Mackenzie Crook

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mackenzie Crook
Mackenzie Crook.JPG
Crook in 2009 wearing a Tron hat
Paul James Crook

(1971-09-29) 29 September 1971 (age 51)
Maidstone, Kent, England
Occupation(s)Actor, comedian, director, writer
Years active1996–present
Lindsay Crook
(m. 2001)

Paul James "Mackenzie" Crook[1] (born 29 September 1971) is an English actor, comedian, director and writer. He played Gareth Keenan in The Office, Ragetti in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, Orell in the HBO series Game of Thrones, and the title role of Worzel Gummidge. He is also the creator and star of BBC Four's Detectorists (2014–2022), for which he won two BAFTA awards. He also plays major roles in TV series Britannia, as the opposite leading druids Veran and Harka.

Early life[edit]

Crook was born on 29 September 1971 in Maidstone, Kent, and grew up in Dartford, Kent. He is the son of Michael Crook, a British Airways employee, and Sheila Crook, a hospital manager.[2][3] As a child he received a course of hormone therapy for three years to treat a growth hormone deficiency.[2] He attended Wilmington Grammar School for Boys. In the summers, he spent time at his uncle's tobacco farm in northern Zimbabwe,[3] where he developed his love for painting.[2]


Film and television career[edit]

One of Crook's earliest television appearances was in the 1998 Channel 4 sketch show Barking, as a grotesque schoolteacher called Mr. Bagshaw, who is said to be based on a variety of obnoxious, overbearing science teachers he was taught by while in school.[4]

He was offered his first major television role as a comedy sketch contributor on Channel 4's The Eleven O'Clock Show in 1998, from which Crook was later dropped.[4] He was later a member of the main cast of the BBC sketch show TV to Go in 2001.[4]

In late 1999 he hosted the short-lived ITV1 show Comedy Café in the guise of his Charlie Cheese character. The show made by Channel X for ITV1 had Charlie Cheese interviewing various celebrities about their latest live tour, book, album or film release.[citation needed]

In 2001, Crook auditioned for the role of Gareth Keenan in Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant popular mockumentary The Office. Though it was originally written for a larger, thuggish actor,[4] Crook won the role, and by the end of the series in 2003 had earned two BAFTA nominations.[citation needed]

Crook was featured in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006), and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007);[5] as Ragetti, a pirate with a comically ill-fitting wooden false eye, who is teamed with Pintel (Lee Arenberg).

He has appeared in adverts as the character for Visa and M&Ms. He has also featured as himself in adverts for MTV and Film Four and as a voiceover artiste for motor insurance company Green Flag in 2007. In 2010 he provided a voice over in an advertisement for the electrical retailer Currys.[importance?]

Crook also appeared as Launcelot Gobbo in Michael Radford's 2004 film adaptation of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice and had a minor role in the 2004 film Finding Neverland as a theatre usher. Other films he has appeared in include The Gathering (2003) and The Brothers Grimm (2005).

Crook has starred in three of Tim Plester and Ben Gregor's short films: as Gary Tibbs in Ant Muzak (2002), as Servalan in Blake's Junction 7 (2004), and as Glorious George in World of Wrestling (2006). All three of these films have been released on DVD. He has also voiced in a television series called Modern Toss and has featured in I Want Candy as Mr Dulberg, a quirky university professor, and voiced a character called Rolli Bobbler in the English version of an animated film from Finland called Quest for a Heart (original Finnish name Röllin Sydän). He also performed a duet with Ricky Gervais in the 2007 Concert for Diana.[citation needed]

Crook played the leading role of Paul Callow in the comedy film Three and Out, released on 25 April 2008.[2] On 10 May 2008 he appeared in an episode of the BBC1 comedy/drama Love Soup playing the character Marty Cady and appeared in an episode of Andrew Davies' 2008 BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit. He also provided his voice and movements to a character in Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, which began filming in January 2009 and was released in 2011.[6]

Crook starred in Wyndham Price's drama Abraham's Point as Comet Snape and appeared in City of Ember as Looper, and on TV was featured in the documentary Tattoos: A Scarred History (2009). He also appeared in Big Brother Celebrity Hijack and the ITV drama Demons (originally titled The Last Van Helsing) as the vampire Gladiolus Hadilus Tradius Thrip. In January 2009, Crook featured in the second and third episodes of the third series of the E4 teen drama Skins, in which he played psychotic Bristol gangster Johnny White. He appeared in Merlin, for the first episode of the second season, as Cedric.[citation needed]

In November 2010, Crook starred in A Reluctant Tragic Hero, a comic play by Anton Chekhov, on the Sky Arts channel, which also starred Johnny Vegas, with whom he also starred in 2004's Sex Lives of the Potato Men, a film about the sexual antics of a group of potato delivery men in Birmingham. Crook played Corporal Buckley, a brutal career soldier, in Jimmy McGovern's Accused, broadcast on BBC1 in November 2010.[7] During the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con it was announced that Crook would play the role of Orell in the third season of Game of Thrones.[8]

Crook also wrote, directed and starred in the television comedy series Detectorists, which was first broadcast on BBC Four on 2 October 2014. Filmed in the countryside of Suffolk and the market town of Framlingham,[9] the show is a gently humorous and affectionate portrayal of a pair of metal-detecting enthusiasts, Andy (Crook) and Lance (Toby Jones), and their colleagues in the fictional Danebury Metal Detecting Club.[10] In 2015, Crook won a British Academy Television Craft Award for Best Writing in a Comedy Series for the show, whilst the series won the British Academy Television Award for Best Situation Comedy. A second series was broadcast in the UK in October/November 2015. A Christmas special was broadcast on 23 December 2015. In 2017 the third and final series of Detectorists was broadcast.[11] A final special episode was released for Christmas 2022.[citation needed]

Crook then played the role of 'Nestor of Maddox' in the television fantasy-comedy series Yonderland, which was broadcast on Sky One, and was starring and written by the cast of the educational historical comedy series Horrible Histories. He plays the father of the main character Debbie, played by Martha Howe-Douglas, and appears in three episodes of series 2: episodes 1, 2 and 4.[citation needed]


Crook played Billy Bibbit in the 2004 London West End production of the stage play of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest opposite Christian Slater,[5] and in 2006 he appeared in The Exonerated at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith.

He starred in director Ian Rickson's production of The Seagull opposite Kristin Scott Thomas, as the troubled writer Konstantin for which he earned a nomination from the Evening Standard Theatre Awards.[2][12] Starting at the Royal Court Theatre in London in February/March 2007, it transferred to Broadway in September 2008. In December 2008 he finished the Broadway run of The Seagull at the Walter Kerr Theatre.[2]

From 15 July to 15 August 2009 Crook appeared at the Royal Court Theatre in Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem.[13] He and the play received positive reviews and it was transferred to the West End's Apollo Theatre in February 2010. In May 2011 he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play, for his role in the Broadway transfer of the show[14] and also appeared in the 2011 London revival. Another revival of the play is scheduled for 2022 at the Apollo Theatre,[needs update] featuring the creative team from the first production as well as Mark Rylance and Crook in their original roles as Johnny "Rooster" Byron and Ginger.[15]

On 18 April 2010, Crook took part in the fund raising event We Are One, a celebration of tribal peoples, in aid of indigenous rights organisation Survival International, at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue. The evening was a performance of tribal prose and poetry from some of the UK and Hollywood's leading actors and musicians. The event was created and directed by Mark Rylance.[16] Crook appeared in the play "Aliens" at the Bush Theatre in October 2010 and in early 2012 appeared in The Recruiting Officer at the Donmar Warehouse.[citation needed]

In 2021, Crook starred in the play "Jerusalem" at the Apollo Theatre.[citation needed]

Other work[edit]

Crook has directed a music video for the London electro band Paw Paw (his sister Zoe is one of the band members). The stop motion animation video accompanies the band's debut single 'Wired OK', released on 16 July 2007 on Albino Recordings.[17][non-primary source needed] Crook appeared as a postman in the music video for Paul McCartney's single "Dance Tonight" alongside actress Natalie Portman. The video for the song was directed by Michel Gondry and was posted exclusively on YouTube on 22 May 2007.[citation needed]

Crook has a deal with publisher Faber to illustrate and write a children's book.[5] His first one, The Windvale Sprites, was released in November 2011. It was announced on 8 February 2012, that Crook's book was nominated for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, in the 5–12-year-old category.[18] The book contains references to a storm in 1987 which hit Dartford and surrounding areas.[citation needed]

On 9 April 2010 it was announced that Crook would star in the music video for Slow Club's new single, "Giving Up on Love", after band member Rebecca Taylor wrote to him.[citation needed] Crook regularly works in radio, and appeared in the BBC Radio Four show North by Northamptonshire, in 2011 alongside Geoffrey Palmer, Sheila Hancock, Lizzie Roper and Jessica Henwick.[citation needed]

Crook narrated the audiobook version of the novel Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace.

Crook's first jobs included working at a Pizza Hut restaurant and also at Halfords where he felt he was "waiting for real life to start".[19]

Personal life[edit]

Crook is left handed.[20] Crook and his wife, Lindsay, a former advertising executive, live in Muswell Hill, London.[21] They were married in April 2001 and have a son and a daughter.[22] Crook is an atheist.[23]

In February 2023, Crook's sister-in-law, his wife's older sister, Laurel Aldridge went missing in West Sussex after she failed to attend her fifth chemotherapy appointment. Aldridge had been diagnosed with cancer a year ago.[24] Crook made a public appeal on Good Morning Britain on 21 February 2023.[25] On 25 February 2023, it was announced that a body had been found, but no identification had been made public.[26][27] On 2 March 2023, it was announced that the body had been identified as Crook's missing sister-in-law.[28]



Year Title Role Notes
1996 The Man who Fell in Love with a Traffic Cone The Man Short film
1998 Still Crazy Dutch Kid
2002 Ant Muzak Gary Tibbs Short film
2003 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Ragetti Nominated – Empire Award for Best Newcomer
2003 The Gathering The Gathering
2004 The Merchant of Venice Launcelot Gobbo
2004 Sex Lives of the Potato Men Ferris
2004 The Life and Death of Peter Sellers Car Salesman
2004 Churchill: The Hollywood Years Jimmy Charoo
2004 Finding Neverland Mr. Jaspers
2004 Blake's Junction 7 Servalan Short film
2005 Spider-Plant Man Scientist Short film
2005 The Brothers Grimm Hidlick
2006 Land of the Blind Editor
2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Ragetti
2006 World of Wrestling Glorious George Short film
2007 Quest for a Heart (Original title: Röllin sydän) Rölli (voice) English language version of Finnish original
2007 I Could Never Be Your Woman Producer
2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Ragetti
2007 I Want Candy Dulberg
2008 Three and Out Paul Callow
2008 City of Ember Looper
2009 Solomon Kane Father Michael
2010 Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll Russell Hardy
2011 Ironclad Daniel Marks
2011 The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn Tom (voice)
2012 Cheerful Weather for the Wedding David Dakin
2012 I am Tom Moody Tom Moody (voice)
2013 In Secret Grivet
2013 One Chance Braddon
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Silent Guard at Prado Museum
2018 Christopher Robin Newspaper Seller


Year Title Role Notes
1998 The Eleven O'Clock Show Himself
2001–2003 The Office Gareth Keenan 14 episodes
Nominated – British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Newcomer
2003 Spine Chillers Grishnack Episode: "Goths"
2005 Monkey Trousers Various characters
2006 Popetown Various roles Voice only
Also writer
2006 Modern Toss Various roles Voice only
2008 Little Dorrit Harris 1 episode
2008 Love Soup Marty Cady Episode: "Human Error"
2009 Merlin Cedric Episode: "The Curse of Cornelius Sigan"
2009 Demons Gladiolus Thrip 2 episodes
2009 Skins Johnny White 2 episodes
2010 Chekhov Comedy Shorts Murashkin Episode: "A Reluctant Tragic Hero"
2010 Accused Lance Corporal Alan Buckley Episode: "Frankie's Story"
2013 Game of Thrones Orell 6 episodes
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2013 Almost Human Rudy Lom
2013 The Cafe Dave 2 episodes
2014–2022 Detectorists Andy Stone 19 episodes
Writer & director
BAFTA Television Craft Award for Best Writing in a Comedy Series
BAFTA Television Award for Best Situation Comedy
2015 Ordinary Lies 'Paracetamol' Pete 6 episodes
2015 Yonderland Nester of Maddox 3 episodes
2018–2021 Britannia Veran/Harka
2018 Watership Down Hawkbit TV miniseries
2019–2021 Worzel Gummidge Worzel 6 episodes
Writer and director


  1. ^ "Hot Potato. – Free Online Library". Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Maher, Kevin (17 July 2008). "Mackenzie Crook's tour of identities and the poignant Three and Out". The Times. UK. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b Booth, Jenny (11 January 2009). "My hols: Mackenzie Crook". The Times. UK. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d "Mackenzie Crook". BBC Comedy. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  5. ^ a b c Pool, Hannah (19 May 2007). "Out of office reply". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  6. ^ Jay A. Fernandez, Borys Kit (27 January 2009). "Daniel Craig to star in "Tintin"". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 31 January 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2009.
  7. ^ BBC Press Office, 10 October 2010, Accused
  8. ^ "Game of Thrones Season 3: New Cast Members". 13 July 2012. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 15 September 2013 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ "Where to find Mackenzie Crook's Detectorists in Suffolk". Radio Times. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  10. ^ Lewis, Tim (25 October 2015). "Mackenzie Crook: 'We aspire to be the sitcom Thomas Hardy would have written'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Mackenzie Crook comedy Detectorists is returning for third and final series". Radio Times. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  12. ^ "Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2007: the longlist| Theatre". London Evening Standard. 31 October 2007. Archived from the original on 18 June 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  13. ^ "Mackenzie Crook talks new play Jerusalem". The London paper. 16 July 2009. Archived from the original on 26 January 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  14. ^ "2011 Tony Nominations Announced! THE BOOK OF MORMON Leads With 14!". Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  15. ^ "Confirmed: Jerusalem with Mark Rylance and Mackenzie Crook to run in the West End | WhatsOnStage". Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  16. ^ "Mackenzie Crook". Mackenzie Crook. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  17. ^ "PawPawMusic". Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  18. ^ "Mackenzie Crook up for book award". BBC News. 8 February 2012.
  19. ^ Roberts, Genevieve (30 October 2011). "Mackenzie Crook: 'I could play a lead... it would have to be a skinny lead'". The Independent. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  20. ^ "BBC - Press Office - Accused: Mackenzie Crook plays Corporal Buckley". Retrieved 19 February 2023.
  21. ^ Dessau, Bruce (6 July 2009). "Mackenzie Crook: from The Office to Jerusalem". The Times. UK. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  22. ^ Roberts, Genevieve (31 October 2011). "Mackenzie Crook: 'I could play a lead... it would have to be a skinny lead'". Independent. UK. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  23. ^ "I don't believe in life after death. I'm a staunch atheist and I know when I die that will be it, I'll just blink out of existence. It's not an incredibly comforting thought but I'm completely at peace with that idea and it just makes me appreciate this life all the more. It's almost a panic to get as much done and to have as much experience as possible." Mackenzie Crook interviewed by Teddy Jamieson, The Herald (Glasgow), April 19, 2008, Magazine, Pg. 12.
  24. ^ Edwards, Chris (21 February 2023). "Mackenzie Crook appeals for help to find missing sister-in-law". NME. Retrieved 25 February 2023.
  25. ^ Hirwani, Peony (21 February 2023). "Mackenzie Crook 'clutching at straws' to find missing sister-in-law Laurel Aldridge". The Independent. Retrieved 25 February 2023.
  26. ^ "Laurel Aldridge: Body found in search for actor Mackenzie Crook's missing sister-in-law, police say". Sky News. 25 February 2023. Retrieved 25 February 2023.
  27. ^ "Body found in search for Mackenzie Crook's sister-in-law, say Sussex police". The Guardian. 25 February 2023. Retrieved 25 February 2023.
  28. ^ Bashforth, Emily (2 March 2023). "Laurel Aldridge, missing sister-in-law of Mackenzie Crook, confirmed dead after lengthy search". Metro. Retrieved 2 March 2023.

External links[edit]