Matt Lucas


Matt Lucas
Matt Lucas

Lucas at V Festival 2007.
Birth name Matthew Richard Lucas
Born 5 March 1974 (1974-03-05) (age 37)
Paddington, London, England
Medium Actor, comedian, screenwriter
Years active 1994–present
Genres Character comedy, Sketch comedy, Black comedy
Influences Barry Humphries
Vic Reeves
Bob Mortimer
David Walliams
Spouse Kevin McGee (m. 2006–2008) «start: (2006-12-16)–end+1: (2008-10-23)»"Marriage: Kevin McGee to Matt Lucas" Location: (linkback://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Lucas) (divorced)
Notable works and roles Little Britain
Les Misérables
Shooting Stars
Catterick
Rock Profile
Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire
Come Fly with Me
Alice in Wonderland

Matthew Richard "Matt" Lucas (born 5 March 1974) is an English comedian, screenwriter and actor best known for his acclaimed work with David Walliams in the television show Little Britain; as well as for his portrayals of the scorekeeping baby George Dawes in the comedy panel game Shooting Stars, Tweedledee and Tweedledum in Alice in Wonderland, directed by Tim Burton, and the thief Thénardier in the musical Les Misérables.

In May 2007, he was placed eighth in the list of the UK's 100 most influential gays and lesbians, in fields as diverse as entertainment, business, politics, and science, by British newspapers The Independent and The Daily Mail.[citation needed]

Contents

Early life

Lucas was born in Paddington, London, the son of Diana (née Williams) and John Stanley Lucas (1944–96),[1] who ran a chauffeuring business.[2] Lucas is Jewish,[3] with some of his British-born mother's family having fled Nazi Germany.[4] His family were members of Edgware and District Reform synagogue. Lucas grew up in Stanmore, Greater London;[3] he has an older brother, Howard.[5] He has had alopecia since his childhood, which in interviews he has inconsistently attributed to various events, including a delayed reaction to a car accident at the age of four.[6] He lost all of his hair when he was six years old.[7] Lucas' father died of a heart attack aged 52, in Brent, Greater London.[1][8]

Lucas was educated at Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School, the same school as attended by comic actors David Baddiel and Sacha Baron Cohen. He went on to study drama in the Faculty of Arts at Bristol University between 1993 and 1995.[9]

Career

Early career

Lucas's association with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer began in 1992. In 1995, Lucas appeared in The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer. The second series of the show featured Lucas in several sketches. He went on to star with them in Shooting Stars. He quickly rose to fame as George Dawes, the giant baby, who would deliver a string of meaningless gags (often in character) and insults before delivering the score, while sitting at and playing a drum kit. Many of these parts were introduced not in the style of a baby, but of a grown man — indeed, often, he would come on dressed as a specific adult such as Elton John. He also appeared on occasion as Marjorie Dawes, George's mother, who also appears in Little Britain. He also appeared in the Reeves & Mortimer BBC series Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), and Catterick in a variety of roles. In 1999, Lucas paired up with David Walliams, with whom he had already worked on television in both Mash and Peas and Sir Bernard's Stately Homes, to create Rock Profile, a comedy show that spoofed famous musicians and musical personalities. It is notable for being one of their first comedic collaborations, which fuelled their inspiration to then create the well-known show, Little Britain. Lucas has also written for actor Sacha Baron Cohen.

His music video appearances include; the Damien Hirst-directed video for Blur's "Country House" (as a psychoanalyst) in 1995, "Jesusland" by Ben Folds in 2005, "I'm with Stupid" by the Pet Shop Boys and "Vindaloo" and "Naughty Christmas" by Fat Les.

Lucas ventured into the world of stage musicals in 2002, when he took one of the main roles in Boy George's musical Taboo, at The Venue, London. He played the part of infamous performance artist Leigh Bowery, which required him to wear some outrageous and spectacular outfits and make-up.

Lucas also appeared in a Big Finish audio play based on the long-running BBC science-fiction series Doctor Who. The play he featured in was called The One Doctor and was a light-hearted Christmas panto-style play.

Little Britain

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

Little Britain is commercially Lucas's most successful work. Originally a radio show on BBC Radio 4, it later became a TV series. Little Britain has won numerous TV awards, spawning large DVD sales and merchandising. It plays heavily on memorable catchphrases which have become ingrained in playgrounds and offices around the UK. Lucas plays, among many others, four of the most popular characters in the series, which he writes and acts in along with David Walliams: apparently disabled Andy Pipkin, teenage Bristol chav Vicky Pollard, homophobic homosexual Daffyd Thomas and insensitive slimming club organiser Marjorie Dawes. Lucas has also played many other popular characters including the morbidly obese Bubbles DeVere and Orville The Duck in one sketch.

After Little Britain

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 BBC children's program, King Arthur's Disasters. 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 the cousin of Shaun's friend Yvonne.

In 2007, he released "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)", originally by The Proclaimers, with Peter Kay as a charity single for Comic Relief.[10] He performed the single as Little Britain character Andy Pipkin, along with Kay playing as Brian Potter. After being available for less than 48 hours on iTunes alone, the track entered the UK Top 40 at number 3. On 25 March, it went to number one, where it stayed for three weeks, selling over 400,000 copies.[4] He also starred as the irrepressible Mr. Toad in The Wind in the Willows, a 2006 television adaptation of the Kenneth Grahame novel.

He has made appearances in Kath & Kim and Neighbours (the latter alongside David Walliams as Little Britain stalwarts 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. The pair are also writing a movie for DreamWorks.

Lucas was the first celebrity to make an appearance in 2008's Big Brother Celebrity Hijack on E4, working alongside Big Brother in a series containing housemates aged 18–21 with various talents.

On 9 April 2009, the series Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire, featuring Matt Lucas as a regular performer, premièred on Comedy Central, the first major comedy series Lucas has done since Little Britain. In 2010, Lucas played Tweedledee and Tweedledum in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland,[11] alongside Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway.

On 3rd October 2010, Matt played Thénardier in the 25th Anniversary Concerts of Les Misérables, at the O2 Arena in London. A year later, from 23rd June to 10th September 2011, 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, as well as playing a small role as the roommate of Kristen Wiig in the wildly successful American comedy Bridesmaids.

The BBC has just finished showing Matt Lucas and David Walliams' new series, Come Fly with Me. The show follows the familiar style of Walliams and Lucas each playing multiple characters, but unlike Little Britain, the show focuses 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 didn't want viewers to see the new show as merely a Little Britain spinoff. Instead, all new characters were introduced. Lucas's characters include Precious, Taaj, Tommy, Mickey, Fearghal, Simon and Peter, amongst others. Some of the characters only appeared once. A second season of the show was announced in early 2011, and is reportedly in production.

Television

Lucas' appearances on television include Big Brother's Little Brother, Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack, Little Britain, Rock Profile, Little Britain Abroad, Little Britain USA, Come Fly with Me, and Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire.

Personal life

Lucas is a patron of The Karen Morris Memorial Trust, a UK charity for leukaemia patients and their families. In April 2004, he appeared on Celebrity Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and won £62,500 for the charity.[12] He is an avid supporter of Arsenal F.C.[13] Lucas admitted, whilst a guest on the Rob Brydon show, that he does not drive because of his tendency of day dreaming.

In December 2006, Lucas entered into a civil partnership with Kevin McGee,[14] in a lavish ceremony in Central London. In attendance were various celebrities, including Barbara Windsor, Neil Tennant, Elton John, and Courtney Love.[15]

After six years together, the couple divorced through the High Court in 2008, becoming the first high-profile same-sex couple divorce in Britain. On 5 October 2009, Kevin McGee committed suicide, 10 months after the divorce. He had not coped with Lucas' fame well, and his drug taking had increased. Just prior to his death, he posted the Facebook status update 'Kevin McGee thinks death is much better than life'.[16]

Bibliography

Official

  • Boyd Hilton, Matt Lucas and David Walliams: Inside Little Britain: London: Ebury Press: 2006: ISBN 0-09-191231-8

Unofficial

  • Neil Simpson: Yeah But No But: The Biography of Matt Lucas and David Walliams: London: John Blake: 2006: ISBN 1-8445-425-80

References

  1. ^ a b Births and Deaths England and Wales 1984–2006
  2. ^ Bowyer, Alison (26 April 2005). "Matt Lucas has the last laugh". London Evening Standard (UK). http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/showbiz/article-18180613-matt-lucas-has-the-last-laugh.do. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Matt Lucas Comedy Profile". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/people/matt_lucas_person_page.shtml. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Mirror Profile". The Daily Mirror. UK. http://www.mirror.co.uk/topics/matt-lucas/. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 
  5. ^ "Matt's Little Brit of bother". The Sun (London). 1 July 2008. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/1364707/Matt-Lucass-brother-saves-him-from-fight-at-Hard-Rock-Calling.html. 
  6. ^ Martin Phillips (5 September 2006). "Warts 'n all: Matt Lucas". The Sun (London). http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2001320029-2006410208,00.html. 
  7. ^ Alison Bowyer (26 April 2005). "Matt Lucas has the last laugh". Evening Standard. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/showbiz/article-18180613-matt-lucas-has-the-last-laugh.do. 
  8. ^ Robert Crampton (6 June 2009). "Matt Lucas on fame, body image and relationships". The Times (London). http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/tv_and_radio/article6408740.ece?token=null&offset=24&page=3. 
  9. ^ "Bristol University Notable alumni". http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alumni/featured/arts/index.html. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 
  10. ^ "Mutual Relief: Lucas and Kay join for charity single". Chortle. 17 November 2006. http://www.chortle.co.uk/news/2006/11/17/4713/mutual_relief. 
  11. ^ Byron Perry (10 September 2008). "Matt Lucas at Variety Players". http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117991998.html. 
  12. ^ "Karen Morris Memorial Trust". http://www.kmmt.org.uk/. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 
  13. ^ "thesun.co.uk". The Sun (London). 15 January 2008. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/article688751.ece. Retrieved 15 January 2008. 
  14. ^ Caroline Davies and Paula Sheppard (18 December 2006). "Little Britain star 'weds' his Prince Charming". The Daily Telegraph (London). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1537204/Little-Britain-star-weds-his-Prince-Charming.html. 
  15. ^ "Matt Lucas and Kevin McGee Pantomime Themed Wedding Reception London: Album". Exposay. http://www.exposay.com/matt-lucas-and-kevin-mcgee-pantomime-themed-wedding-reception-in-london/v/7045/1/. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  16. ^ "Little Britain's Matt Lucas' ex Kevin McGee commits suicide". news.com.au. 6 October 2009. http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity/little-britains-matt-lucas-ex-kevin-mcgee-commits-suicide/story-e6frfmqi-1225783306322. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 

External links


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