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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Question Team

Review of Richard Ayoade's new panel show on Dave

It’s a good job Bob Mortimer is a guest in the opening episode of Question Team, else producers might be accused of ripping off Vic & Bob’s chaotic, surreal and disrespectful approach to the panel show premise

The premise here – perhaps inspired by so many people writing family Zoom quizzes during lockdown – is that each comedian brings in their own round.

Mortimer kicks things off in fine style by asking daft questions about DIY accoutrements such as the spirit level (‘the jauntiest of all the DIY tools’ and of course Les’s favourite from Big Night Out), the hammer (‘whether it’s murder or panel beating, it won’t let you down), or a ‘hobbit’s stepladder’ (’but what’s he trying to reach, could it be the feta cheese or a magic piccolo?’)

Stand-up Thanyia Moore poses her pop music questions while skydiving then Kerry Godliman oversees a tent-based scavenger hunt, aptly enough given her role on Dave’s camping-based challenge show, Outsiders.

It’s all nonsensical frippery, of course, but beautifully balanced by Richard Ayoade’s trademark brand of dry insouciance. That he shows contempt for the very premise of kicking back and having fun pulls the show back from self-indulgence, as well as providing provides some excellent lines. His scorn toward the camping round proves particularly acerbic, describing it ‘a mixture between a Carry On film and a death camp’. It’s this sharp but aloof wit that defines – and makes –  the show.

Ayoade also gets to provide a round, by way of a proxy. This week it’s Rob Carter’s alter-ego Christopher Bliss, the prolific and useless author whose misplaced authority is good match for Ayoade’s real deal. His questions might not be too challenging – despite its title Question Team is no quiz show – but his cheerily inept attitude makes for a solid comedy sketch.

And that’s it, really. Just comedians larking about with the loosest of formats. But that they seem to be having so much genuine fun is pretty infectious.

• Question Team is on Dave at 10pm tonight.

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Published: 12 Oct 2021


If you only know Richard Ayoade as the nutty, uber-geeky,…



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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