Henry Normal

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Henry Normal
Birth namePeter James Carroll
Born15 August 1956 (1956-08-15) (age 62)
Nottingham, England
MediumComedian, television producer,
poet, writer
Years active1980s–present

Henry Normal (real name Peter James Carroll, born 15 August 1956) is an English comedian, television producer, poet and writer. He was managing director of Baby Cow Productions Ltd, which he set up with Steve Coogan.


When living in Chesterfield, Normal chanced upon a local fanzine writer and knocked on the bedsit door of editor Faye Ray. The fanzine editor played Normal tapes of 'ranting' poets he had recently received including Steven 'Seething' Wells, Little Brother and Joolz Denby. Normal went on to be a central figure in the local music scene and the performance poet was a regular fixture at local gigs.

Early in his career Normal toured with the band Pulp. With Mark Atwood he helped form the Live Poets Society, whose motto was "poetry so good you can actually understand it". Established in Manchester, they performed in pubs and clubs throughout the north of England. Normal had an eccentric delivery style, and at a 1987 poetry convention in Corby performed with a paper bag over his head. Also in the 1980s, Henry Normal had short prose pieces published in small press magazines such as Peace & Freedom. He released a live album, Ostrich Man, in 1987.[1]

In 1991 he starred in Channel 4's late night series, Packet of Three, which blended stand-up comedy with a peculiarly solipsistic sitcom about the staff working at a variety theatre called the Crumpsall Palladium. As the beleaguered, depressed theatre owner, Normal was assisted by stage manager Frank Skinner and kiosk attendant Jenny Eclair.

In 1999, Henry Normal and Steve Coogan established their TV comedy production company, Baby Cow Productions. TV programmes produced by this award-winning company include:

He has written for television and film. He co-wrote the first series of The Royle Family with Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash, and was co-screenwriter for the 2001 film The Parole Officer, starring Steve Coogan.

Henry Normal's poetry collections include The Dream Ticket, Is Love Science Fiction?, Map of Heaven and Nude Modelling for the Afterlife. He lives in Brighton.


  1. ^ Randall, Ronnie (1987) "Henry Normal Ostrich Man", Underground, April 1987, p. 16

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