Simon Bird

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Simon Bird
Simon Bird, 2010.jpg
Bird in 2010
Born
Simon Antony Bird

(1984-08-19) 19 August 1984 (age 37)
Guildford, Surrey, England
Alma mater
Occupation
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • director
Years active2008–present
Spouse(s)
Lisa Owens
(m. 2012)
Children2

Simon Antony Bird (born 19 August 1984) is an English actor, comedian and director. He is best known for playing Will McKenzie in the E4 comedy series The Inbetweeners (2008–2010), as well as its two films (2011 and 2014), and Adam Goodman in the Channel 4 comedy series Friday Night Dinner (2011–2020).[1]

Early life[edit]

Bird was born in Guildford, Surrey, as the third of four children[2] of Claremont McKenna College Professors Graham and Heather Bird.[3]

Bird was educated at Cranmore School, West Horsley, the Royal Grammar School, Guildford, and Queens' College, Cambridge, where he read English, alongside Inbetweeners co-star Joe Thomas.[4] At Cambridge, Bird was the president of the Footlights, the university's sketch and theatrical group.[5] He graduated with a double First.[6]

Career[edit]

Early comedy career[edit]

While completing a Master of Arts degree in cultural and critical studies at Birkbeck College, Bird set up the sketch comedy group "The House of Windsor" with former Footlights contemporaries Joe Thomas (who plays Simon Cooper in The Inbetweeners) and Jonny Sweet.[7] They performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 2007 and in 2008 with a show called The Meeting, described as a site-specific comedy installation set in an actual boardroom. Bird and Thomas were also regulars on series 1 and 2 of The Weekly Show, a podcast for Channel 4 Radio (2006–07).

Bird also performs stand-up comedy and took part in Chortle's national student comedy awards in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, coming second in his final attempt. He was a finalist in 2006, and was disqualified for deliberately breaking the rules in 2007.[8][9]

Breakthrough[edit]

In 2008, Bird was cast in E4's teen comedy The Inbetweeners as Will McKenzie, along with Joe Thomas.[10] He won the 2008 British Comedy Award for Best Male Newcomer[11] and the 2009 British Comedy Award for Best Actor.[12] He was also nominated for Best Comedy Performance at the 2008 Royal Television Society Awards,[13] and Best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme at the 2009 BAFTA Television Awards.

Subsequent work[edit]

In 2010, Bird created a BBC Three comedy panel show The King Is Dead, in which a well-known person is hypothetically killed off and a panel of three personalities go head-to-head in a series of satirical quiz rounds and challenges in their bid to replace them. He hosted alongside Nick Mohammed and Katy Wix.

Another of Bird's projects is Friday Night Dinner, a single-camera comedy written by Robert Popper and made by Big Talk Productions.[14]

Bird returned to the character of Will McKenzie in The Inbetweeners Movie which was released on 17 August 2011. In 2014 he resumed the role in the second movie about the Inbetweeners, The Inbetweeners 2.

Bird has co-created, co-written, and co-starred in a pilot, "Chickens", for Channel 4, about three men who remain in England during World War I. It was broadcast as part of Channel 4's Comedy Showcase season. In 2012, Sky One picked up a six episode season; filming began in late 2012 and the series premiered in summer 2013.

As of 2017, he was starring on the West End in The Philanthropist, alongside Charlotte Ritchie.[15]

He directed the 2019 feature film Days of Bagnold Summer, backed by Creative England and the British Film Institute.[16]

Personal life[edit]

In 2012, Bird dated Lisa Owens; they met at Cambridge University when they took part in a sketch about a couple rowing. Bird proposed to Owens in Paris and they married a year later. They have two children.[17]

Bird is a supporter of Crystal Palace Football Club.[18]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2011 The Inbetweeners Movie Will McKenzie
2013 The Look of Love Jonathan Hodge
The Harry Hill Movie Ed
2014 The Inbetweeners 2 Will McKenzie
2016 Ernestine & Kit Short film; director
2018 You, Me and Him Ben Miller
2019 Days of the Bagnold Summer[19] Director

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2008–2010 The Inbetweeners Will McKenzie 18 episodes
British Comedy Award Best Male Comedy Newcomer (2008)
British Comedy Award Best TV Comedy Actor (2009)
Nominated – BAFTA TV Award for Best Male Comedy Performance (2010)
2010 The King is Dead Himself (Host) 7 episodes; also creator and writer
2011 Comedy Showcase Cecil Episode: "Chickens"
2011–2020 Friday Night Dinner Adam Goodman 37 episodes
2013 Chickens Cecil 6 episodes; also creator and writer
2015–2016 Drunk History: UK D.I. Charles Buggy / Winston Churchill 2 episodes
2019 The Inbetweeners: Fwends Reunited Himself 1 episode (special)
2020 Sandylands Nathan Wild 3 episodes
2021 ‘’Simon Bird: Debrief’’ Self, Host/Presenter
TBA Everyone Else Burns[20] David Lewis Lead role

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wood, Tom (16 January 2021). "No More Episodes Of Friday Night Dinner Are Currently Planned". LADbible. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  2. ^ Barton, Laura (5 October 2012). "Mr Bird is not amused – Simon gets serious". Evening Standard. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  3. ^ Gilbert, Gerard (5 October 2012). "Simon Bird: 'Danger with The Inbetweeners is that it will no longer be believable that we are under the age of 30'". The Independent. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  4. ^ Wyllie, Alice (7 October 2012). "Simon Bird on Friday Night Dinner, and why his awkward persona isn't all an act". The Scotsman. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  5. ^ Deacon, Michael (27 March 2009). "Interview: Simon Bird and Joe Thomas on The Inbetweeners". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 May 2021.(subscription required)
  6. ^ Rifkind, Hugo (2 August 2014). "Simon Bird: 'Act cool? Me? I can't do that'". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 29 May 2021.(subscription required)
  7. ^ Bennett, Steve (1 January 2007). "House Of Windsor". Chortle. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  8. ^ "Simon Bird – Revels Chortle Student Comedy Awards 2007". ChortleUK. 1 March 2007 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ "Simon Bird- Chortle Student Comedy Awards 2008 2". ChortleUK. 27 February 2008 – via YouTube.
  10. ^ "The Inbetweeners". Channel 4. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  11. ^ "PAST WINNERS 2008". The British Comedy Awards. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  12. ^ "PAST WINNERS 2009". The British Comedy Awards. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  13. ^ "Programme Awards Winners 2008". Royal Television Society. Archived from the original on 8 February 2015.
  14. ^ Frankin, Oliver (4 March 2011). "Simon Bird exclusive!". GQ. Archived from the original on 7 March 2011.
  15. ^ Hogan, Michael (26 March 2017). "Simon Bird: '16 weeks in the West End… I feel absolutely terrified'". The Observer. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  16. ^ Dalton, Ben (26 June 2018). "Rob Brydon, Alice Lowe, Monica Dolan join Simon Bird's directing debut 'Days Of The Bagnold Summer'". Screen Daily. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  17. ^ "Simon Bird on Days of the Bagnold Summer: 'I don't see myself as an actor'". The I Paper. 4 June 2020. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  18. ^ Cooper, Richard. "SIMON BIRD: "THERE WAS ONE NIGHT THAT INVOLVED A CRATE OF BEER AND A LOADED RIFLE"". Joe. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  19. ^ "Days of the Bagnold Summer". British Council - British film directory. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  20. ^ "Channel 4 Commissions New Apocalyptic Comedy 'Everyone Else Burns', Starring Simon Bird". channel4.com/press. Retrieved 12 May 2022.

External links[edit]