Mark Gatiss

Mark Gatiss

Date of birth: 17-10-1966
Darlington-born Mark Gatiss is a quarter of The League Of Gentlemen alongside Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith and Jeremy Dyson (who writes, but does not perform)

They net at Bretton Hall drama school in their late teens, and began performing a sketch show at London’s Cockpit Theatre in 1995, soon afterwards landing a residency at the Canal Café pub theatre, which compelled them to create new material at a fast pace.

In 1997 they won the Perrier, and their subsequent radio series On the Town with The League of Gentlemen, set in the fictional town of Spent, won a Sony Award.

In 1999 the League moved to television – and Royston Vasey – with subsequent series in 2000 (including a typically sinister Christnmas special) and 2002; plus a feature-length film, The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse, in 2005.

On stage, they toured large regional theatres in 2000, had a six-week run at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in spring 2003, and toured a pantomime-themed show The League of Gentlemen Are Behind You in 2005.

Outside of the League, Gatiss has written for the revival of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), script edited Little Britain and appeared in Nighty Night, Footballer’s Wives and the BBC One 2006 adaptation of Wind In The Willows, as Ratty, among many other roles. He’s also appeared in the West End play art in 2003, alongside his League Of Gentlemen costars.

In 2006, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by the University of Huddersfield

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Mark Gatiss to play Larry Grayson

In new ITV drama that also stars comic Lloyd Griffith as Benny from Crossroads

Mark Gatiss is to play veteran comedian and game-show host Larry Grayson in a new ITV drama.

The League of Gentlemen star takes the role in Nolly, which stars Helena Bonham Carter as Noele Gordon, the queen of the long-running low-rent soap opera Crossroads.

Gordon shared a close and enduring friendship with Grayson – even asking him to marry her when she appeared on This Is Your Life, despite him being clearly gay. 

Gatiss will be joined in the cast by stand-up Lloyd Griffith, below, as Paul Henry, the actor who played Benny, the simple-minded handyman at the motel where the series was set. 

Lloyd in a cord shirt

The three-part series has been written by Doctor Who and It’s A Sin’s Russell T Davies and will air over three episodes later this year.

Noele Gordon – Nolly to her friends – played widow Meg Richardson in the soap since it began in 1964. But in 1981, at the height of the show’s success, she was axed without ceremony, without warning and with no explanation.

She had a reputation for being tough, haughty and imperious, grandly sweeping into rehearsals from her Rolls-Royce, but also a hard-working actress who was fiercely loyal and loved by cast and crew.

According to ITV the new series ‘is a bold exploration of how the establishment turns on women who refuse to play by the rules, the women it cannot understand and the women it fears. And it is a love letter to a legend of television, and to the madcap soap she starred in.’

Other members of the cast have also just been announced, including Augustus Prew, who plays Tony Adams, Nolly’s Crossroads co-star, friend and occasional chauffeur; and Con O’Neill,  who plays Crossroads producer Jack Barton.

Griffith previously played an estate agent in Davies’s acclaimed Channel 4 seris It’s A Sin, and has had a recurring role in Ted Lasso as a sports journalist, also called Lloyd.

Here’s Larry Grayson talking about Noele Gordon: 

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Published: 3 Jun 2022

Precious things! | League Of Gentlemen released on vinyl for the first time

Precious things!

The original League Of Gentlemen radio and TV series…

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