Matt Lucas

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Matt Lucas
Matt Lucas by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Lucas in 2017
Born
Matthew Richard Lucas

(1974-03-05) 5 March 1974 (age 48)
Paddington, London, England
Citizenship
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
Education
Occupation
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • writer
  • television presenter
Years active1992–present

Matthew Richard Lucas (born 5 March 1974) is a British-German actor, comedian, writer, and television presenter. He is best known for his work with David Walliams on the BBC sketch comedy series Little Britain (2003–2007, 2020) and Come Fly With Me (2010–2011). Lucas portrayed the role of Nardole in the BBC series Doctor Who (2015–2017). He has also appeared in films, including Alice in Wonderland (2010), Bridesmaids (2011), Small Apartments (2012), and Paddington (2014). Since 2020, Lucas has presented The Great British Bake Off, alongside Noel Fielding.

Early life[edit]

Matthew Richard Lucas was born on 5 March 1974 in the Paddington area of London, the son of Diana (née Williams; born 1945) and chauffeuring business owner John Stanley Lucas (1944–1996). His family was Jewish; some of his mother's family fled Nazi Germany just before the Second World War. He has had alopecia since childhood,[1] losing all of his hair at the age of six.[2] When Lucas was 22, his father died of a heart attack at the age of 52.[3]

Lucas was educated at Aylward Primary School and Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, the same school attended by comedians David Baddiel and Sacha Baron Cohen. He studied drama at the University of Bristol between 1992 and 1995, although he did not complete his degree.[4][5] He also spent time with the National Youth Theatre, where he met his future collaborator David Walliams.[6]

Career[edit]

Walliams and Lucas in character as Lou and Andy at Live 8 in 2005

Early work[edit]

Lucas's association with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer began in 1992. He appeared in The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer in 1995, and went on to star with them in Shooting Stars. He quickly rose to fame as George Dawes, a giant baby (often dressed in an adult-sized romper suit) who would deliver a string of meaningless gags and insults before delivering the teams' scores, while sitting at and playing a drum kit. He also appeared on occasion as Marjorie Dawes, George's mother, who also appears in Little Britain.[7]

He again appeared with Reeves & Mortimer in the BBC TV series Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) and Catterick, in a variety of roles. In 1999, Lucas paired with David Walliams, with whom he had already worked in Mash and Peas and Sir Bernard's Stately Homes, to create Rock Profile, a comedy show spoofing famous musical personalities. It is notable for being one of their first comedic collaborations. Lucas has also written for actor Sacha Baron Cohen.[citation needed]

His music video appearances include the Damien Hirst-directed video for Blur's "Country House,"[7] "Jesusland" by Ben Folds in 2005, "I'm with Stupid" by Pet Shop Boys,[8] and "Vindaloo" by Fat Les.[citation needed]

Lucas ventured into stage musicals in 2002, when he took a role in Boy George's musical Taboo at The Venue in London. He played the performance artist Leigh Bowery.[7]

Little Britain[edit]

Little Britain is Lucas' most commercially successful work. The show came about when trainee BBC radio producer Ashley Blaker, tasked with coming up with ideas for a TV or radio series, bumped into Lucas in London.[9] The two were old friends from Haberdashers' and Lucas took Blaker to the Groucho Club, where he told Blaker of his ideas for a sketch show. Little Britain was launched as a radio show on BBC Radio 4 and it later became a TV series.

Among the many characters he plays in the series, which he writes and acts in along with David Walliams, are apparently "disabled" Andy Pipkin, teenage Bristol chav Vicky Pollard, homophobic homosexual Daffyd Thomas, and insensitive slimming club organiser Marjorie Dawes.

In January 2005 Lucas and Walliams were named the most powerful people in TV comedy by Radio Times.[10]

Later career[edit]

In 2005, he took his first role in a television drama, a supporting part as a Venetian duke in the BBC historical serial Casanova, written by Russell T Davies. Also in 2005, he did voice work in the ITV children's program King Arthur's Disasters alongside Rik Mayall. Since 2006, Lucas has been the voice of the radio and television character Digit Al, devised as part of a public information campaign on digital switchover. On 26 November 2006 he appeared on the BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs. He made a cameo appearance in Shaun of the Dead as Tom, the cousin of Shaun's friend Yvonne.

In 2007, he released "I'm Gonna Be", originally by The Proclaimers, with Peter Kay as a charity single for Comic Relief.[11] He performed the single as Little Britain character Andy Pipkin, along with Kay playing as Brian Potter. He also starred as Mr. Toad in The Wind in the Willows, a 2006 television adaptation of the Kenneth Grahame novel.

He has appeared in Kath & Kim and Neighbours (the latter alongside David Walliams as Little Britain characters Lou and Andy), as well as a cameo role, playing 'Chris' or 'Jammy' at the wedding fayre, in the BBC Three sitcom Gavin & Stacey. Lucas has co-written (with Walliams) and performed in a new series of Little Britain USA for HBO. Lucas was the first celebrity to appear in 2008's Big Brother Celebrity Hijack on E4.

On 9 April 2009, the series Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire, featuring Lucas as a regular performer, premièred on Comedy Central, the first major comedy series which Lucas had worked on since Little Britain. In 2010, Lucas played Tweedledee and Tweedledum in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.[12]

Starting in February 2010, Lucas began hosting his own radio show, And The Winner Is, in which he handed out a fictional series of awards based on nominations by his guests.[13]

On 3 October 2010,[14] Lucas played Thénardier in the 25th Anniversary Concerts of Les Misérables, at the O2 Arena in London. A year later, from 23 June to 10 September 2011,[15] he reprised the role at the Queen's Theatre, in the West End. He has since collaborated with Alfie Boe, who played Jean Valjean, to record a duet of "The Impossible Dream" on Boe's debut album.

Also in 2011, Lucas lent his voice to the CGI film Gnomeo and Juliet and he played a small role as the roommate of Kristen Wiig in the comedy Bridesmaids.

On Christmas Day 2010, the BBC began showing Lucas and David Walliams' new series, Come Fly with Me. The show saw Walliams and Lucas each playing multiple characters but, unlike Little Britain, it focused entirely on the working environment of the airline industry. In an interview shown on BBC 3 on 9 February 2011, it was stated that the creators considered bringing travel agent character Carol Beer from Little Britain to the new series, but decided against it, as they did not want viewers to see the new show as merely a spinoff. Instead, all new characters were introduced.

On 28 March 2012, Lucas appeared as the "Generation X" guest on the Australian game show Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation. On 10 April 2012, Lucas's own BBC One show The Matt Lucas Awards began. It was a send-up of an awards program, with a panel of comedians giving their nominations for awards for a series of prizes concerning trivial topics.

Lucas also starred in the dark comedy Small Apartments released in February 2013 alongside James Caan, Billy Crystal, Johnny Knoxville, and Juno Temple with other cameo performances by notable actors. On 21 February 2013, Lucas appeared on the NBC series Community as Toby, an English friend of Abed Nadir. In 2014, Lucas played Ray Thomas in The Life of Rock with Brian Pern.

Lucas launched a new comedy series called Pompidou for BBC Two. The show began airing on 1 March 2015.

In May 2016, Lucas reprised his role as "Tweedledee/Tweedledum" in Tim Burton's Alice Through the Looking Glass, sequel to Alice in Wonderland.[16] Lucas joined the BBC series Doctor Who for its tenth series, reprising the character Nardole, which he had previously played in the 2015 and 2016 Christmas specials, "The Husbands of River Song" and "The Return of Doctor Mysterio" respectively.

On 16 February 2017, Lucas was awarded an Honorary Degree "Doctor of Letters" by the University of Bristol, where he had studied for two years in the 1990s but had left before completing his degree course.[17] On 3 October 2017, Lucas released his autobiography titled Little Me, published by Canongate Books in hardback. The paperback edition was released on 7 June 2018.[18]

From 2 July to 25 August 2018, Lucas played Bill Snibson in a revival of Me and My Girl at Chichester Festival Theatre.[19]

From 10 August to 30 November 2019, Lucas appeared in Les Misérables at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End, playing the role of Monsieur Thénardier in a fully staged concert adaptation of the musical. On 20 December 2019, Lucas returned to the role at the Sondheim Theatre, after actor Gerard Carey contracted vocal damage through pneumonia and was forced to pull out. On 10 January 2020, Lucas himself was forced to withdraw from the show following a back injury.[20]

In March 2020, he became the new co-host of the Channel 4 and Love Productions television show The Great British Bake Off, taking over from Sandi Toksvig.[21]

On 3 April, Lucas released a reworked version of his "Baked Potato Song" from Shooting Stars titled "Thank You Baked Potato", with all proceeds from the track going towards the Feed NHS campaign, which aims to provide meals for NHS workers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK.[22][23] The song reached No. 34 in the charts. Lucas also wrote a children's picture book based on "Thank You, Baked Potato", published by Egmont and all proceeds again go to Feed NHS.

Personal life[edit]

Lucas is a patron of the Karen Morris Memorial Trust, a UK charity for leukaemia patients and their families. In April 2003, he appeared on Celebrity Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and won £62,500 for the charity.[24]

Lucas is openly gay. He first suspected his sexuality at age seven.[2][25][26] At a ceremony in Central London in December 2006, he entered into a civil partnership with Kevin McGee.[27] In attendance were Barbara Windsor, Neil Tennant, Elton John, and Courtney Love.[28] They separated and had their civil partnership dissolved through the High Court in 2008.

Lucas was raised as Jewish but has variously described himself as an atheist[29] and a "fairly secular Jew".[30] On 16 June 2022 Lucas was the subject of BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? and discovered that many of his grandmother's cousins had been killed in the Holocaust. His grandmother's cousin Werner Goldschmidt rented a room from Otto Frank, in Amsterdam in 1942, and was living with the family when they went into hiding.[31][32] In 2021, 83 years after his grandmother fled Berlin, Lucas obtained German citizenship and collected a Certificate of Naturalisation from the German embassy.[33]

He supports Arsenal.[34]

From 2012 to 2015, Lucas lived with his Bridesmaids co-star Rebel Wilson in West Hollywood.[35]

Filmography[edit]

Films[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1998 Jilting Joe Air Steward
1999 Plunkett & Macleane Sir Oswald
2004 Shaun of the Dead Cousin Tom Cameo
2005 Cold and Dark Dr. Elgin
2009 Astro Boy Sparx (voice)
2010 Alice in Wonderland Tweedledum and Tweedledee
2010 The Infidel Rabbi
2010 Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary Thénardier
2011 Gnomeo & Juliet Benny (voice)
2011 Bridesmaids Gil
2012 Small Apartments Franklin Franklin
2013 The Look of Love Divine
2013 In Secret Olivier Previously titled Thérèse
2013 The Harry Hill Movie Otto
2014 Paddington Joe
2016 Alice Through the Looking Glass Tweedledee and Tweedledum
2017 How to Talk to Girls at Parties
2018 A Futile and Stupid Gesture Tony Hendra
2018 Sherlock Gnomes Benny (voice)
2019 Polar Mr. Blut
2019 Missing Link Mr. Collick (voice)[36]
2019 The Queen's Corgi Charlie (voice)
2019 Les Misérables: The Staged Concert Thénardier
2023 Wonka Filming

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995 The Imaginatively Titled Punt & Dennis Show 1 episode
1995 The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer Mayor Hobson / Pub Landlord / Quivell Mills 4 episodes
1995–2009 Shooting Stars George Dawes / Marjorie Dawes
1996 Mash and Peas Danny Mash / Various roles 9 episodes; also writer
1997 Sunnyside Farm Mr. Mills
1997 It's Ulrika! Various roles TV movie
1998 Barking Various Roles
1998 You Are Here Pat Magnet TV movie
1999 Bang Bang, It's Reeves and Mortimer Various roles 1 episode
1999 Sir Bernard's Stately Homes Sir Bernard Chumley 6 episodes
1999–2022 Rock Profile Various characters 31 episodes; also writer
2000 Da Ali G Show Wrote 1 episode
2001 Fun at the Funeral Parlour Father Titmus / Isaac Hunt 2 episodes
2001 Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) Nesbit 1 episode: "Revenge of the Bog People"
2002 Surrealissimo: The Scandalous Success of Salvador Dalí Luis Buñuel TV movie
2002 Captain V TV movie
2003 Comic Relief 2003: The Big Hair Do Su Pollard: Blankety Blank TV movie
2003–2007 Little Britain Various Roles 23 episodes; also writer
2004 Catterick Roy Oates / Dan the Shellfish Man / Webster 6 episodes
2004 French and Saunders 1 episode
2004 The All-Star Comedy Show Various roles TV movie
2004 AD/BC: A Rock Opera God TV movie
2005 Look Around You Dr. Phillip Lavender 2 episodes
2005 Casanova Villars Mini-series; 2 episodes
2005–2006 King Arthur's Disasters Merlin
2006 Popetown Cardinal One / Jackie Cohen 10 episodes
2006 The Wind in the Willows Toad TV movie
2007 The National Television Awards 2007 Lou TV movie
2007 Gavin & Stacey Jammy 1 episode
2007 Neighbours Andy Pipkin 1 episode: "British Bulldog"
2007 Kath & Kim Karen 2 episodes
2008 Little Britain USA Various roles 6 episodes; also writer and executive producer
2009 Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire Chancellor Dongalor 6 episodes
2009 Comic Relief 2009 Julie / Matt Van-Laaast / Ellie Grace TV movie
2009 Pride of Britain Awards 2009 Andy TV movie
2010 Funny or Die Presents Graham Rhys Grahamcox 1 episode "The Carpet Brothers"
2010 The One Ronnie Various characters TV movie
2010–2011 Come Fly with Me Various roles / Fearghal O'Farrell / Keeley St Clair / Mickey Minchin 6 episodes; also writer and associate producer
2012 The Greatest Footie Ads Ever Andy TV movie
2012–2013 Portlandia Stu 2 episodes
2013 Community Toby Weeks 1 episode: "Conventions of Space and Time"
2013 Super Fun Night Derrick[37] Guest appearance
2014 The Life of Rock with Brian Pern Ray Thomas
2015 Pompidou Pompidou Also writer and director
2015 Fresh Off the Boat Mr. Fisher Episode: "Boy II Man"
2015–2017 Doctor Who Nardole 15 episodes
2015 Man Seeking Woman Igor Episode: "Teacup"
2016 Bull Mr. Richards Episode: "A Faberge Egg"
2016 Galavant Peasant John Episode: "Aw, Hell, the King"
2016 Mack & Moxy Admirable Matt Episode: "A Spectrum of Possibilities"
2016 A Midsummer Night's Dream Nick Bottom TV movie
2016 Round Planet Narrator 10 episodes
2017 Bill Nye Saves the World Himself Episode: "The Sexual Spectrum"
2017 Stella Wes Episode: 6.1
2018 Who Is America? Writer
2019 Moominvalley Teety-Woo In production
2020—present The Great British Bake Off Co-presenter Alongside Noel Fielding; replaced Sandi Toksvig
2020 Reasons to Be Cheerful with Matt Lucas Presenter
2021 The Masked Singer Guest panelist Series 2, Episode 7; Semi-Final
50 Years of Mr Men with Matt Lucas Presenter TV documentary[38]
Legends of Tomorrow Aleister Crowley (voice) 2 episodes
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Guest Judge Episode: The Return of Royalty
Gogglebox for Stand Up to Cancer Himself Series 18, episode 5 (Su2c special)

Shorts[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Shooting Stars: Unviewed and Nude George Dawes Video
1997 Dennis Pennis R.I.P. 'The Quill' Video
2003 Moo(n) Bee Short
2003 Welcome to Glaringly Various roles Short
2005 Alan Partridge Presents: The Cream of British Comedy Daffydd Thomas Video
2007 Fievel Throws Down Short
2010 The RRF in New Recruit Sparx (voice) Video short

Web videos[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2020 Unfinished London[39] Man from Hounslow[39] 1 episode: "What's wrong with London's boroughs?"

Audio dramas[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2001 Doctor Who: The One Doctor[40] Cylinder / The Jelloid[40]

Theatre[edit]

Year Production Role Venue
2002 Taboo Leigh Bowery Venue Theatre, London
2005–2007 Little Britain Live Writer and performer (various roles) UK and Australian tours
2009 Prick Up Your Ears Kenneth Halliwell Comedy Theatre, London
2010 Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary Thénardier The O2, London
2011 Les Misérables Queen's Theatre, London
2014 Monty Python Live (Mostly) - 5 July show Himself (The 'Blackmail' sketch) The O2, London
2018 Me and My Girl Bill Snibson Chichester Festival Theatre
2019 Les Misérables: The All-Star Staged Concert Thénardier Gielgud Theatre, London
2019–2020 Les Misérables Sondheim Theatre, London
2020–2021 Les Misérables: The Staged Concert

Audio[edit]

Radio[edit]

In 2019, Lucas was the bank holiday cover host[clarification needed] for the Radio 2 Breakfast Show.[citation needed] He will also cover Paul O'Grady's Sunday 5–7pm show during the summer; Fearne Cotton will be the main holiday cover host.[41][needs update] In 2021, Lucas continues to sit in for Zoe Ball and host the Radio 2 Breakfast Show.[42]

Bibliography[edit]

Official

  • Boyd Hilton; Matt Lucas; David Walliams (2006). Inside Little Britain. London: Ebury Press. ISBN 978-0-09-191231-4.
  • Lucas, Matt (2017). Little Me. London: Canongate. ISBN 978-1786890863.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "As Matt Lucas speaks out, 10 things people with alopecia want you to know". The Independent. 25 March 2021. Archived from the original on 12 May 2022. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  2. ^ a b Bowyer, Alison (26 April 2005). "Matt Lucas has the last laugh". London Evening Standard.
  3. ^ Crampton, Robert (6 June 2009). "Matt Lucas on fame, body image and relationships". The Times. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011.
  4. ^ "Little Britain star Matt Lucas awarded honorary degree". University of Bristol. 17 February 2017. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  5. ^ "TV, film and theatre – Alumni and friends". University of Bristol. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Matt Lucas urges future stars to join youth theatre that inspired him". London Evening Standard. 23 December 2009.
  7. ^ a b c Ellis, James (27 October 2009). "Matt Lucas on Taboo, David Walliams and rock and roll". Metro. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
  8. ^ Frenken, Thomas (17 June 2015). "Pet Shop Boys – I'm With Stupid". Electrozombies. Retrieved 16 April 2022.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 July 2020. Retrieved 27 October 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Methven, Nicola (11 January 2005). "Lucas & Walliams 'funniest'". Daily Mirror. MGN Ltd. Retrieved 13 September 2017 – via The Free Library.
  11. ^ "Mutual Relief: Lucas and Kay join for charity single". Chortle. 17 November 2006.
  12. ^ Byron Perry (10 September 2008). "Matt Lucas at Variety Players".
  13. ^ "And The Winner Is ..." BBC Radio 2.
  14. ^ Akbar, Arifa (3 June 2010). "Matt Lucas lands role in 'Misérables' special". The Independent. Archived from the original on 12 May 2022. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  15. ^ "Les Miserables new cast at Queen's Theatre from 23 June". London Theatre. 23 February 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  16. ^ "'Alice Through the Looking Glass': Beware the poppycock, my son!". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Little Britain star Matt Lucas awarded honorary degree by Bristol University". BBC News. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  18. ^ Matt Lucas. "Little Me: My autobiography". Canongate Books. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  19. ^ Bennett, Steve. "Matt Lucas to star in Me And My Girl : News 2018 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". www.chortle.co.uk. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  20. ^ "Matt Lucas withdraws from new Les Misérables production following a back injury". London Evening Standard. 10 January 2020.
  21. ^ "Matt Lucas to replace Sandi Toksvig on Bake Off". BBC News. 11 March 2020. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  22. ^ Daly, Rhian (5 April 2020). "Matt Lucas thanks fans as 'Thank You Baked Potato' enters charts". NME. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  23. ^ Youngs, Ian (1 April 2020). "How Matt Lucas' potato song is feeding NHS workers". BBC News. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  24. ^ "Karen Morris Memorial Trust". Retrieved 24 October 2009.
  25. ^ "The show we'll all soon be watching". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  26. ^ "Lucas: 'Shakin' Stevens Made Me Gay'". Contactmusic.com. 22 March 2007. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  27. ^ Davies, Caroline; Sheppard, Paula (18 December 2006). "Little Britain star 'weds' his Prince Charming". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022.
  28. ^ "Matt Lucas and Kevin McGee Pantomime Themed Wedding Reception London: Album". Exposay. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  29. ^ "Matt Lucas". Julia Zemiro's Home Delivery. Series 3. Episode 2. 10 June 2015. ABC.
  30. ^ Derren Brown (21 January 2017). "Derren Brown vs Celebrities – TOP 5 TRICKS". Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 7 March 2018 – via YouTube.
  31. ^ "BBC One – Who Do You Think You Are?, Series 19, Matt Lucas". BBC.
  32. ^ "Matt Lucas on Who Do You Think You Are? Everything you need to know". Who Do You Think You Are Magazine.
  33. ^ @RealMattLucas (2 November 2021). "My grandma fled Berlin in 1938. Having been offered citizenship, I have just been to the German Embassy in London t…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  34. ^ "Matt Lucas: Arsenal are the only tribe I don't mind being a part of". Daily Cannon. 16 October 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  35. ^ Wightman, Catriona (3 September 2012). "'Bridesmaids' Rebel Wilson, Matt Lucas live together, annoy neighbours". Digital Spy. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  36. ^ "Matt Lucas (I)". IMDb. Retrieved 18 April 2019. Mr. Collick (voice)
  37. ^ Abrams, Natalie (23 August 2013). "Super Fun Night Stages Bridesmaids Reunion!". TV Guide. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  38. ^ "50 Years of Mr Men with Matt Lucas". channel4.com. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  39. ^ a b "10. What's wrong with London's boroughs?". Unfinished London. May 2020. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  40. ^ a b "27. The One Doctor". Big Finish Productions. December 2001. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  41. ^ "Fearne Cotton gets Radio 2 Breakfast cover job". RadioToday. 7 February 2019. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  42. ^ "BBC Radio 2 – The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, Matt Lucas sits in, with Sally Lindsay". BBC.

External links[edit]