Marcus Brigstocke

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Marcus Brigstocke
Marcus Brigstocke 03.JPG
Marcus Brigstocke at Glastonbury Festival 2015
Birth name Marcus Alexander Brigstocke
Born (1973-05-08) 8 May 1973 (age 45)
Guildford, Surrey, England[1]
Medium Television, Radio, Stand up
Nationality British, French
Genres Satire
Subject(s) Politics
Sophie Prideaux
(m. 2001; div. 2013)
Notable works and roles Argumental
The Now Show

Marcus Alexander Brigstocke (born 8 May 1973) is an English comedian, actor and satirist who also holds French citizenship. He has worked in stand-up comedy, television, radio and musical theatre.

He is particularly associated with the BBC, having frequently appeared on many of its shows.

Early life[edit]

Brigstocke was educated at several fee-paying private schools: St. Edmunds School in the village of Hindhead in Surrey,[2] at Westbourne House School[citation needed] in Chichester, West Sussex, and at King's School, Bruton in Somerset. He also attended Netherton Hall School,[citation needed] a boarding school in Farway, Devon. He then attended the University of Bristol,[2] where he studied Drama, but did not complete his degree.[3]

He moved to London with his then girlfriend, later wife, during the early 1990s. 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.[2][4][5]

Live comedy career[edit]

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 television in the series of short programmes We Are History (2000-2001). Brigstocke's first stand up comedy DVD, Planet Corduroy, was released in November 2007.[6] In April 2008, Brigstocke and fellow comedian and snowboarder, Andrew Maxwell founded a comedy and music festival in the ski resort of Meribel, in the French Alps. In 2009, Brigstocke starred in the British tour of the American live improvisation show, Totally Looped.[7] Brigstocke's second stand-up show God Collar toured in 2009. In June 2010, He announced that he had signed a publishing deal with Transworld to turn the God Collar Tour into a book.[8]

Pac-Man joke[edit]

Brigstocke's best-known joke involves the controversy regarding the influence of video games on children.

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.

This joke is frequently quoted on the internet, and has been attributed to various originators, but Brigstocke has claimed authorship. He has stated that used the gag for at least six years, without ever adapting or changing the wording."[9]

Radio work[edit]

Brigstocke has a successful radio career including The Now Show (1998-, with Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis) and Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off (2002-2011). The Now Show provided an outlet for his dislike of David Blaine, who he described as "not magic".[citation needed]

On 9 April 2006, Brigstocke appeared as Bertie Wooster in BBC Radio 4's adaptation of The Code of the Woosters (1938), with Andrew Sachs as Jeeves. Brigstocke hosted The Late Edition (2005-2008), which was promoted by the BBC as "Newsnight with jokes".[10], but was described by John Walker as a "disastrous attempt" to mimic The Daily Show, which saw Brigstocke descending into "stumbling panic" when required to deviate from scripted gags.[11]

Brigstocke's talk show I've Never Seen Star Wars was described by The Guardian as a programme which "gently plods on, with the feel of a mid-afternoon game show".[12] Brigstocke's series The Brig Society which began in 2013, was described by the Daily Telegraph as "imbecilic", "patronising", "smug" and "self righteous".[13]

In September 2017, BBC Radio 4 broadcast his first serious drama, The Red [14], drawing on his own experience of recovery. Produced by Caroline Raphael for Pier Productions, it won the Best Single Drama award in the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2018.[15]

Other radio credits[edit]

Film and television[edit]

Brigstocke plays an arts journalist named Marcus in the Neil Gaiman film A Short Film About John Bolton (2003) and a radio DJ in the Richard Curtis film Love Actually (2003).

Brigstocke television work has included Have I Got News for You and Live at the Apollo. Brigstocke took part in the BBC Two programme Excuse My French (2006) with Ron Atkinson and Esther Rantzen. They were immersed in the French language by staying in a French town in Provence. Brigstocke's ultimate assignment was to perform a live stand-up comedy act in French to a French audience.

In September 2008, Brigstocke was team captain for the first series of a comedy panel show, Argumental (2008-2012), for British television channel Dave. He served as the Captain of the Red Team, competing against Rufus Hound with a variety of guest participants, under the chairmanship of John Sergeant.[16]

He has also worked for television shows aimed at children for CBBC: Stupid! (2004-2007) and Sorry I've Got No Head (2008-2011).

In 2000 Brigstocke successfully claimed publishing rights after a sample of his voice was used in the song "I Don't Smoke" by DJ Dee Kline.[17]

Other television credits[edit]

Other film credits[edit]


In 2010, Brigstocke made his musical theatre debut as King Arthur in the British tour of Spamalot for a limited engagement. He then starred in The Railway Children as Albert Perks at the Waterloo Station Theatre in 2011.[18] He appeared in the role of Ali Hakim at two semi-staged concert performances of Oklahoma! at the Proms with the John Wilson Orchestra on 11 August 2017.

In late 2017 Brigstocke played the title role in a revival of Barnum at the Menier Chocolate Factory. For this, he acquired specialist circus skills including magic and walking a tightrope. He chronicled his motivation and progress in an article for The Guardian.[19] On the opening night Brigstocke needed several attempts and the assistance of his fellow actors to complete the tightrope walk segment of the show in a performance which was described as "lumbering" and "ungainly".[20]

Personal life[edit]

Brigstocke has two children, Alfie and Emily. He was divorced by their mother following an affair with Hayley Tamaddon, with whom he co-starred in the musical Spamalot in 2010.[21]

Brigstocke enjoys snowboarding – he has set up a stand-up tour in the Alps and a comedy festival called The Altitude Festival.[22] He has performed in beatboxing battles on stage with Shlomo and Bellatrix.[23]

During an episode of The Late Edition in October 2007, Brigstocke noted that he was 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."[24]

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."[25]

Brigstocke endorsed Caroline Lucas and the Green Party in their successful campaign for the seat of Brighton Pavilion in the 2010 General Election.[26]


  1. ^ Nevin, Charles (19 November 2005). "When you're smiling". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-08-12. 
  2. ^ a b c 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 Express (London, England). MGN Ltd. (archive)
  3. ^ "Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled". Who Do You Think You Are?. 9 August 2014. Dave. 
  4. ^ Brew, Simon (23 March 2009). "Marcus Brigstocke interview".
  5. ^ "Would I Lie to You?". BBC TV. 24 August 2009.
  6. ^ Marcus Brigstocke – Planet Corduroy (DVD Region 2). The Shaw Theatre, London, England: Sony/BMG. November 26, 2007. ASIN B000X21NIS. 
  7. ^ "Totally Looped". Totally Looped. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  8. ^ "Marcus Brigstocke Official Twitter Page". Twitter. Retrieved 2010-07-23. 
  9. ^ "Official Site for the stand-up comic, writer, presenter & actor". Marcus Brigstocke. Archived from the original on 16 May 2012. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  10. ^ "Four - The Late Edition". BBC. 23 January 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  11. ^ Walker, John. "The Late Edition : Off The Telly". 
  12. ^ Elan, Priya (15 January 2015). "I've Never Seen Star Wars – review: a few gentle, pleasant first-time challenges for Rebecca Front". The Guardian. 
  13. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (5 July 2013). "The BBC's left-wing bias is alive and well and living in Radio 4 comedy". Daily Telegraph. 
  14. ^ "BBC Radio Drama". 2017-09-05. Retrieved 2018-04-25. 
  15. ^ "BBC Audio Drama Awards". 2018-01-28. Retrieved 2018-04-25. 
  16. ^ "UKTV autumn '08: Dave". 2008-09-17. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  17. ^ Topham, Gwyn (2 June 2000). "Comic trio enjoy financial rewards of a sample life". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 June 2010. 
  18. ^ Paddock, Terri (29 March 2010). "Spamalot Crowns Brigstocke, Nicholas' Pirate King". What's On Retrieved 30 March 2010. 
  19. ^ "Marcus Brigstocke: my bruising bid to become PT Barnum, the greatest showman on earth", The Guardian Theatre section, 8 November 2017. Accessed 14 February 2018
  20. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (6 December 2017). "Marcus Brigstocke charms but takes a tumble - Barnum, Menier Chocolate Factory, review". Daily Telegraph. 
  21. ^ "The Times, London". 2017-11-27. Retrieved 2017-11-27. 
  22. ^ "Official Site for the stand-up comic, writer, presenter & actor". Marcus Brigstocke. Archived from the original on 1 April 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2009. 
  23. ^ "Shlomo’s Glasto diary 09 – Part 4 – Marcus Brigstocke vs Bellatrix beatbox battle". Shlomo Beatboxing Adventures blog. 21 September 2009.
  24. ^ "excerpt on youtube". Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  25. ^ The One Show. BBC. 2009-07-27.
  26. ^ "Marcus Brigstocke supports the Greens and Caroline Lucas". Yorkshire and Humber Green Party. 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 

External links[edit]