Chris Addison

Chris Addison

Date of birth: 30-11-1971

Chris Addison started his comedy career by winning Manchester’s City Life Comedian of the Year Award in 1995.

Three years later, he performed his first solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe, which earned him a nomination for Perrier best newcomer. He was shortlisted for the main award twice more: for 2004's Civilisation – which also won him a Barry Award nomination at the Melbourne Comedy Festival and was later made into a Radio 4 series – and 2005's Atomicity.

He won the Chortle Award for best compere in 2003 and was nominated for best headliner in 2005.

In 2000 , he co-hosted Channel 4's short-lived Dotcomedy with Gail Porter, featuring gags taken from the internet. He is now best known for starring in BBC Two's political comedy The Thick Of It, and its 2009 movie spin-off In The Loop, playing an out-of-his-depth spin doctor. And he alsoo starred in his own BBC Two sitcom Lab Rats, a surreal, gaggy venture which received a lukewarm critical reception.

Addison also co-wrote and co-starred in Radio 4's political satire The Department, along with John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman, which ran for 14 episodes between 2004 aand 2006.

He has alwo written two novels: Cautionary Tales For Grown-Ups in 2006 and It Wasn't Me: Why Everybody Is To Blame And You're Not in 2008.

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Critics maul Chris Addison's first movie

One stars galore for The Hustle

Chris Addison’s debut movie has opened to a slew of negative reviews.

The Hustle – in which the comedian directs Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway playing a couple of con artists – has been slated as ‘useless’, ‘smutty’ and ‘a mushroom cloud of anti-humour.

The film is female-led remake of 1988’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin, which was itself a remake of 1964’s Bedtime Story with  David Niven and Marlon Brando.

Awarding just one star in Rolling Stone, Peter Travers wrote: ‘everyone’s inner comedic clock is calamitously off. The setups are flat, the jokes don’t land and the actors don’t — or won’t — connect.’

In the Independent’s one-star review, Geoffrey McNab called it a ‘dirty rotten mess of a film’ and bemoaned its lack of wit saying: ‘Smutty jokes about STDs, lesbian cops, drunken Essex girls and chastity belts don’t help.’

The Guardian also gave just one star, with Peter Bradshaw unleashing a torrent of opprobrium at Hathaway, saying that she ‘detonates a megaton blast of pure unfunniness in this terrifying film. She leaves behind a mushroom cloud of anti-humour, reducing every laugh possibility to grey-white ash in a postapocalyptic landscape of horror and despair’. 

The Daily Telegraph, too, gave just one star with critic Robbie Collin saying: 'To say that I didn’t laugh once during The Hustle would be factually accurate, yet it doesn’t quite capture the strength and intensity of the not-laughing I was doing throughout.’

In another one-star review in the Daily Mail, Brian Viner writes: ‘The Hustle… has none of the wit and sophistication of, let's say, Carry On Matron’ adding that it was a ‘surprise’ that it had been directed by Chris Addison.

The comedian previously directed episodes of Veep and The Thick Of It, in which he also starred.

However not every critic was quite so damning. The Los Angeles Times praised the stars, especially Wilson’s ‘wordy chaotic energy’ and Hathatway’s’ ‘performance that is all kinds of campy’.

And the New York Times enjoyed the ‘goofy accents, nicely staged pratfalls, humiliations large and small’ but accepted there was ‘not much that rises to the level of unforgettable, wild-eyed, laugh-out-loud hilarity’, merely fulfilling its ‘own modest, escapist ambitions’.

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Published: 10 May 2019


Chris Addison has had to cancel his gig in Lichfield…

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