Rob Brydon was born in Swansea, South Wales on 3rd May 1965. He grew up in Baglan near Port Talbot, before moving to Porthcawl where his interest in acting flourished under the guidance of Porthcawl Comprehensive School's drama teacher, Roger Burnel. After school Rob began a three-year course at The Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, but left midway through the second year to become a radio presenter for nearby BBC Wales.
For six years Rob gained more presenting work on television and radio, during which time he would perform the odd comedy pieces including work with Alan Thompson. While he was at the BBC Rob joined the Bath based improvisational comedy group 'More Fool Us', where he met Julia Davis with whom he would go on some years later to make the award winning 'Human Remains'. However, Rob soon realized that if he was to really hit the big time, then perhaps the confines of the Welsh and west country comedy circuit would not prove as rewarding as other locations. Leaving Cardiff for London, Rob soon found work mostly as a voice over artist on animations and commercials; highlights included Toilet Duck and the voice of a whimpering bondage man for Tango. It was when he won the role of the traffic warden in 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' that he was inspired to make a short video of his own comic creations. Entitled 'Rob Brydon - An Extremely Unlucky Traffic Warden', this video is most notable for a certain witless yet cheery Cardiff cabbie who simply chatted cheerily to a camera fixed to the dashboard.
And so was born the character of Keith Barret, who went on to feature in six ten-minute shorts entitled Marion and Geoff, made with the support of Steve Coogan's production company Baby Cow. By sharing his thoughts and cheery philosophy with his camera, Keith talks about, amongst other things, his estrangement from wife Marion. The mother of their two children, Marion fled into the arms of her work colleague Geoff, taking both kids with her. Far from being devastated by the bleak turn of events, Keith is bent on seeing only the bright side of life, striving to rationalise just how fine he is with his rapidly deteriorating situation. Marion and Geoff received critical acclaim, and garnered multiple awards including a Best Television Comedy Newcomer award for Brydon at the British Comedy Awards. In 2003 Rob took Keith on tour with the one-man show Making Divorce Work, while in February 2004 our favourite cabbie got his own chat show, imaginatively titled The Keith Barret Show, in which Keith offers sound advice about relationships.
In 2000 Rob showed us another side to his humour by collaborating with old comedy buddy Julia Davis, in the dark and disturbing Human Remains. These took the form of six mock-documentaries that used moments of excruciating embarrassment to devastating and very funny effect. Each of the six separate playlets showcased a man-woman relationship, pinpointing toe-curling aspects of British life behind the net curtains. Although the range of characters was as diverse as could be imagined, most if not all of them were chronically insensitive, tedious and even clinically depressed. Not exactly a recipe for laughter, but laughs there certainly were, mostly derived from the staggering yet po-faced statements made by the subjects, comments so surreal that you wonder how the pair were able to deliver them without cracking up. Human Remains was compelling, if uncomfortable viewing, but it won many accolades and scooped Rob another British Comedy Award, this time for Best Television Comedy Actor.