David Earl (actor)

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David Earl is a British actor and comedian, best known for his comedy character Brian Gittins. He has featured in several projects associated with Ricky Gervais, most notably as Kevin 'Kev' Twine in the sitcom Derek, and in smaller roles in Extras and the film Cemetery Junction. He also co-wrote and starred in the sitcom Rovers for Sky 1 with Joe Wilkinson.[1]

Early life[edit]

Before undertaking any acting roles, Earl worked as a gardener[2] and as a van driver, delivering building tools[3]

Comedy career[edit]

One of his earliest online videos featured him playing a character called Graham which he sent it to a friend who showed it to Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.[3] They liked the video and Gervais asked Earl to play an obsessive fan, based on the character from the video, that talks to Andy Millman in a pub in an episode of Extras.[3] Around this time Earl performed the role of Tony Queen in the film The Penalty King[4]

Earl would go on to create a number of online videos in character as Brian Gittins and play this role in the film Cemetery Junction.[5] In 2012 a sitcom pilot entitled Gittins was broadcast on Channel 4[6] In the pilot Gittins is a taxi driver. Previously the character had been a Cafe owner and this discrepancy is highlighted in an episode of the podcast Flatshare Slamdown on which Earl appeared as Brian.[7] Earl continues to perform live regularly as Gittins and in 2017 is touring a show entitled Don't Feed the Monkey Man[8] He also releases new episodes of the Brian Gittins and Friends podcast on a regular basis.[9]

Another of Earl's characters is Steve Cumberland, mostly referred to as Cumbo, who features in a number of online videos, including a Channel 4 Comedy Blaps series[10] This series comprises three videos and was co-written with Brett Goldstein who Earl acted alongside in Derek and in a series of online videos for Mr Box in which Brian Gittins records a hip hop track.

In 2011, David Earl was revealed to be the person behind the popular Twitter account of Dr Peter Thraft, a supposed sex therapist[5]


  1. ^ "Sky 1 scores a blinder with Rovers, a brand new comedy produced by Craig Cash". corporate.sky.com. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  2. ^ "David Earl interview for Derek - Channel 4 - Info - Press". www.channel4.com. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  3. ^ a b c acast (2016-05-24). "David Earl & Joe Wilkinson - Distraction Pieces Podcast with Scroobius Pip #99 | Distraction Pieces Podcast with Scroobius Pip on acast". acast. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  4. ^ Limited, GipsyMedia. "The Penalty King". digiguide.tv. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  5. ^ a b Dowell, Ben; Frost, Vicky (2011-05-20). "Twitter sex therapist exposed". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  6. ^ Guide, British Comedy. "Gittins - C4 Sitcom - British Comedy Guide". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  7. ^ Guide, British Comedy. "Series 2, Episode 4 (Thermostat) - Pappy's Flatshare Slamdown - British Comedy Guide". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  8. ^ "What's On | Machynlleth Comedy Festival". machcomedyfest.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  9. ^ Development, PodBean. "Brian Gittins and Friends | Podbean". www.podbean.com. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  10. ^ "Channel 4 comedy commissions Cumbo from Retort - Channel 4 - Info - Press". www.channel4.com. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 

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