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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Hallelujah! Chris Addison to direct a comedy about Handel's Messiah

With Ralph Fiennes playing the composer

Chris Addison is to direct a comedy movie about George Frederick Handel, with Ralph Fiennes playing the composer.

To be shot early next year, the film is entitled Hallelujah! and revolves around his Messiah oratorio and its chaotic first performance.

Hollywood website Deadline, which broke the news of the project, describes it as being ‘in the vein of Shakespeare In Love’. 

It gives the synopsis: ’Set in a riotous 18th Century London and Dublin, the farce follows the drink-sodden and cantankerous Handel who is a forgotten man to all but his whip-smart valet. Worse still, he has lost his inspiration to compose.’

However, he is moved to write his most famous piece on after hearing the singing of actress Susannah Cibber. The piece is first performed in Ireland in 1742, where Handel must deal with ‘the sectarian politics of Dublin’s choirs, the stupidity of English overlords, and the hypocritical morals of the day’.

Addison has previously directed 13 episodes of Veep, having previously starred in its British inspiration The Thick Of It, and makes his feature film debut with the forthcoming female-led remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, now renamed The Hustle and starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson.

Hallelujah! was written by  Jon Croker, who penned The Woman In Black 2 and  Nicholas Adams, who wrote 2003’s The Boys & Girl from County Clare.

The movie – whose backers include BBC Films and the BFI – will be touted to buyers at the Cannes film festival.

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Published: 27 Apr 2018

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