Marcus Brigstocke at Glastonbury Festival 2015
|Birth name||Marcus Alexander Brigstocke|
8 May 1973 |
Guildford, Surrey, England
|Medium||Television, Radio, Stand up|
|Spouse||Sophie Prideaux (2001-2013, divorced)|
|Notable works and roles||Argumental
The Now Show
Marcus Alexander Brigstocke (born 8 May 1973) also known by the stage names Montague "Monty" Forest and Philippe Lavavaseur is an English comedian, actor and satirist who also holds French citizenship. He has worked extensively in stand-up comedy, television, radio and in 2010-2011 musical theatre. He is particularly associated with the 6.30pm comedy slot on BBC Radio 4, having frequently appeared on several of its shows, including The Now Show.
The son of a London City banker and a school teacher mother, Brigstocke was educated at several independent schools: at St. Edmunds School in the village of Hindhead in Surrey, at Westbourne House School in the cathedral city of Chichester in West Sussex, and at King's School in the town of Bruton in Somerset. He also attended Netherton Hall School, a boarding school in Farway, Devon. He then attended the University of Bristol, where he studied Drama, but did not complete his degree.
Moving to London with his then girlfriend, later wife, during the early nineties Brigstocke worked part-time as a podium dancer at the nightclub Ministry of Sound. He also worked on a North Sea oil rig around this time.
Many of the central themes of Brigstocke's work were first addressed during his time as a student at the University of Bristol. While at Bristol he often performed in the comedy trio Club Seals, which later made the transition to TV in the series of short programmes We Are History.
Brigstocke has a successful radio career including The Now Show (with Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis) and Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off. The Now Show provided an outlet for his fierce dislike of David Blaine, referring to Blaine himself as a "Git Wizard", and his "Above The Below" stunt as Freakdangle. Brigstocke hailed the failure of Blaine's "Drowned Alive" as proof that Blaine is "not special; not magic; just a moistened git". He is increasingly enjoying mainstream success, recently having appeared on such broadly popular TV shows such as Have I Got News for You and Jack Dee's Live at the Apollo series.
Brigstocke plays an arts journalist named Marcus in the Neil Gaiman film A Short Film About John Bolton and a radio DJ in the Richard Curtis film Love Actually. On 9 April 2006, Brigstocke appeared in BBC Radio 4's Classic Serial adaptation of The Code of the Woosters as Bertie Wooster with Andrew Sachs as Jeeves.
Brigstocke hosts a satirical programme on BBC4, The Late Edition, which has been described as "Newsnight with jokes". It is loosely based on the format made popular by the American programme The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. This commitment led to his absence from the final two Now Show series of 2006 with his place filled by other comedians referred to by the rest of the cast as "our replacement Marcus Brigstocke". He did however return to series in 2007.
In September 2008, Brigstocke was team captain for the first series of a comedy panel show, Argumental for UK TV channel Dave as the Captain of the Red Team competing against Rufus Hound with a variety of guest participants, under the chairmanship of John Sergeant.
In 2009, Brigstocke starred in the UK tour of the American live improv show, Totally Looped.
One of the best-known jokes Brigstocke uses is an ironic commentary on the controversy regarding the influence of video games on children. Was originally (the text version) was scripted and written for the gay magazine "Circuit noiZe" magazine and was written by Joseph Powell in 2001 and was featured 1st in the "NoiZe" zine in the Issue #27 from 2001. From there is got re-used and its original writer (not credited and unknown at the time) was never documented till now.
|“||If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.||”|
(penned by Joseph Powell)
This joke is frequently quoted on the internet and often attributed to famous figures in electronics (such as an apocryphal CEO of Nintendo, "Kristian Wilson," although Hiroshi Yamauchi held that position from 1949 to 2002), but Brigstocke vehemently claims authorship of the joke which is incorrect:
Ah! Bloody Pacman....It is my joke. I wrote it, then I took the rest of the day off as I was so chuffed with it. I am gutted that it has been claimed and passed around by so many people. Intellectual property law will not save me, the false claims will continue until I am man enough to give it all up. All I can say is -- it seems that it is very unlikely that it was written by a Nintendo employee in 1989, being as Pac Man was still around and not much of a childhood memory, there were very few claims that gaming influenced children's behaviour, and that the wording of it is identical to how it has been delivered in my stand up routine for 6 years! For those that are interested it has also been attributed to Bill Gates, but then so has Windows! Bitter? Well perhaps just a little. It was sent to me by someone at Channel 4 a few years back after I did it on Channel 4 in a late night stand up show! Hope that clears everything up.— Marcus Brigstocke
Excuse My French
Brigstocke took part in the BBC programme Excuse My French with Ron Atkinson and Esther Rantzen, broadcast on BBC Two. They were immersed in the French language by staying in a French town in the Provence region, being compelled to adapt to the French lifestyle and speak the language. Brigstocke's ultimate assignment was to perform a live stand-up comedy act in French to a French audience, a task at which he excelled. According to the programme, he continues to learn French, and has since performed more stand up in France (predominantly in English, but with sections in French).
Selected radio credits
- Just A Minute
- The Now Show
- I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue
- Giles Wemmbley Hogg Goes Off
- Think the Unthinkable
- The Museum of Everything
- 2000 Years of Radio
- As Safe As Houses
- 99p Challenge
- I've Never Seen Star Wars
- The Brig Society
Selected television credits
- The Savages
- We Are History
- The Late Edition
- My Hero
- Have I Got News for You
- Excuse My French
- What's The Problem? With Anne Robinson
- Marcus Brigstocke's Trophy People
- News Knight with Sir Trevor McDonald
- Thank God You're Here
- Sorry, I've Got No Head
- Hole in the Wall
- I've Never Seen Star Wars
- Would I Lie to You?
- The Bubble
- Who Set Fire To My Mud?
- The Graham Norton Show
- Live at the Apollo
- Marcus Brigstocke – Planet Corduroy (DVD Region 2). The Shaw Theatre, London, England: Sony/BMG. November 26, 2007. ASIN B000X21NIS.
In 2010, Brigstocke made his musical theatre debut as King Arthur in the UK tour of Spamalot for a limited engagement. His performance sparked an extremely negative backlash in the national press, leading Times critic Bob Merriweather to call his acting "pants". He then starred in 'The Railway Children' as Albert Perks at the Waterloo Station Theatre in 2011.
"I Don't Smoke"
In 2000, a sample of a comedy sketch performed by Brigstocke, Dan Tetsell and Danny Robins in the sketch show Barking as part of a Bristol University revue in which an individual assuredly proclaims that he is a non-smoker was featured in DJ Dee Kline's "I Don't Smoke", alongside another line in the style of Jim Davidson's character 'Chalky White'.
The sample was used without the knowledge of the comedians until the voice of Brigstocke was recognised by Tetsell, who heard the track while shopping, resulting in the trio successfully claiming publishing rights for the track, which entered the UK charts at number 11.
Brigstocke met now film-maker Sophie Prideaux whilst studying at Bristol University. The couple married in 2001, and have two children. They divorced in 2013, after Brigstocke was accused in court papers of having been in a relationship for at least 12 months with Coronation Street actress Hayley Tamaddon, whom he met whilst performing in Spamalot.
Brigstocke is dyslexic. During an appearance on the BBC TV show Room 101 in January 2007, he admitted to having had weight problems when he was younger and was once in rehab for food addiction. He still battles with his excessive appetite. He was expelled from King's School, Bruton for "beastie-ing" a car (that turned out to belong to one of the groundsmen) and shoplifting from the local shops to feed both his alcohol needs and "excessive appetite". In his book God Collar he reveals "I started sniffing solvents when I was thirteen and progressed to a limited range of other recreational drugs, with a preference for downers or opiate-style highs."Brigstocke touches on this subject in the Brig Society a comedy show on BBC  While at school, he had been a Goth.
Brigstocke likes snowboarding – he has set up a stand up tour in the Alps and a comedy festival called The Altitude Festival. He's performed in beatboxing battles on stage with Shlomo and Bellatrix.
During an episode of The Late Edition in October 2007, Brigstocke 'admitted' being an atheist and was presented with an Out Campaign T-shirt by his guest and atheist Richard Dawkins to which Brigstocke replied: "Look at that. Outed, outed as an atheist and proud to be so." During an appearance on The One Show in July 2009, Brigstocke reflected that "a lot of people have signed up to the Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens thing", and on being an atheist, that "I was, I probably still am, but I'm not so sure now. It can be a sort of weird and quite a cold experience, actually, if you don't then develop something to believe in."
- Nevin, Charles (19 November 2005). "When you're smiling". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
- Oglethorpe, Tim (21 April 2001). "Interview: Marcus Brigstocke - Savage past of Marcus; Marcus Brigstocke of The Savages on his misspent youth and how he got back on the straight and narrow". The Mirror (London, England). MGN Ltd. (archive)
- "Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled". Who Do You Think You Are?. 9 August 2014. Dave.
- Brew, Simon (23 March 2009). "Marcus Brigstocke interview". DenOfGeek.com.
- "Would I Lie to You?". BBC TV. 24 August 2009.
- "Four - The Late Edition". BBC. 23 January 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
- "UKTV autumn '08: Dave". Broadcastnow.co.uk. 2008-09-17. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
- "Totally Looped". Totally Looped. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
- "Marcus Brigstocke Official Twitter Page". Twitter. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
- "Official Site for the stand-up comic, writer, presenter & actor". Marcus Brigstocke. Archived from the original on 16 May 2012. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
- Paddock, Terri (29 March 2010). "Spamalot Crowns Brigstocke, Nicholas' Pirate King". What's On Stage.com. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
- Topham, Gwyn (2 June 2000). "Comic trio enjoy financial rewards of a sample life". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
- Perthen, Amanda. "Wife divorces TV comic Marcus Brigstocke after discovering year-long affair | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-15.
- Watts, Halina (2014-03-07). "Hayley Tamaddon on the Corrie love triangle that was a little close to home - Mirror Online". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-15.
- "Marcus Brigstocke: I could easily empty the fridge — I just don't". Evening Standard. 5 April 2012.
- "Official Site for the stand-up comic, writer, presenter & actor". Marcus Brigstocke. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
- "Shlomo’s Glasto diary 09 – Part 4 – Marcus Brigstocke vs Bellatrix beatbox battle". Shlomo Beatboxing Adventures blog. 21 September 2009.
- "excerpt on youtube". YouTube.com. Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
- The One Show. BBC. 2009-07-27.
- "Marcus Brigstocke supports the Greens and Caroline Lucas". Yorkshire and Humber Green Party. 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
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