|This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (July 2015)|
December 26, 1954 |
Lambeth, London, England
Whilst a pupil at Clapham College in London, Steen became friends with Jim Sweeney, and together they joined a theatre club in 1972. They wrote and performed in a show which parodied much of the other shows being held in London that year. Then they formed their own theatre company and wrote and toured its productions around the United Kingdom through the 1970s.
In the 1980s Steen and Sweeney moved into television production, appearing together for the first time in 1981 on the ITV children's show CBTV, followed by one of Channel 4's first comedies, Little Armadillos. Around this period Steen appeared in the Ben Elton comedy Happy Families.
Rory Bremner recruited them[when?] as resident support performers on his first sketch show for the British Broadcasting Corporation. In 1987 they starred as the Romantic poets Byron and Coleridge (Steen playing Byron) in an episode entitled 'Ink and Incapability' of highly successful Blackadder the Third comedy series.
Steen had a major roles in Sweeney's award-winning play Danny's Wake, which was subsequently adapted into a sitcom for B.B.C. Radio 4. Steen continued to play the character of "Billy" throughout the two series. He played the character of "Liam' in the radio of Any Bloke. He also starred as George Melly in B.B.C. Radio 4's adaptation of the Melly's memoir 'Owning Up'.
Along with Sweeney, Steen appeared in the Channel 4 Television improvisational show Whose Line Is It Anyway? (UK TV series) for six episodes. He also was a guest on the B.B.C.'s comedy panel-game Have I Got News for You in 1992.
He worked in one-off acting roles on television and with improvisation theatre tours, and solo theatre shows playing Bill Bryson in three adaptations of his work by the writer/director Paul Hodson, and also performed in a one-man show about the American comedian John Belushi written by Hodson.