Chris England (born 20 January 1961 in Oldham) is an English writer and actor. He is best known for the comedy play An Evening with Gary Lineker, which he wrote with Arthur Smith, and the book Balham to Bollywood.
Chris England was educated at Valley Comprehensive School, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, and at Pembroke College, Cambridge. While at Cambridge he was a member of the Footlights, and toured the UK and Australia with them.
After graduating, England formed Bad Lib Theatre Company with fellow ex-Footlights Morwenna Banks, Robert Harley, Neil Mullarkey, Paul Simpkin and David Tyler, co-writing, performing and directing a number of comedy plays and shows. These included Feeling The Benefit, Get Your Coat, Dear, We’re Leaving..., The Preventers and The Return of the New Preventers. The latter two shows subsequently formed part of the BBC radio series Fab TV, and a one-off comedy, The Preventers, for ITV.
With Morwenna Banks, England co-wrote and appeared in two children’s television storytelling series, Revolting Animals and Jellyneck, and devised and wrote All Change, which featured Frankie Howerd, Maggie Steed and Tony Haygarth.
In 1991, England co-wrote (with Arthur Smith) and acted in An Evening With Gary Lineker, which transferred from the Edinburgh Fringe to the Duchess Theatre in the West End, and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Comedy of the Year. The play was made into a television film by Granada, produced by Andy Harries, and starring Clive Owen, Caroline Quentin and Martin Clunes. This led to further television writing, including an episode of Murder Most Horrid, the sitcom Blind Men, and the comedy drama Bostock's Cup.
In 2000, England spent twelve weeks in Bhuj, India, working on the Oscar-nominated Bollywood cricket epic Lagaan, in which he played a "heavily-bewhiskered bodyline bowler", an experience which he described in a best-selling book, Balham to Bollywood, a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week.
England returned to theatre writing and acting in 2006 with Breakfast With Jonny Wilkinson, which enjoyed runs at the Edinburgh Fringe and at the Menier Chocolate Factory. The play has been made into a feature film, released in 2013, starring George MacKay, Norman Pace, Nigel Lindsay, Beth Cordingly, Michael Beckley, Gina Varela and the author.
England has also collaborated with the comedian Al Murray on three series of Al Murray's Happy Hour, one series of Al Murray's Multiple Personality Disorder, and two comedy books, as well as the BBC Radio FiveLive show 7 Day Sunday, which Murray hosted.
Most recently he has completed a trilogy of historical novels set in the years leading up to and during the First World War. The Fun Factory is set in the world of the Edwardian music hall, when the young Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel were working for the Fred Karno comedy company along with the novels' narrator Arthur Dandoe. The Boxcar of Fun follows the same characters into the golden heyday of American vaudeville, while the third volume, Chaplinoia, sees them breaking into the silent movies.
Breakfast with Jonny Wilkinson
Lagaan, in the role of Yardley, a fast bowler.
Dare to Believe- series 1 and 2 ITV
The Back End of Next Week