Jasper Carrott

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Jasper Carrott
OBE
Jasper Carrott cropped version.jpg
Carrott in 2006
Birth nameRobert Norman Davis
Born (1945-03-14) 14 March 1945 (age 77)[1]
Birmingham, England
MediumStand-up, television, game show host
Years active1969–2005 (singer)
1975–present (comedian)
Spouse
Hazel Jackson
(m. 1972)
Children4, including Lucy Davis
Websitewww.jaspercarrott.com

Robert Norman Davis OBE (born 14 March 1945), best known by his stage name, Jasper Carrott, is an English comedian, actor and television presenter.

Early life[edit]

Born in Shaftmoor Lane, Acocks Green, in Birmingham, Carrott was educated at Acocks Green Primary School and Moseley Grammar School. He worked as a trainee buyer at a city centre department store, the Beehive, with schoolmate Bev Bevan.

He acquired the nickname Jasper aged nine, and added the surname Carrott when he was 17.[2]

Career[edit]

In February 1969 he started his own folk club, "The Boggery", in nearby Solihull with his friend Les Ward. Carrott performed folk songs and as an MC. His banter overtook the songs and he became more a comedian than a singer. He also worked as a musical agent (with John Starkey, who was his manager from 1974 to 1992), as Fingimigig, managing among others Harvey Andrews. He toured UK rugby clubs. He recorded an album in 1973 called Jasper Carrot – In the Club, which he sold from his van. The album contained the original Magic Roundabout, although mainly material used in his next three LPs (such as Hare Krishna, Car Insurance, Bastity Chelt, and Hava Nagila) plus the Fred Wedlock song "The Folker".

He had a UK Top 5 chart hit in August 1975 with the novelty double A-side record Funky Moped/Magic Roundabout, written by Chris Rohmann and produced by Jeff Lynne, with Bev Bevan on drums and backing vocals on the former track, recorded at Grosvenor Road Studios[3][4] for DJM Records.

By the late 1970s, Carrott had developed anecdotal sketches which he still performs. Often they purport to be autobiographical; many celebrate the Birmingham accent and culture, including his support of Birmingham City.

His live performances were recorded as Jasper Carrott Rabbitts on and on and on... and Carrott in Notts. Notable hits were "Bastity Chelt", a song in Spoonerism, "The Football Match" describing a visit to Old Trafford, "The Nutter on the Bus" (including the cry "Has anybody seen my camel?"), "The Mole" ("There's only one way to get rid of a mole – blow its bloody head off!")[2] and "Zits" – an explanation of American slang for spots that brought the word into use in Britain.

In 1979 he published A Little Zit on the Side, a humorous autobiography. The follow-up, Sweet and Sour Labrador, mixed sections of stand-up routines with similar autobiographical material, much of it related to his world travels. Carrott was once a compère for the Birmingham Heart Beat Charity Concert 1986, which featured local bands such as Electric Light Orchestra and the Moody Blues, with a finale that included George Harrison from the Beatles. On 15 September 2007, he was inducted into the Birmingham Walk of Stars at the Arts Fest 2007 celebrations. The award was presented by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham. Carrott is the second inductee, following Ozzy Osbourne. Carrott was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the British Comedy Awards on 6 December 2008.

His first appearance on television was a half-hour show for BBC Midlands on 11 August 1975, in a programme about local football called "The Golden Game". In 1976, he appeared in A Half Hour Mislaid with Jasper Carrott, recorded at Pebble Mill. His big break came two years later, when Michael Grade asked for a pilot programme for LWT. Grade liked it, and five further shows were recorded, which became his first TV series, An Audience with Jasper Carrott, in 1978.[5] This partnership with LWT lasted until 1981; The Unrecorded Jasper Carrott (1979) and Beat the Carrott (1981) are the best-known live stand-up performances from his time with LWT.

Carrott moved to the BBC for Carrott's Lib, a Saturday night comedy broadcast live, and then a string of BBC shows.[6] These included Carrott's Commercial Breakdown, which broadcast weird adverts from around the world, and the sketch and stand-up shows Carrott Confidential, 24 Carrott Gold, The Trial of Jasper Carrott and Canned Carrott, some of which also featured Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis.[citation needed] One popular sketch involved Carrott reading out genuine, but bizarre motor insurance claim statements, such as "I drove out of my drive at 7am and drove straight into a bus. The bus was ten minutes early."[2][7]

Carrott played Heinrich in the 1987 British comedy film Jane and the Lost City.[8]

Canned Carrott also featured a spoof police drama called The Detectives, co-starring Robert Powell, which later was made into a series. From 2002 to 2004, he starred in the sitcom All About Me. In a twelve-week run in the summer of 2002 he played the part of Ko-Ko in comic opera The Mikado, written by Gilbert and Sullivan at the Savoy Theatre in London.

He performed in several of the Secret Policeman's Ball charity concerts for Amnesty International, and returned to the stage in 2004 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham featuring classic routines from his career. He returned to singing for the musical Go Play Up Your Own End (written by Malcolm Stent, songs by Harvey Andrews) in 2005.[9]

In 2005, he staged and appeared in the first Jasper Carrott's Rock With Laughter concert.[citation needed] This became a regular at the NEC in Birmingham, usually in December and sometimes alternating with his "Jasper Carrott's Christmas Crackers" events, but there have also been a few summer shows too.

In summer 2007, Carrott hosted the Endemol-produced game show Golden Balls for ITV1.[10] Promising ratings led to further series.[citation needed]

He hosted the Sunday night national pub quiz, Cash Inn. He was 20th in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians show.[citation needed]

In August 2017, Carrott underwent an operation to clear a blocked artery, followed by a quadruple heart bypass.[11] A 30-date tour was cancelled. He has since said the surgery gave him a new lease of life and he has no plans to retire, citing Ken Dodd's longevity as an example.[6]

Literary work[edit]

Carrott has written the humorous paperbacks A Little Zit on the Side (1979), and Sweet and Sour Labrador (1982). He also wrote a novel called Shop! or a Store is Born.[12]

Carrott's former manager, John Starkey, has written a book entitled Jasper and Me (1993; Etsiketsi Books), which includes the line "He once said, 'Ringo isn't the best drummer in the world. He isn't even the best drummer in the Beatles.' " This quote was credited to John Lennon until Mark Lewisohn discovered, in 1983, that it was Carrott who said it.[13]

Business interests[edit]

Carrott was part-owner of the production company Celador, makers of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? In 2006, he and wife Hazel sold their shares for £10m when Dutch interactive television company 2waytraffic bought the group of companies behind 'Millionaire'.[14][15]

Personal life[edit]

Carrott married journalist Hazel Jackson in 1972.[6] Their daughter is the actress Lucy Davis.[16]

He is a supporter, and was a director, of Birmingham City. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2003 New Year Honours "for charitable services".[17] The University of Birmingham awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2004,[18] following a similar award from Aston University in 1995.

Filmography[edit]

Filmography
Year Title Role Notes
2015 The One Show Himself/guest presenter 11 December 2015
2012 The One Jasper Carrott Himself 9 January 2012
2007–09 Golden Balls Presenter 289 episodes
2004 24 Carrott Gold: The Best of Jasper Carrott Himself recorded live at the NEC in Birmingham
2002–04 All About Me Colin Craddock
1999 Jasper Carrott – Back to the Front Himself
1997 The Jasper Carrott Trial Himself based on the original BBC radio series
1994 Carrott-U-Like Himself
1993–97 The Detectives Bob Louis 31 episodes, 5 series & 1 Special
1992 One Jasper Carrott Himself recorded live at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
1990 24 Carrott Gold Himself recorded live at Stratford Upon Avon
1990–95 Canned Carrott Himself
1989–96 Carrott's Commercial Breakdown Himself
1987 Jane and the Lost City Heinrich / Herman / Hans
1987 Stand-up America Himself
1987–89 Carrott Confidential Himself this includes an election special broadcast on BBC2, and a special trailer for the 2nd series, broadcast on Friday 15 January 1988, which took the form of a mini sketch with Carrott dressed as Anne Robinson on 'Pointless Views'
1985 American Carrott Himself
Jasper Carrott – Learner Driver (Mother in Law) Himself short animated film, unknown TX date
1984 Jasper Carrott – I've Got This Mole Himself short animated film, LWT
1983 Look After My Horse When I'm Gone Roy Strong & Martha The Horse short animated film, LWT
1982–83 Carrott's Lib Himself
1982 The Secret Policeman's Other Ball Himself
1981 Beat the Carrott Himself live from the London Palladium
1981 Carrott Del Sol (Sago) Himself
1980 Carrott Gets Rowdie Himself
1979 The Unrecorded Jasper Carrott Himself live from the Theatre Royal Drury Lane
1978 An Audience With Jasper Carrott Himself
1976 A Half Hour Mislaid with Jasper Carrott Himself

Discography[edit]

Albums
  • 1973 – In the Club (Criminal Records)
  • 1975 – Rabbitts On and On and On... (DJM Records) UK#10
  • 1976 – Carrott in Notts (DJM Records) UK#56
  • 1977 – A Pain in the Arm (DJM Records)
  • 1978 – The Best of Jasper Carrott (DJM Records) UK#38
  • 1979 – The Un-Recorded Jasper Carrott (DJM Records) UK#19
  • 1980 – Made in Australia (DJM/Festival (Australia))
  • 1981 – Beat the Carrott (DJM Records) UK#13
  • 1982 – Carrott's Lib (DJM Records) UK#80
  • 1983 – The Stun (Carrott Tells All) (DJM Records) UK#57
  • 1985 – In America (Rhino Records)
  • 1986 – Cosmic Carrott (Portrait Records) UK#66
  • 1991 – Condensed Classics (Chrysalis/Dover Records)
  • 1991 – 24 Carrott Gold (EMI Records)
  • 1994 – Canned Carrott for the Record (EMI Records)
  • 2000 – Back to the Front volume 1 (Sound Entertainment)
  • 2000 – Back to the Front volume 2 (Sound Entertainment
  • 2004 – 24 Carrott Gold – The Best of Jasper Carrott (Sound Entertainment)
Singles
  • 1975 – "Funky Moped" / "Magic Roundabout" (DJM Records) UK#5[19]
  • 1976 – "Bickenhill Rovers Skin'ead Supporters Song" (DJM Records)
  • 1977 – "12 Days of Christmas" (DJM Records)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jasper Carrott". Oxford Reference. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Bob - sorry, Jasper - comes back to Brum". Worcester News. 19 September 2003. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  3. ^ "VOTI - History of Grosvenor Road Studios - John Taylor's 100th birthday". ConnectsMusic. 30 January 2021. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  4. ^ Bevan, Bev (27 March 2011). "The March of time goes on". Sunday Mercury.
  5. ^ Ed Doolan interviews...Jasper Carrott (a.k.a. The Other Side of Jasper Carrott) (2005) Radio BBC7
  6. ^ a b c "Jasper Carrott: Life's short - I only do stuff I like". Shropshire Star. 22 September 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  7. ^ "In Conversation : Jasper Carrott". comedy.co.uk. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  8. ^ "Biography". Jasper Carrott: The Official Website. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2007.
  9. ^ "Go Play Up Your Own End". BBC. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  10. ^ "About – Golden Balls TV Show". goldenballstvshow.com. Archived from the original on 4 November 2014.
  11. ^ Young, Graham (14 January 2018). "Jasper Carrott reveals heart bypass ordeal and says: 'I could have died like Tom Petty'". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  12. ^ Carrott, Jasper (3 November 1988). Shop!, or, a Store is Born. ISBN 9780099617006.
  13. ^ According to Daniel Finkelstein, writing in The Times in 2014
  14. ^ Allen, Katie (1 December 2006). "Who wants to be Jasper Carrott?". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  15. ^ Spencer, Charles (7 January 2004). "Carrott's tops". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  16. ^ "Lucy Davis on Married Single Other". Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  17. ^ "No. 56797". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2002. p. 10.
  18. ^ "Comic to get honorary doctorate". BBC News. 3 June 2004.
  19. ^ "JASPER CARROTT | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 9 December 2018.

External links[edit]