Simon Bird

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Simon Bird
Bird in 2010
Simon Antony Bird

(1984-08-19) 19 August 1984 (age 39)
Guildford, Surrey, England
Alma mater
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • director
  • producer
Years active2008–present
Lisa Owens
(m. 2012)

Simon Antony Bird (born 19 August 1984) is an English comedian, actor, director and producer. He is best known for playing Will McKenzie in the multi-award-winning 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.[4] At Cambridge, Bird was the president of the Footlights, the university's sketch and theatrical group.[5]


Early comedy career[edit]

While studying for 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.[6] 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).[7]

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.[7][8][9]


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 2010 BAFTA Television Awards.[14]

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.

From 2011 to 2020 Bird starred in 6 series of Friday Night Dinner, a single-camera comedy written by Robert Popper and made by Big Talk Productions.[15] Like The Inbetweeners it was named Best Sitcom at the Rose D'Or Festival.[16] In 2021 Channel 4 released Friday Night Dinner: 10 Years And A Lovely Bit Of Squirrel, an anniversary special celebrating a decade of the hit sitcom.[17]

Bird returned to the character of Will McKenzie in The Inbetweeners Movie which was released on 17 August 2011[18] In 2014 he reprised the role in the second movie about the Inbetweeners, The Inbetweeners 2, which had the highest-grossing opening weekend of any film in the UK that year.[19]

In 2013 Bird co-created, co-wrote, and co-starred in Chickens, a sitcom about three men who remain in England during World War I. It premiered on Sky1 in summer 2013 and was nominated for Best Comedy at the 2014 Broadcast Awards.[20]

In 2017 he starred on the West End in The Philanthropist, directed by Simon Callow.[21] In his review, The Telegraph's theatre critic Dominic Cavendish wrote "Callow has certainly struck gold with leading man Simon Bird...he delivers the goods by subtle, incremental means, the thespian equivalent of a 3D printer".[22]

Bird's debut stand-up show Debrief, recorded in an empty theatre, was released on All4 in 2022 and described by comedy website Chortle as "more like an experimental art-house movie than a stand-up special".[23]

Bird stars in a new Channel 4 sitcom Everyone Else Burns, produced by Jax Media and NBC Universal, which was released in 2023.[24] Time Magazine called it "the funniest network sitcom in ages".[25]


In 2016, Bird directed his first short film Ernestine and Kit based on a story by Kevin Barry. It premiered at SXSW where it was nominated for the Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Short.[26] It was also nominated for Best Short Film at the 2016 Irish Television and Film Awards.[27]

His debut feature film Days of Bagnold Summer, was released in 2020, backed by Creative England and the British Film Institute.[28] It was described by Mark Kermode as "a gem of a movie...laugh-out-loud funny and piercingly poignant".[29] It was nominated for the Variety Piazza Grande Award at the Locarno Film Festival[30] and was named Best Feature at the LUCAS International Festival For Young Film Lovers.[31] It currently has a 92% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[32]

For TV, Bird directed Series 3 of BAFTA-nominated mockumentary Pls Like[33] and the first series of Rose D'Or-nominated sketch show Ellie & Natasia,[34] described by The Times as "the funniest and most refreshing take on the format for years".[35]

In 2023, Bird directed A24 series Such Brave Girls for the BBC, described by The Guardian as "hands down the funniest British comedy of the year".[36]


In 2015 Bird and Jonny Sweet founded Guilty Party Pictures, an independent TV and film production company backed by StudioCanal.[37] It produced a number of projects including God's Own County, nominated for Best Short-Form Comedy at the 2019 Broadcast Awards,[38] How Europe Stole My Mum, described by The Guardian as "nothing short of a miracle",[39] and How We Forgot To Save The Planet, which won the 2022 RTS Scotland Award for Best Comedy.[40]

In 2022 it was announced that Bird and Sweet were setting up a new company, People Person Pictures, in partnership with BBC Studios.[41] In 2023 they produced Netflix's A Whole Lifetime With Jamie Demetriou which went on to win the Rose D'Or for Best Comedy Entertainment.[42] People Person Pictures was also named as a co-producing partner on Wicked Little Letters, a feature film starring Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley and Timothy Spall, to be released in 2024.

Personal life[edit]

In 2012, Bird married author Lisa Owens. They have two children.[43][44]

Bird is a supporter of Crystal Palace Football Club.[45]



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[46] Director


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
2023 Everyone Else Burns[47] David Lewis Lead role, also an uncredited executive producer
2023 Such Brave Girls Director 6 episodes


  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. ^ "Simon Bird on his new film". 21 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Inbetween Cambridge and Fame".
  6. ^ Bennett, Steve (1 January 2007). "House Of Windsor". Chortle. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  7. ^ a b Richardson, Matthew; Dodgson, Mike (2014). The Inbetweeners : Moving on. London: John Blake. pp. 22–23. ISBN 978-1-7821-9985-4.
  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. ^ "British Academy Television Awards: Television in 2010". BAFTA. Retrieved 20 April 2023.
  15. ^ Frankin, Oliver (4 March 2011). "Simon Bird exclusive!". GQ. Archived from the original on 7 March 2011.
  16. ^ "Friday Night Dinner Beats Gervais Comedy at Rose D'Or".
  17. ^ "Friday Night Dinner: everything we learned from the farewell anniversary special". NME. 27 May 2021.
  18. ^ "The Inbetweeners Movie is a Box Office hit". Gigwise. 18 August 2011.
  19. ^ Stolworthy, Jacob (7 August 2014). "The Inbetweeners 2 smashes UK box office records". The Daily Telegraph.
  20. ^ "Broadcast Awards 2014 Shortlist".
  21. ^ Hogan, Michael (26 March 2017). "Simon Bird: '16 weeks in the West End… I feel absolutely terrified'". The Observer. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  22. ^ Cavendish, Dominic (20 April 2017). "The Philanthropist, Trafalgar Studios Review". The Telegraph.
  23. ^ "Simon Bird Debrief Review". Chortle.
  24. ^ "Simon Bird To Star In Channel 4 Comedy 'Everyone Else Burns'". 3 May 2022.
  25. ^ Berman, Judy. "The CW's Hilarious Everyone Else Burns Finally Gives Us A Reason To Watch Network TV". Time. Time. Retrieved 17 January 2024.
  26. ^ "Ernestine & Kit Plays Indy Film Fest".
  27. ^ "IFTA Nominations".
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ Kermode, Mark (7 June 2020). "Days of the Bagnold Summer review – bittersweet tale of family strife". The Guardian.
  30. ^ "Days of the Bagnold Summer (2019): Awards". IMDB.
  31. ^ "MARONA wins ECFA Award in LUCAS Festival". European Children's Film Association.
  32. ^ "Days of the Bagnold Summer". Rotten Tomatoes.
  33. ^ "BBC3's BAFTA-nominated Pls Like Returns For Third Series".
  34. ^ "Rose D'Or Nominations 2022".
  35. ^ Jones, Alice. "Ellie White and Natasia Demetriou: the funniest woman on TV".
  36. ^ Aroesti, Rachel. "'We Just Can't Do Serious': Gross-Out Comedy Such Brave Girls And The Sisters Who Made It". The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved 17 January 2024.
  37. ^ "StudioCanal launches UK firm Guilty Party".
  38. ^ "Who's Up For A 2019 Broadcast Digital Award?".
  39. ^ Mangan, Lucy (November 2019). "How Europe Stole My Mum review". The Guardian.
  40. ^ "RTS Scotland Awards 2022". 31 October 2022.
  41. ^ "BBC Studios strikes pact with Inbetweeners star's new prodco".
  42. ^ "Jamie Demetriou Scoops A Rose D'Or". Chortle. Retrieved 17 January 2024.
  43. ^ "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.
  44. ^ Richardson, Matthew; Dodgson, Mike (2014). The Inbetweeners : Moving on. London: John Blake. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-7821-9985-4.
  45. ^ Cooper, Richard (17 February 2017). "SIMON BIRD: "THERE WAS ONE NIGHT THAT INVOLVED A CRATE OF BEER AND A LOADED RIFLE"". Joe. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  46. ^ "Days of the Bagnold Summer". British Council - British film directory. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  47. ^ "Channel 4 Commissions New Apocalyptic Comedy 'Everyone Else Burns', Starring Simon Bird". Retrieved 12 May 2022.

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