Marcus Alexander Brigstocke (born 8 May 1973) is an English comedian, actor and satirist who has worked extensively in stand-up comedy, television, radio and most recently musical theatre. He is particularly associated with the 6.30pm comedy slot on BBC Radio 4, having frequently appeared on several of its shows. Brigstocke also played a cameo role in Richard Curtis's romantic comedy Love Actually as Mike, a radio DJ who interviews Billy Mack (played by Bill Nighy).
Brigstocke attended two private schools. In Chichester he went to Westbourne House School before going onto King's Bruton School in Somerset. He also attended Netherton Hall School, a boarding school for children , situated in Farway, Devon. He studied Drama at the University of Bristol, however he did not complete his degree.
Many of the central themes of Brigstocke's work were first addressed during his time as a student at the University of Bristol. While at Bristol he often performed in the comedy trio Club Seals, which later made the transition to TV in the series of short programmes We Are History.
With a successful radio career including The Now Show with Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis The Now Show also provided an outlet for his fierce dislike of David Blaine, referring to Blaine himself as Git Wizard, and his "Above The Below" stunt as Freakdangle. Brigstocke hailed the failure of Blaine's "Drowned Alive" as proof that Blaine is "not special; not magic; just a moistened git". He is increasingly enjoying mainstream success, recently having appeared on such broadly popular TV shows such as Have I Got News for You and Jack Dee's Live at the Apollo series.
Brigstocke plays an arts journalist named Marcus in the Neil Gaiman film A Short Film About John Bolton, and a radio DJ in the Richard Curtis film Love Actually. On 9 April 2006, Brigstocke appeared in BBC Radio 4's Classic Serial adaptation of The Code of the Woosters as Bertie Wooster with Andrew Sachs as Jeeves.
He hosts his satirical programme on BBC4, The Late Edition, which has been described as "Newsnight with jokes". It is loosely based on the format made popular by the American programme The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. This commitment led to his absence from the final two Now Show series of 2006, his place filled by other comedians referred to by the rest of the cast as "our replacement Marcus Brigstocke". He did however return to series in 2007.
Brigstocke's first stand up comedy DVD Planet Corduroy, produced by Phoenix Film & Television Productions, was released in November 2007.
In April 2008 he and fellow comedian and snowboarder, Andrew Maxwell founded the Altitude Festival - a comedy and music festival in the ski resort of Meribel, in the French Alps.
In September 2008, Brigstocke was team captain for the recording of the first series of a new TV comedy panel debating show, Argumental for UK TV channel Dave, He is the Captain of the Red Team. In this, he competes against Rufus Hound with a variety of guest participants, under the chairmanship of John Sergeant.
In 2009, Brigstocke starred in the UK tour of the hit American live improv show, Totally Looped.
His second stand-up show God Collar toured in 2009. In June 2010, Brigstocke announced that he had signed a publishing deal with Transworld to turn the God Collar Tour into a book.
He has also worked for television shows aimed at children for CBBC: Stupid! and Sorry I've Got No Head.
One of the best-known jokes Brigstocke uses is an ironic commentary on the controversy regarding the influence of video games on children:
||If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.
This joke is frequently quoted on the internet and often attributed to famous figures in electronics (such as an apocryphal CEO of Nintendo, "Kristian Wilson," although Hiroshi Yamauchi held that position from 1949 to 2002), but Brigstocke vehemently claims authorship of the joke:
||Ah! Bloody Pacman....It is my joke. I wrote it, then I took the rest of the day off as I was so chuffed with it. I am gutted that it has been claimed and passed around by so many people. Intellectual property law will not save me, the false claims will continue until I am man enough to give it all up. All I can say is -- it seems that it is very unlikely that it was written by a Nintendo employee in 1989, being as Pac Man was still around and not much of a childhood memory, there were very few claims that gaming influenced children's behaviour, and that the wording of it is identical to how it has been delivered in my stand up routine for 6 years! For those that are interested it has also been attributed to Bill Gates, but then so has Windows! Bitter? Well perhaps just a little. It was sent to me by someone at Channel 4 a few years back after I did it on Channel 4 in a late night stand up show! Hope that clears everything up.
Excuse My French (BBC2)
Brigstocke took part in the BBC programme Excuse My French, which was broadcast on BBC2. On the programme he, Ron Atkinson and Esther Rantzen were immersed in the French language by staying in a classic French town in the Provence region, being compelled to adapt to the French lifestyle and speak the language. His ultimate assignment was to perform a live stand-up comedy act in French to a French audience, a task at which he excelled. According to the programme, he continues to learn French, and has since performed more stand up in France (predominantly in English, but with sections in French).
Selected radio credits
Selected television credits
Brigstocke made his musical theatre debut as King Arthur in the UK tour of Spamalot for a limited engagement. He is currently starring in 'The Railway Children' as Albert Perks at the Waterloo Station Theatre.
I Don't Smoke
In 2000, a sample of a comedy sketch performed by Brigstocke, Dan Tetsell and Danny Robins as part of a Bristol University revue in which an individual assuredly proclaims that he is a non-smoker was featured in DJ Dee Kline's I Don't Smoke, alongside another line from Jim Davidson.
The sample was used without the knowledge of the comedians until the voice of Brigstocke was recognised by Tetsell, who heard the track whilst shopping, resulting in the trio successfully claiming publishing rights for the track, which entered the UK charts at number 11.
Brigstocke is dyslexic. During an appearance on the BBC TV show Room 101, first broadcast in January 2007, he admitted to having had weight problems as a younger man, and was once in rehab for food addiction. He still battles with his excessive appetite. He was expelled from King's School, Bruton for "beastie-ing" a car (that turned out to belong to one of the groundsmen) and shoplifting from the local shops to feed both his alcohol needs and "excessive appetite". In his book God Collar he reveals "I started sniffing solvents when I was thirteen and progressed to a limited range of other recreational drugs, with a preference for downers or opiate-style highs." During his early adulthood, he was a goth.
During the early nineties he worked, part time, as a podium dancer at London nightclub the Ministry of Sound. He was also working on an oil rig at this time.
Brigstocke lives with his wife and university sweetheart, Sophie Prideaux, whom he married in 2001 in West Somerset. The couple have two children.
Brigstocke likes snowboarding – he had set up a stand up tour in the Alps and a comedy festival called The Altitude Festival. He's performed in beatboxing battles on stage with Shlomo and Bellatrix.
During an episode of The Late Edition filmed in October 2007, Brigstocke 'admitted' being an atheist, and was presented with an Out Campaign T-shirt by his guest and atheist Richard Dawkins to which Brigstocke replied:
- Look at that. Outed, outed as an atheist and proud to be so"
Brigstocke endorsed Caroline Lucas and the Green Party in their successful bid for the seat of Brighton Pavilion (UK Parliament constituency) in the 2010 General Election.
- ^ Nevin, Charles (2005-11-19). "When you're smiling". The Guardian. http://arts.guardian.co.uk/features/story/0,11710,1644941,00.html. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
- ^ "Four - The Late Edition". BBC. 2008-01-23. http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/features/late-edition.shtml. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
- ^ "UKTV autumn '08: Dave". Broadcastnow.co.uk. 2008-09-17. http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/news/2008/09/uktv_autumn_08_dave.html. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
- ^ "Totally Looped". Totally Looped. http://www.totallylooped.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
- ^ "Marcus Brigstocke Official Twitter Page". Twitter. http://twitter.com/marcusbrig/status/17324729460. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
- ^ "Official Site for the stand-up comic, writer, presenter & actor". Marcus Brigstocke. http://www.marcusbrigstocke.com/pacman.php. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
- ^ Paddock, Terri (29 March 2010). "Spamalot Crowns Brigstocke, Nicholas’ Pirate King". What's On Stage.com. http://www.whatsonstage.com/news/theatre/london/E8831269862115/Spamalot+Crowns+Brigstocke%2C+Nicholas%92+Pirate+King.html. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
- ^ Topham, Gwyn (2 June 2000). "Comic trio enjoy financial rewards of a sample life". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2000/jun/02/gwyntopham. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
- ^ Would I Lie to You? (BBC TV) 24 August 2009
- ^ Oglethorpe, Tim: Interview: Marcus Brigstocke - Savage past of Marcus; Marcus Brigstocke of The Savages on his misspent youth and how he got back on the straight and narrow. The Mirror (London, England) April 21, 2001
- ^ Chortle, Making an exhibition of themselves ...in The Museum Of Everything
- ^ "Official Site for the stand-up comic, writer, presenter & actor". Marcus Brigstocke. http://www.marcusbrigstocke.com/biog.php. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
- ^ http://www.shlo.co.uk/2009/09/glasto-diary-09-pt-4/
- ^ "excerpt on youtube". Youtube.com. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBSrO6EV9x8. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
- ^ "Marcus Brigstocke supports the Greens and Caroline Lucas". Yorkshire and Humber Green Party. 2010-03-31. http://yorkshireandhumber.greenparty.org.uk/region/yorkshireandhumber/news/marcus-brigstocke-supports-the-greens-and-caroline-lucas.html. Retrieved 2010-06-08.