David Mitchell

David Mitchell

Date of birth: 14-07-1974
David Mitchell wanted to be a comedian ever since he was a schoolboy, and after going up to Cambridge in 1993 , he joined the famous Footlights troupe – eventually becoming president. It was in his first year of university that he met Robert Webb, when they were both auditioning for a student pantomime.

They wrote their first show – the First-World-War-based Millions Dead or Dying ( a wry look at the post-apocalyptic age with songs) – while at university, and took it to the 1997 Edinburgh fringe.

After graduating, they appeared in regular sketch nights on the London circuit, and wrote for a number of shows including Armstrong & Miller and Big Train. Theyreturned to Ediburgh with Shopping and St***-Up (1998), The Mitchell & Webb Story (1999) and The Mitchell & Webb Clones (2001)

Their first break into television came in 2000, on the short-lived BBC sketch show Bruiser, which led to their own show on the now-defunct Play UK the following year, The Mitchell and Webb Situation.

In 2003, they landed the roles that woul dmake their name, as flatmates Mark Corrigan (Mitchell) and Jeremy Usbourne (Webb) in the multi-award-winning Peep Show, written by Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain. In 2009, Mitchell won the Bafta for Best Comedy Performance for his work on the show – while Robert Webb wasn't even nominated. The show's sixth series is due out in 2009.

Alongside this, they continued to work on their own sketch series, first on Radio 4 with three series of That Mitchell and Webb, which trasferred to TV as That Mitchell and Webb Look and had three series by 2009, winning a Bafta for best comedy in 2007.

In 2006 the pair made their first tour, The Two Faces of Mitchell and Webb, which was nominated for best stage comedy at the the British Comedy Awards, and the following year their first film, Magicians, was release, while they also fronted Apple's Mac vs PC ads.

As a solo artist, Mitchell has appeared in countless panel shows, including hosting Radio 4 's The Unbelievable Truth. He also appeared in the 2001 Radio 4 sitcom Think the Unthinkable and the 2005 BBC updating of The Taming Of The Shrew and played the recurring character of Dr James Vine in the Jennifer Saunders sitcom Jam and Jerusalem.

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The forgotten Adrian Edmondson and David Mitchell sitcom

Fan tracks down Doctors & Nurses episodes

It is a sitcom that will probably always remain a footnote in the careers of the comedians who starred in it.

Indeed, the hospital-set Doctors & Nurses is so largely forgotten that just 14 years after it aired, there is virtually no trace of it on the internet, despite its high-profile stars, Adrian Edmondson, David Mitchell and Mina Anwar.

At least until now. Because a David Mitchell fan has tracked down the missing sitcom, recorded on VHS from the original broadcast in January 2004, and posted it on YouTube.

Originally airing just a few months after the launch of Peep Show, the comedy starred Mitchell playing to type as the naive but privileged private doctor Toby Stevens, with Edmondson as his beleaguered NHS counterpart. Mina Anwar plays nurse Zita Khan, a possible romantic interest for Edmondson’s character, Dr Glover. Joanna Scanlan, Back’s Geoffrey McGivern and Not Going Out's Abigail Cruttenden all have minor roles in the comedy, too.

Rhianna Evans, who runs the Dose Of David Mitchell fan site, wrote: ‘I’d probably been searching for this since about 2008. I’d seen the odd photograph on the Radio Times website (long since deleted) and started asking around on message boards, contacting the BBC, emailing The British Comedy Guide and even trying to find contact information for Carlton as they produced/ funded it but absolutely nothing turned up.

‘So I gave up. But then occasionally I would take up my quest for Doctors and Nurses again. Still nothing ever happened though and I often wondered if this search was worth it? And also why this sitcom had seemingly evaporated with only the tiniest hints on the dustiest corners of the internet giving proof of its existence!’

But a fan site contributor using the handle @ChasquiPenguin said she’d got a few episodes on VHS, which turned out to be the full series.

Evans added that the sitcom – written by  written by Nigel Smith and Dr. Phil Hammond – did not deserve to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

‘There was absolutely no way this sitcom should have been lost to the point of near extinction and I’m so glad we were able to find it again. The main cast put in great performances and the characters are strong. It certainly deserved a second shot but as it was, told its story well across one series.’

Here is the first episode and the other five are available here.

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Published: 1 Jun 2018

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Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2001

Mitchell and Webb Clones

Edinburgh Fringe 2011

BBC: The Unbelievable Truth

Edinburgh Fringe 2012

BBC: The Unbelievable Truth 2012

Edinburgh Fringe 2013

BBC: The Unbelievable Truth [2013]

Misc live shows

David Mitchell Live


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