Super-agent Addison Cresswell has been named the most influential person in comedy.
As a star-maker who represents big names as well as making TV comedy shows such as Live At The Apollo and Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Cresswell has topped a list of the 100 most powerful figures in the industry compiled by the website Such Small Portions.
His Off The Kerb agency represents the likes of Lee Evans, Jack Dee, Michael McIntyre and Alan Carr – and he was the agent who famously negotiated Jonathan Ross’s £18million contract with the BBC, which would prove so problematical for the broadcaster.
According to the website, Creswell comes six full places above his rivals Richard Allen Turner and Jon Thoday, whose Avalon stable includes the likes of Frank Skinner, Al Murray and Lee Mack, as well as a TV company that makes Not Going Out and TV Burp, among many others.
Their full Top 20 is
- Addison Cresswell (Off The Kerb and Open Mic Productions)
- Steve Coogan
- Lucy Lumsden (Sky’s head of comedy)
- Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant
- Armando Iannucci
- Shane Allen (Channel 4’s head of comedy)
- Richard Allen Turner and Jon Thoday (Avalon)
- Monty Python
- Stewart Lee
- John Lloyd (producer of shows including Blackadder and QI)
- Miranda Hart
- Victoria Wood
- Hannah Chambers (agent to Jimmy Carr, Frankie Boyle and Sarah Millican)
- Michael McIntyre
- Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders
- Chris Morris
- Harry Hill
- Caroline Raphael (commissioning editor, Radio 4 comedy)
- Richard Curtis
- Steve Bennett (editor of Chortle)
Like any list, Such Small Portions’ full top 100 of influential people is full of idiosyncrasies. Although it contains many agents, Peter Bennett-Jones, whose stable of companies represent Rowan Atkinson, Harry Enfield, Eddie Izzard, Lenny Henry, Barry Humphries, Armando Iannucci, The League Of Gentlemen, Chris Morris, Reeves and Mortimer, Sean Hughes, Dom Joly, Ross Noble and Dylan Moran is not on the list – making him apparently less influential than Mel And Sue.
Similarly Dan Patterson makes the list on his own (no 49) but not Mark Leveson, who co-created both Mock The Week and Whose Line Is It Anyway? with him. Jonathan Lynn makes No 53, but not his Yes Minister co-creator Antony Jay.
Such Small Portions editor Tim Clark said the chart was ‘mainly based on influence, wither people who hold sway within the industry, like comedians' comedian Daniel Kitson, and those who are able to reach beyond the genre and move over into the general public such as Michael McIntyre. We also tried to limit it as much as we can to people who hold this influence at the moment, or across the past decade, rather than over the past 40 years or so.
‘I think Cresswell tops it simply because he's the guy likely to be the one who decides who will be the next Jonathan Ross. And in my opinion Dara O Briain is Off The Kerb's pick as a new main frontman for the BBC.’
Depending on how you count pairings, 18 of the top 100 are women, while 26 went to Oxbridge.
The list was compiled by comic and GQ photo editor James Mullinger, critic Veronica Lee, Mark Boosey, founder of the British Comedy Guide; Paul Fleckney from the website London Is Funny and Such Small Portions editors Tim Clark and Andrew Mickel.
Click here for the full list.