern Uncredited
1998 The Fast Show Live Various characters
2003 King of The Ants The Asylum writer
2013 Appearance Charlie Higson Short film
2014 The Red Line Barman Short film
2017 The Ministry of Stories Anthology of Horror Hydra

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1990-1991 Vic Reeves Big Night Out Various characters 9 episodes
1990 The Craig Ferguson Show Various characters Television film, also writer
1990-1992 Harry Enfield's Television Programme Various characters 4 episodes, also writer
1993-1995 The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer Robert DeNiro
Swiss Toni
Various characters
10 episodes
1994-2014 The Fast Show Swiss Toni
Various characters
25 episodes, also writer
1997 It's Ulrika! Various characters Television film
1998 Ted & Ralph Ralph Mayhew
Aunt Cecilia
Ralph's Father
Television film
1999 Bang, Bang, It's Reeves and Mortimer Various characters 6 episodes
1999 You Ain't Seen All These, Right? Various characters Television film
2000-2001 Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) Various characters 12 episodes, also writer
2001 Fun at the Funeral Parlour Nutkins 1.04 "The Mountains of Doom"
2001 Happiness Bryan the Counsellor 1.04 "Desperate Dan"
2003 The Fast Show Farewell Tour Various characters Television film, also writer
2003-2004 Swiss Toni Swiss Toni 16 episodes, also writer
2004 Catterick Pat Television miniseries
2010 Bellamy's People Various characters 1.01 "Episode One"
2010-2012 Ruddy Hell! It's Harry and Paul Bunny 5 episodes
2011 The Fast Show Faster Swiss Toni / Various characters 3 episodes
2013 Marple James Bond 6.01 "A Caribbean Mystery", also writer
2014 The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm The Mayor Television film, also writer
2015 Professor Branestawm Returns Mayor Television film, also writer
2015 Jekyll and Hyde 10 episodes. Creator, showrunner
2017 Broadchurch Ian Winterman 7 episodes
2017 Grantchester Ronnie Maguire 2 episodes

Bibliography[edit]

Novels[edit]

  • King of the Ants (1992) ISBN 0-349-11103-0
  • Happy Now (1993) ISBN 978-0-241-13363-7
  • Full Whack (1995), ISBN 0-241-00287-7
  • Getting Rid of Mister Kitchen (1996) ISBN 0-316-88106-6
  • Monstroso (2010) ISBN 978-0-14-132845-4

The Enemy[edit]

The Enemy novels[edit]

  1. The Enemy (2009) ISBN 0-14-138464-6
  2. The Dead (2010) ISBN 978-0-14-138465-8
  3. The Fear (2011) ISBN 0-14-138466-2
  4. The Sacrifice (2012) ISBN 978-0-14-133612-1
  5. The Fallen (2013) ISBN 978-0-14-133614-5
  6. The Hunted (2014) ISBN 9780141336107
  7. The End (2015) ASIN B00Z8PHRKS[15]

The Enemy short story[edit]

Young Bond[edit]

  1. SilverFin (2005), ISBN 0-14-131859-7
  2. Blood Fever (2006), ISBN 0-14-131860-0
  3. Double or Die (2007), ISBN 0-14-132203-9
  4. Hurricane Gold (2007), ISBN 0-14-138391-7
  5. By Royal Command (2008), ISBN 0-14-138451-4
  6. SilverFin: The Graphic Novel (2008), ISBN 978-0-14-132253-7 (with Kev Walker)
  7. Danger Society: The Young Bond Dossier (2009), ISBN 978-0-14-132768-6 (authored short story included in book)

Fighting Fantasy[edit]

  • The Gates of Death (2018)

Non-fiction[edit]

Short stories[edit]

  • "The Red Line" in The 'Time Out' Book of Short Stories, edited by Maria Lexton (1993), ISBN 0-14-023085-8

References[edit]

  1. ^ Odell, Michael (31 August 2008). "This much I know: Charlie Higson, author, 50, London – Life and style – The Observer". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  2. ^ Charlie Higson (October 2015). "Charlie Higson: my days squatting with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse". The Guardian.
  3. ^ according to Stephen Fry on the QI programme (Series D, Episode 12) (repeated on the channel Dave, 21 July 2009)
  4. ^ Byrne, Ciar (1 October 2007). "Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson: Making (radio) waves". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 24 December 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2007.
  5. ^ "BBC Two - Richard Osman's House of Games". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Episode #2.25". IMDb.com. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Lobby Land". BBC. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Quoted on Publisher's webpage". Little,Brown on 'Full Whack'. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  9. ^ "By Royal Command official announcement". The Young Bond Dossier. Archived from the original on 6 July 2008. Retrieved 22 June 2008.
  10. ^ "Official Enemy Website". Archived from the original on 29 July 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  11. ^ "mostly books blog: A master class in dealing with the undead". Mostly-books.blogspot.com. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  12. ^ sapphirebooklover; Higson, Charlie (30 October 2015). "Charlie Higson: 'The Enemy series is my own zombie survival plan'". The Guardian.
  13. ^ "Fighting Fantasy Interview with Charlie Higson". fightingfantasy.com. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Charlie Higson – Children's Author". lovereading4kids.co.uk. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  15. ^ "A Master Class in Dealing With the Undead". Mostly-Books. 15 September 2011. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  16. ^ Higson, Charlie (5 June 2012). Geeks vs. Zombies. Disney Hyperion. p. 34. ISBN 9780141344249.
  17. ^ "Book Description: Geeks v. Zombies". Amazon.com. 2012.

External links[edit]