Few come as laden with awards and accolades as the comedy actor, writer, stand-up comedian, author and TV game show host and panellist David Mitchell. It’s no exaggeration to say he’s earned himself the status of “national treasure.”
And yet the magic ingredient with which David Mitchell would grace your event – as a host, keynote speaker, guest speaker – is not necessarily the trademark deadpan skill of his wit or his way of conjuring up a brilliant joke or sparkling phrase. It’s his ability to strike a comedic chord with many people as the ordinary bloke, perhaps best personified by his role as Mark Corrigan in the Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show, in which he starred with his long-standing comedy partner Robert Webb.
Put-upon yet also oddly thick-skinned, clumsy in romance yet attractive, racked by self-doubt yet simultaneously smug and self-satisfied, the wonderfully-observed character of Mark won David Mitchell a deserved BAFTA and secured his popularity with millions of viewers.
Born in 1974 to a couple who were both hotel managers, David harboured secret hopes to be a comedian – or a prime minister – from an early age, though to make his parents happy, he would say he wanted to be a barrister. He didn’t give rein to his ambitions until he arrived at Cambridge University in the 1990s, where he found his first comedy berth in the famous Footlights Revue and, incidentally, struck up his lifelong partnership and friendship with Robert Webb.
A resume of David Mitchell’s career reads like a list of highlights from TV and radio light entertainment in the past 25 years. That Mitchell And Webb Look, again with Robert Webb (BAFTA best comedy programme award, 2007); the TV game show Would I Lie To You?; the Radio 4 panel show The Unbelievable Truth; plus numerous other well known game shows and panel shows. He currently stars as William Shakespeare in the Ben Elton-scripted comedy Upstart Crow (BBC) and has himself written scores of scripts. He contributes columns for the Guardian and Observer newspapers. He lists Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Peter Cook as his comedy idols.
Event or awards host, keynote or after dinner speaker – sit back and let David Mitchell weave his magic!