Andy Parsons

Andy Parsons

Date of birth: 30-11-1966
Best known as a regular panellist on BBC Two's Mock the Week, Andy Parsons started in comedy as a double-act with Henry Naylor, who he met at Cambridge University, where they became part of the Footlights group.

They started TBA, which was billed as London's first sketch comedy club, and performed together at the Edinburgh Fringe seven times between 1993 and 2001. In 1998, they also performed in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Like many writers, they cut their teeth on Radio 4's Week Ending, and were offered their own show, Parsons and Naylor’s Pull-Out Sections in 2001, which ran for nine series on Radio 2. In 2008, Parsons wrote and starred in his own Radio 4 sitcom, The Lost Weblog Of Scrooby Trevithick.

On TV, the pair also wrote for Spitting Image, Noel's House Party, Hale and Pace and Alas Smith And Jones, among others.

Parsons performed his first solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2000, and returned regularly until 2006. He is a regular member of the Comedy Store topical show Cutting Edge and has appeared at the Montreal Just For Laughs comedy fesival in 2006; the New Zealand Laugh Fest in 2003, 2004 and 2006; and Cat Laughs, Kilkenny, in 2005.

He won a Time Out award for comedy in 2002, and was named best international act by the New Zealand Comedy Guild in 2004.

Apart from Mock The Week, his other TV credits include Live At The Apollo, QI, Live Floor Show, They Think It's All Over and the BBC's Stand-Up Show.

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Andy Parsons quits Mock The Week

'Maybe now they'll make a female comedian a regular'

Andy Parsons is quitting Mock The Week after ten years – saying he hopes to be replaced by a female regular.

The comic, who has made 135 appearances on the show, said he wants to focus on new projects including his new live tour and podcast Slacktivist Action Group.

In a statement he said: 'I'd like to thank all of the people I've worked with over the years on Mock and from the BBC.

'However, when Unlikely Things to Hear In A Superhero Movie comes around for the fourth time it is probably time to move on. Perhaps this will be an opportunity to make a female comedian a regular.

'I, myself, am looking forward to chairing the new monthly show and podcast Slacktivist Action Group and delving a little deeper into the bigger issues affecting the UK. With what seems like an exciting time for politics in this country, this is something I'd like to focus more of my time upon, with a chance to host a show and set my own agenda.

'I would also like to take this opportunity to wish the BBC well in its fight to avoid even more damaging cuts – love it or lose it.'

Parsons appeared on the second ever Mock The Week which aired on June 12, 2005, and became a full-timer from series three in 2006.

Host Dara O Briain wished him well, tweeting: 'A pleasure to work with you @MrAndyParsons, and good luck with the new projects. (*Doffs Cap*)'

Last month Chortle reported how Slacktivist Action Group was a new panel show, starting at London's Soho Theatre next Monday, that will involve taking direct action to tackle a big topical issue.

For each edition he will he will be joined by MPs, journalists, experts and other comedians to thrash out an issue before deciding on some action that they will try to achieve before the next month's meeting.

The project follows the ideas of Parson's 2013 Slacktivist tour and DVD. Blurb for the new show says: 'Ever got so worked up by the state of the world that you've been totally unable to do anything about it and had to have a little sit-down? Then come and join the support group for fellow slacktivists and do some more sitting down, this time in a group.'

Guests on next week's show are MP Geraint Davies; Frances O'Grady, the General Secretary of the TUC) ; and Ian Dunt, editor of Politics.co.uk.

Meanwhile, Parsons is currently on the road with his long-running tour Live And Unleashed - But Naturally Cautious (Dates), which has been recorded for DVD.

Last week it was reported that Mock The Week was one of the worst panel shows for gender balance, with just 9.3 per cent of those who've appeared on the show since it began being female.

See him in action with those Superhero lines:

The women who could take over from Andy Parsons. Read More

Published: 19 Oct 2015

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