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 to re-release Three Lions... again!

'We’ve milked it,' Frank admits

Baddiel and Skinner are to put out Three Lions yet again this summer.

The release, for the European Championships, will mark the 25th anniversary since the original song hit No 1.

Recorded with the Lightning Seeds, a different version was made for the 1998 World Cup, which again topped the charts, and it was put out again in 2002 and 2006.

And for the 2010 World Cup, Skinner, Baddiel and Lightning Seeds frontman Ian Broudie were joined by Robbie Williams and Russell Brand under the name The Squad for another new version, but that only reached No 21.

The song became a surprise No1 again in 2018, on the back of England’s success in that year’s World Cup, but the following week plummeted to No 97.

Skinner reveals the re-release on the Graham Norton Show tonight, admitting: ‘We’ve milked it!’

He added: ‘In the summer I received a package from the Guinness Book of Records with two framed certificates.

‘I took the first one out and it was for being number one four times and the next one was for the biggest drop in the same week – we dropped from number one 96 places

‘That was the Jiffy Bag of showbusiness – the highs and the lows!’

He also spoke about the resumption of his Showbiz stand-up tour, saying: ‘We’d done three months touring and a run in the West End when my agent suggested another 20 dates and then lockdown happened. 

‘It will be 18 months since the last gig – it’s the greatest interval of all time!’

David Schwimmer and Nick Mohammed are also on tonight’s show to talk about the second series of their Sky comedy Intelligence.

Schwimmer also revealed he was heading to Los Angeles to  shoot the much vaunted  Friends reunion next week.

‘I will get to see everyone for the first time in years,’ he said.

Explaining more about the get-together, he added: ‘Nothing is scripted and we are not in character.  We are all ourselves, although there is one section of it that I don’t want to give away, but we all read something

‘I should have genned up on old episodes, but I just haven’t been able to bring myself to catch up on the 236 shows.  I guess I need to watch a lot over the next five days!’

• The Graham Norton Show in on  BBC One at 10.45pm tonight. Next week’s guests include  Tom Cruise and John Bishop.

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Published: 2 Apr 2021

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Book (2017)
Birthday Boy

DVD (2010)
The Infidel

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