Ben Miller

Ben Miller isn't your typical comedian. Frankly he'd be classed as a bit of a geek in a room full of Warhammer collectors.

Ben Miller

The son of a lecturer and an English teacher, Ben was always going to be a clever clogs. He went to study Natural Sciences at South Cheshire College where in between being a smarty pants he found the time to date a then-unknown actress called Rachel Weisz. Yeah, that Rachel Weisz. As if that wasn't enough to be getting on with he also once played in an Eagles cover band, but an Eagles cover band who first translated the songs into Latin before performing.

Ben was working on a PhD on quantum physics at Cambridge when he decided comedy was where it's at and we can't blame him, as he was working on a paper entitled, "Novel quantum effects in low-temperature quasi-zero dimensional mesoscopic electron systems".

We have no idea what that means but we reckon we'd rather perform stand-up in a room full of drunk murderers than get our heads round it. Though just because he's a brainiac, it doesn't make him above a bit of hard labour – he admits his worst job ever was picking potatoes and then dragging them around a field in heavy sack. Sounds pretty rubbish if you ask us.

Ben met his future partner in hilarity Alexander Armstrong, while at Cambridge as they were both working on the National Student Drama Festival. The pair soon struck up the sort of close union which can only be accurately conveyed by a rom com style montage. The pair took their funnies to the Edinburgh Fringe, bagging a Perrier nomination, before transferring their skills to the radio and TV with their very own show. Though long before the Armstrong and Miller show hit our tellies, Ben had made a slightly less exciting start to his acting career, making a guest appearance on Murder Most Horrid.

Despite success with Armstrong and Miller, a BBC executive told them they were too posh for this comedy lark, leading to the formation of their very own aptly-named Toff Media production company. Ben is fairly comfortable on both sides of the camera, having filmed the pilot for what would go on to be the cult hit Saxondale, starring Steve Coogan.

For all their synchronicity, Ben's not above two-timing his long-time comedy husband, especially if he gets to do it on the big screen. Clearly his mates have all the best comedy credentials as he's starred in Steve Coogan's film The Parole Officer as well as popping up in the Rowan Atkinson Bond spoof Johnny English. Oh and he gave unlucky types everywhere hope in The Worst Week Of My Life.

More important than all of these roles though, is one of his most important gigs to date where he worked alongside Johnny Vegas as the voice of the ITV Digital and PG Tips monkey. Just whatever you do, don't mention Rob Brydon - he's regularly mistaken for the Welsh rarebit.

Like Alexander, Ben's been known to play it straight from time to time, from an early commendation for his Hamlet to one of the most challenging roles any actor can be faced with – pretending to take Primeval seriously. He describes it as "Casualty with dinosaurs" which almost sells it to us. He's even tried his hand at directing in 2005 film Starry Night and his latest cinematic outing Huge.

Still a regular staple on quizcoms, and still racking up the gags in The Armstrong And Miller Show, Ben's light years away from his life of academia, and all the better for it. And if he's that obsessed with black holes then surely he can channel his interests into doing something on Channel 5...

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