Matt Lucas Profile

Bob Mortimer called him the angriest man he's ever met, but to most of us he's simply one of the funniest people on TV. Once "just a big baby", he's now become an egg-headed comedy god. But how did Matt Lucas begin his splendid career?

Matt Lucas

The son of a Jewish business man, Matt Lucas was born in Paddington on 5 March1974, before moving to the London suburb of Stanmore. Although raised in Middlesex, Lucas says he had quite a bit in common with Daffyd, the only gay in the village. As a teenager he was a little disappointed to find nobody much cared about his sexuality. "You spend years in the closet and then you come out and everybody is cool. It's a terrible anti-climax." It wasn't the only reason he felt different as a youngster; he went bald at the tender of age of six as a result of alopecia, possibly brought on after being hit by a car as a four-year-old.

Lucas attended the prestigious Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, at the same time as Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Ali G and Borat) and David Baddiel. His early work included cameo appearances in a wide range of iconic music videos such as Fat Les' Vindaloo and Blur's Country House where he was a psychoanalyst. He also starred in Boy George's musical Taboo wearing so much make-up we could barely spot him under layers of lipstick. However, it wasn't comedy he wanted to get into but serious drama. In fact, the first thing that he and David Walliams worked on after meeting at the National Youth Theatre in 1990 was a Shakespeare production.

However, his ambitions of becoming the next Olivier were scuppered when "at 16 I looked in the mirror and went 'Oh'". Realising that his appearance would always have him cast in comical roles, he embraced his destiny and hit the comedy circuit at age 18 playing the pompous thespian Sir Bernard Chumley.

As Sir Bernard, Matt was spotted on stage by Bob Mortimer in 1992 and wound up working on shows like the Smell of Reeves and Mortimer and Shooting Stars (where Matt's turn as "big baby" George Dawes made him a famous face at last). But his real comedy partner was always going to be David Walliams.

The seed that blossomed into the, er, flower of Vicky Pollard was planted in Matt's mind back in his student days. When he was at Bristol University he made a documentary called How Are You?, which involved him approaching random people in shopping centres and asking them how they were. One teenage boy said "I don't know" and continued to be so incredibly indecisive and contradictory that Matt never forgot it. Years later the boy became Little Britain's Vicky "yes but no" Pollard - the girl who swapped her baby for a Westlife CD.

Little Britain became so popular that it spawned a merchandising empire and had people in playgrounds and offices everywhere declaring, "I'm a lay-deeee." Its three series were hilarious, cringe-worthy and truly brilliant, establishing Matt and David as comedy legends.

Recently he's played both Tweedledum and Tweedledee in the Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland, lent his voice to a gnome in Elton John's Gnomeo and Juliet and teamed back up with David Walliams for Come Fly with Me - the comedy series set in a busy airport which helped fill the gaping hole left by the end of Little Britain.

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