He's best known in comedy for playing Bollo The Gorilla in The Mighty Boosh – but now Dave Brown is showing a different side, with an exhibition of comedians' photographs.
Brown's portraits – including Jimmy Carr, Harry Hill, Bill Bailey, Tony Law, Noel Fielding and Lee Mack – will be going on display at London's Strand Gallery in December. And he said the exhibition, Tough Crowd, would give a flavour of the harsh reality of life on the circuit.
'Comedians are by their very nature tough, they have to be,' he said. 'We always see them mucking about with big smiles on their faces, the funny man, the wacky women telling jokes, getting the laughs, the awards, the fame.
'But before all this, in the early days, when they were starting out, it has to be one of the hardest jobs in the world. Travelling to the darkest corners of the country often on their own, all to stand in the corner of a beer stained room on an upturned crate, shouting their hard -thought-through, well-crafted, deeply personal material to six alcoholics and a comatose dog. You don't get much tougher than that.
'At some point in their careers they've all been heckled by a drunk, dropped by an agent, cancelled on a bill and delivered a punchline to total silence. I want to capture a glimpse of these thick-skinned, seriously tough, complex, moody characters and try to show them in a different light to the usual smiley happy-go -lucky comedy world image we're used to.'
As well as playing Bollo, Brown has also been involved in the photography, design, choreography and music of the Boosh, and also worked on the look of Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy for Channel 4.
Tough Crowd will run from December 4 to 16. Admission is free, and signed limited edition prints will be sold in aid of the AfriKids charity.
Meanwhile, the Lowry in Salford, Greater Manchester, is currently hosting an exhibition of portraits called Comedians: From the 1940s To Now.
As the title suggests, the images range from postwar entertainers such as Kenneth Horne and Eric Sykes right up to modern comedians such as Russell Brand and Ricky Gervais. It features work by celebrated names such as Cecil Beaton and Annie Leibovitz alongside less well-known photographers.
Curator Emily Tan said: 'This exhibition sees a variety of irrepressible entertainers captured by a wealth of national and international photographic talent.'
The free exhibition is open from 11am to 5pm daily until January 13.