Richard Ayoade

Richard Ayoade

The Cambridge-educated son of a Nigerian father and Swedish mother, Richard Ayoade first came to prominence starring in and co-writing the 2000 Edinburgh Fringe show Garth Merenghi's Fright Knight with Matthew Holness, winning the Perrier Award for its sequel, Garth Merenghi's Netherhead, the following year. The show transferred to Channel Four in 2004 as Garth Merenghi's Darkplace, before spawning the spin-off 80s chat show spoof, Man to Man with Dean Learner, fronted by Ayoade's 'smut-peddler' character.

Appearances in The Mighty Boosh and Nathan Barley were followed by his highest profile role to date in Graham Linehan's sitcom The IT Crowd, playing socially inept tech support worker Moss, a role he reprised for an unaired US adaptation in 2009.

Establishing a parallel career as a music video director for the likes of The Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian and The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, he directed his first film, the coming-of-age comedy-drama Submarine in 2010, and his second, The Double, a nightmarish, dystopian comedy-drama, loosely based on Fyodor Dostoevsky's novella, in 2014.

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Richard Ayoade becomes a children's author

Two-book deal for 'subversive storyteller'

Richard Ayoade has signed a deal to write two children’s books.

The first will be an illustrated novel, The Book That No One Wanted to Read, aimed at eight to 10-year-olds and due out next year.

That will be followed by the picture book entitled The Fairy Tale Fan Club.

In a statement to trade website The Boookseller, Ayoade said: ‘I have been asked to provide a quote, for which I will be forever grateful, because it gives me the contracted opportunity to say, without exaggeration, that this may be the greatest publishing event in the history of fiction.’

His literary agent Jo Unwin signed the deal with Walker Books, who will publish the titles on both sides of the Atlantic.

Publishing director Jane Winterbotham said: 'Richard’s first books for children are every bit as original and hilarious as everything else he touches. 

‘He subverts the whole notion of storytelling in ways that will have children – and adults – howling with delight.’

Ayoade joins a growing list of comedians becoming kids’ authors following David Walliams’ phenomenal success in the field – often to the chagrin of non-celebrity writers.

Last week Adam Hills revealed he was writing his first children's book, about a rock-star detective, adding his name to a list that also includes  David BaddielJulian ClaryAdrian EdmondsonMiranda Hart  and Sir Lenny Henry

Unwin addressed the issue in her statement to The Bookseller.

She said: ‘There are "celebrity" children's authors, and then there are authors whose wit, intelligence and sense of fun ooze from every pore of their being. Richard is very, very much in the oozy camp and children are going to love his books.’

Ayoade  has previously written three books on film for Faber: Ayoade on Ayoade: A Cinematic Odyssey (2014), The Grip of Film (2017) and Ayoade on Top (2019).

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Published: 19 Jan 2021

Ayoade On Ayoade

Ayoade On Ayoade is a book that could only have been…

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Book (2019)
Ayoade On Top

Book (2017)
The Grip Of Film

DVD (2009)
IT Crowd Series 3

DVD (2007)
AD/BC: A Rock Opera

Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2000

Garth Marenghi's Fright Knight

Edinburgh Fringe 2001

Garth Marenghi's Netherhead


Claire Nightingale
Contact by email
22 Rathbone Street
Office: 020 7287 1112

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