Angus Deayton: Wikis


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Angus Deayton

Lise Mayer and Angus Deayton at the Lighthouse Gala auction in aid of Terrence Higgins Trust.
Born 6 January 1956 (1956-01-06) (age 54)
Surrey, England
Occupation Television presenter, actor, writer, comedian and musician
Years active 1988–present

Gordon Angus Deayton (born 6 January 1956) (pronounced /ˈdiːtən/) is an English actor, writer, musician, comedian and television presenter. He is best-known as the former presenter of the satirical panel game Have I Got News for You, a job from which he was sacked in October 2002 after a second round of tabloid allegations about his personal life.


Early life

The youngest of three sons to a Prudential plc insurance broker/manager and a home economics school teacher,[1] Deayton was brought up in Caterham, Surrey, and attended Caterham School. He showed early promise as a footballer, and had a trial with Crystal Palace. He was captain of the Caterham U16 Rugby team.

Deayton read languages at New College, Oxford, where he was recruited into the Oxford Revue, performing with them at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This led to the creation of the parody band The Hee Bee Gee Bees in 1980, with the songs written by Richard Curtis and Philip Pope. Their best selling single "Meaningless Songs" (plus the B-side "Posing in the Moonlight") was a parody of the falsetto style of countless disco hits from pop group the Bee Gees.

Television career

The foundation of Deayton's career was a parody of British local radio stations, Radio Active, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 between 1981 and 1987, which he both co-wrote and performed in. It transferred to television as KYTV between 1989 and 1993. Deayton presented a tribute to Radio Active and KYTV colleague and friend (and long-time BBC producer) Geoffrey Perkins for BBC Radio 4 on 4 October 2008. During this period, Deayton was also frequently seen appearing as a straight man alongside Rowan Atkinson. He starred with Atkinson in two separate roles (a pool attendant and a man on a park bench) in one of the earliest episodes of Mr. Bean and appeared opposite Atkinson in the Black Adder episode "Born to be King" (1983) as one of the Jumping Jews of Jerusalem, a kind of medieval variety act. He also appeared regularly in comedy sketches on Alexei Sayle's Stuff.

In 1990 Deayton was cast as the Meldrews' neighbour Patrick Trench in the British suburban sitcom One Foot in the Grave and was selected as the host of Have I Got News for You. The same year, he featured in a TV advert for the Vauxhall Nova car. Knowing that Deayton was keen to move into more acting roles, friend and producer Andre Ptaszynski tried to persuade him to take the lead role in Steven Moffat's sitcom Chalk, a role eventually taken by David Bamber.[2]

Deayton's suave manner as host of Have I Got News for You led to him being nicknamed "TV's Mr Sex", by a Time Out listings writer.[3] He was much in demand as a presenter of television specials including the BBC's New Year's Eve show and the BAFTA Awards. He also featured in a series of advertisements for Barclaycard and the films Savage Hearts and Elizabeth. He was in one episode of Coupling where he appeared in a fantasy sequence alongside Mariella Frostrup.

In May 2002, the News of the World newspaper published allegations about his private life. He was ridiculed mercilessly by Paul Merton and Ian Hislop in the following episode of Have I Got News For You, but was allowed to continue as presenter. After a second round of allegations emerged in the papers the following October, Deayton was fired as presenter two episodes into the new series of Have I Got News for You. Since then, the show has been hosted by a different guest presenter each week.

After being forced out of Have I Got News for You,[4] he continued to work on other projects including a reunion of the Radio Active cast in a new episode broadcast in December 2002. In 2003, he guest-starred as Downing Street's top spin doctor in an episode of the BBC comedy Absolute Power, starring Stephen Fry and John Bird. He starred in BBC comedy Nighty Night which was shown from January 2004. Deayton had a cameo role as a hotel receptionist in the 2004 Fat Slags film. A few months later, he made a return to TV presenting with ITV's cookery reality show Hell's Kitchen and then the light-hearted quiz Bognor or Bust. In January 2006 he hosted an ITV show based upon self-help videos called Help Your Self.

Deayton is associated with the Comic Relief/Sport Relief charity and has featured in many of its TV broadcasts. He also co-presented the Sport Relief charity programme Only Fools on Horses in July 2006.

Deayton appeared for the England team as a second-half substitute in the Soccer Aid football match in support of UNICEF on 27 May 2006. He returned as a starting player for England in the 7 September 2008 rematch.

In 2007 he made an acting appearance in Casualty, playing an exaggerated version of himself in a Comic Relief-related storyline.

Deayton returned to the BBC in June 2007 hosting a new TV comedy panel game, Would I Lie To You?. In November 2007, he was censured by the BBC for making a "pungently personal" joke about Sir Jimmy Savile and his late mother on the show.[5] Deayton left the show in 2009 and was replaced as host by Rob Brydon.[6]

Deayton was also selected by ITV to be the host of the third series of Hell's Kitchen, which started broadcasting on 3 September 2007 at 9:00pm. However, he was sacked from the programme in 2009 after a series of arguments with chef Marco Pierre White.[7] Claudia Winkleman is to be his replacement.[8]

He also presents Comedy Sketchbook, a nostalgic look at classic comedy sketches, on BBC1.

He presented the 2008 British Comedy Awards on 6 December 2008, after regular host Jonathan Ross chose to step down that year due to the controversy surrounding the Russell Brand Show prank telephone calls row.[9]

In 2009, Deayton starred as the mysterious, "all-knowing man" in That Deadwood Feeling, a British comedy film starring Jack Davenport, Dexter Fletcher, and David Soul.

Deayton will appear alongside Mandy Moore and Martin Freeman in Swinging with the Finkels, a 2010 film written and directed by Jonathon Newman.

Personal life

At Oxford he was in a relationship with the actress Helen Atkinson-Wood (a co-star on Radio Active and KYTV) and later lived with the 1970s singer/songwriter Stephanie de Sykes. Since the early 1990s he has been the partner of scriptwriter Lise Mayer, and they have a son named Isaac.

Deayton is a Manchester United supporter, and a good friend of former player and current coach Brian McClair.

In May 2002 the British tabloid newspaper News of the World published allegations about Deayton's relationship with a prostitute and use of cocaine.[10] In October there were further reports of another affair, and he was asked to step down as the quizmaster of Have I Got News For You on 29 October 2002.[11][12]

The BBC said his position as a satirical commentator on the week's news had become "untenable".[11] When Paul Merton was asked by Michael Parkinson whether he had stabbed Deayton in the back, he replied "No, we stabbed him in the front".[13] Merton also claimed that Deayton had lost integrity as a presenter and that the jokes by the guests were too often in reference to the incident.[14] Other panelists, such as Stephen Fry, have supported Deayton by refusing to appear on the show again.[15]


  • Radioactive (with Geoffrey Perkins). Sphere 1986. ISBN 0-722-12806-1 (a book to tie-in with the radio series)
  • Uncyclopaedia of Rock (multiple authors). Ebury Press 1989. ISBN 0-852-23612-3.
  • In Search of Happiness with Angus Deayton (with Lise Mayer). Macmillan 1995. ISBN 0-333-63061-0 (Companion book for a BBC TV series)


  1. ^ "Angus Deayton: Fame and Fortune". The Telegraph. 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2008-07-18.  
  2. ^ After the Chalk Dust Settled, featurette on Chalk Series 1 DVD,, prod. & dir. Craig Robins
  3. ^ "Angus Deayton: Answering questions for a change". BBC News. Retrieved 2006-12-25.  
  4. ^ "Sex Scandal". BBC News. 2002-05-24. Retrieved 2009-05-30.  
  5. ^ "Deayton rapped for 'pungently personal' Jimmy Savile gag | Media |". Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-30.  
  6. ^ Parker, Robin (11 March 2009). "Brydon to host BBC1 quiz". Broadcastnow. Retrieved 11 March 2009.  
  7. ^ Rollo, Sarah (2009-02-22). "Deayton 'axed' from 'Hell's Kitchen'". Digital Spy.  
  8. ^ "Winkleman to be new Kitchen host". BBC News Online. 2009-02-23.  
  9. ^ Tara Conlan (2008-10-31). "Jonathan Ross pulls out of hosting British Comedy Awards". The Guardian ( Retrieved 2008-10-31.  
  10. ^ "Deayton in the lion's den". BBC News. Retrieved 2006-12-25.  
  11. ^ a b "Quiz host Deayton fired by BBC". BBC News. 2002-10-30. Retrieved 2008-12-26.  
  12. ^ "This one could run and run". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2006-12-25.  
  13. ^ 8 August 2007 (2007-08-08). "@ 3:25". Retrieved 2009-05-30.  
  14. ^ [1] @ 2:37]
  15. ^ "BBC : Fry boycotts 'pathetic' quiz". BBC News. 2003-04-16. Retrieved 2009-05-30.  

External links

Media offices
Preceded by
Hell's Kitchen presenter
Succeeded by
Claudia Winkleman
Preceded by
Host of Would I Lie To You?
Succeeded by
Rob Brydon

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