David Baddiel

David Baddiel

Date of birth: 28-05-1964

David Baddiel’s first brush with comedy was in 1982 when he wrote and performed in the Sixth Form revue at The Haberdashers Aske School, Elsetree, before developing his talents while a student at King's College, Cambridge. As well as graduating with a double-first in English Literature, he was vice president of the Footlights.

On leaving, he performed stand-up on the London circuit, while working on a PhD entitled Seductive Innocence: The Little Girl In Victorian Sexuality. There he met Robert Newman [then called Rob] and they started writing sketches for the Radio 4 show WeekEnding, which solicited work from any writers who wanted to contribute.

They were subsequently paired up with Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis for the Radio 1 comedy show The Mary Whitehouse Experience, which began in 1989. Two years later it transferred to BBC Two for two series.

Baddiel continued to work with Newman for the 1993 series Newman and Baddiel in Pieces –and later that year became the first comedians to play Wembley Arena, prompting the now clichéd saying that ‘comedy is the new rock and roll’. However, the duo’s relationship was under huge pressure at the time, and they subsequently split with some acrimony.

Baddiel then formed a partnership with Frank Skinner, who at the time was lodging at his London flat, recreating their living-room banter in both Fantasy Football League – which ran on BBC Two from 1994 to 1996, returning on ITV for the 1998 World Cup and 2004 European Championship ¬– and Unplanned, which started life as an Edinburgh Fringe show in 2000 before transferring to the West End and, eventually, TV.

In 1996, the pair teamed up with the Lightning Seeds’ Ian Broudie to record the England football anthem Three Lions, which has been a terrace favourite ever since.

Outside of these comic partnerships, Baddiel created the 2001 Sky One sitcom Baddiel's Syndrome and devised the Radio 4 panel show Heresy, which attempts to challenge received opinion. In 2009 he appeared in the 3rd series of Skins, alongside his real-life partner.

He has written three novels : Time For Bed, Whatever Love Means and The Secret Purposes and writes a regular literary column for The Times. He also wrote the 2010 comedy film The Infidel, starring Omid Djalili as a Muslim who discovers his parents were actually Jewish.

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Baddiel and Skinner reunite

For pensions ads

They were once synonymous with laddism but Frank Skinner and David Baddiel have reunited … to offer pensions advice.

The pair appear in two 30-second commercials for Pension Wise, the Government's pension guidance service.

In one of the meta ads, which air across Sky's 150 channels, the comics are shown walking through a park together, with Skinner reading out the job offer for them to appear in the campaign, which Baddiel declines.

'We've been chosen because we're old, as you can see' the 53-year-old said. 'I should say, by the way, we don't actually provide the pensions advice. Don't call us once you've seen this advert.'

'It is cold but we're supposed to look like it's spring' added 61-year-old Skinner. 'So the secret is to look warm.'

The ads first appeared during Sky Arts' Portrait Artist of the Year, which is presented by 61-year-old Skinner.

The former flatmates, who still live on the same road in London, hosted Fantasy Football League on BBC Two and later ITV between 1998 and 2004, before presenting five series of the improvised Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned on ITV between 2000 and 2005.

Last year Baddiel, 53, suggested they might revive the chatshow online or on a cable channel, but later clarified his comments, saying that there hadn't been formal discussions about a revival.

Appearing on Desert Island Discs in 2010, Skinner revealed that he had lost a 'few million' of his life savings in the 2008 credit crunch through investments in the failing finance giant AIG, which was bailed out by the US government.

Catriona McGrath, head of marketing and communications at Pension Wise, said: 'We know that people don't want to think about their pensions, but with David and Frank's funny delivery, and the fact that they aren't getting any younger themselves, we hope to get people to do just that.'

- by Jay Richardson.

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Published: 8 Apr 2018

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Book (2017)
Birthday Boy

DVD (2010)
The Infidel

Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2004

David Baddiel: Meet The Author

Edinburgh Fringe 2013

David Baddiel: Fame: Not The Musical




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