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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

David Baddiel (b. 28 May 1964)
Nationality British
Years active 1988 – present
Notable works and roles The Mary Whitehouse Experience
Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned

David Baddiel (born 28 May 1964) is an English comedian, novelist and television presenter.


Early life

Baddiel's father, Colin Brian Baddiel, was a research chemist with Unilever before being made redundant in the 1980s, after which he sold Dinky Toys at Grays Antique Market. His mother was a refugee from Nazi Germany. David Baddiel is the middle son of three boys.

He grew up in Dollis Hill, Willesden, North London and after studying at Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School in Elstree, an independent school near Borehamwood in Hertfordshire, he read English at King's College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the Cambridge Footlights, and graduated with a double first. He began studies for a PhD in English at University College London, but did not complete it.



Baddiel became a cabaret stand-up comedian after leaving university and also wrote sketches and jokes for various radio series. His first television appearance came in a bit-part on one episode of the showbiz satire, Filthy, Rich and Catflap. In 1988, he was introduced to Rob Newman, a comic impressionist, and the two became a writing partnership. They were subsequently paired up with the partnership of Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis for a new topical comedy show for BBC Radio 1 called The Mary Whitehouse Experience, and its success led to a transfer to television, shooting Baddiel to fame. Two seasons were made for BBC2, during which time Baddiel also co-hosted a Channel 4 monologue programme, A Stab In The Dark with Michael Gove and Tracey MacLeod.

After the two duos chose not to do another series of The Mary Whitehouse Experience, Baddiel teamed up with Newman again for the Newman and Baddiel in Pieces series, which ran in 1993. The duo subsequently split with some acrimony after becoming the first ever comedians to play (and sell out) Wembley Arena.


Baddiel then took in a lodger at his London apartment - fellow comedian Frank Skinner - and asked his new flatmate to co-present when he was offered the chance to do a programme based on the fantasy football craze in newspapers. The show was Fantasy Football League, and later they took an improvised question-and-answer show to the Edinburgh Festival which then became a TV series, Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned. The duo also twice topped the UK singles chart with the football anthem "Three Lions", initially written as the England football team's official anthem for Euro 96, and later re-issued, with updated lyrics, as an unofficial song for the 1998 World Cup. Baddiel and Skinner collaborated on podcasts for the Times Online during the 2006 FIFA World Cup.


In 2001, Baddiel made a sitcom for Sky One, Baddiel's Syndrome. In 2004, he created a show called Heresy for Radio 4, which attempts to challenge received opinion. This has now had four series on Radio 4, the last in 2007. He played himself in the BBC animated comedy series, Monkey Dust, in a self-lampooning role. He has appeared in the UK comedy Little Britain playing a person dressed up as David Baddiel. He did not speak in the show, only mimed David Walliams speaking over him.

He writes a regular Books column for The Times newspaper, appearing every other Saturday. The column is written fortnightly, shared in alternate weeks by the novelist Jeanette Winterson. He also writes a column for Esquire magazine. On 30 October 2005 he appeared on stage at the Old Vic theatre in London in the one-night play Night Sky alongside Christopher Eccleston, Bruno Langley, David Warner, Navin Chowdhry and Saffron Burrows.

He has written three novels: Time For Bed, Whatever Love Means and The Secret Purposes. In 2007 he hosted BBC Four's The Book Quiz[1] and made a documentary for BBC One on the subject of the history of restitution for holocaust victims and their descendants, Baddiel And The Missing Nazi Billions. In 2009 he appeared in the 3rd series of Skins as the boss of Effy Stonem's father Jim Stonem who had an affair with Effy's mother, Anthea Stonem (played by Morwenna Banks, David Baddiel's partner in real life). In 2009, production began on a feature film, The Infidel, starring Omid Djalilli and Richard Schiff, the screenplay of which was written by Baddiel.

Charity work

David Baddiel is a patron for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM). He acted as compere for the Stand-Up to Stop Suicide event organised by Claire Anstey and the charity.[2] and has appeared on radio ads publicising the issue of young male suicide.

In February 2009 he and several other entertainers wrote an open letter printed in the The Times of London supporting Bahá'í leaders then on trial in Iran.[3]


He has a daughter, Dolly, born in 2001, and a son, Ezra, born in 2004, with his girlfriend, Morwenna Banks.[4] Baddiel is a Jewish atheist. His mother was born in Nazi Germany, a swastika appearing on her birth certificate. An episode of the BBC's genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? investigated his heritage in some detail,[5] but failed to disprove his theory that his mother had been secretly adopted from another Jewish family who had no hope of escaping.

Baddiel's book, The Secret Purposes, is based in part on the internment of his grandfather on the Isle of Man during the Second World War. His father is from Wales. A Baddiel family is prominent in London's Orthodox Jewish community - they have a common ancestor. David Baddiel has described himself as a "10/10 atheist".[6]

During an appearance on the Channel 4 topical panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats (26 May 2006) he revealed that he had been voted the "World's 6th Sexiest Jew". He appeared in a special episode of What Not to Wear where fashion gurus Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine gave him a makeover.[7]


  1. ^ BBC - BBC Four Listings - Programmes
  2. ^ Metro keeps calm at comedy night; Friday, 15 June 2007
  3. ^ "Stand up for Iran's Baha'is - Voices from the arts call for the imprisoned Baha'i leaders in Iran to receive a fair trial", The Times (London), 2009-02-26,  
  4. ^ The Guardian interview with David Baddiel
  5. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are? with David Baddiel". Who Do You Think You Are?. BBC. BBC Two. 2004-11-23.
  6. ^ "10/10 atheist"
  7. ^ "David Baddiel gets a dressing down", The Daily Mail

External links

Preceded by
Chris Luscombe
Footlights Vice President
Succeeded by
Ben Liston


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

David Baddiel (born 28 May 1964) is a British comedian, writer and television presenter.


From the novel "Whatever Love Means"

  • ...action restarting action: all we need to reverse inertia is some sense of consequence - some sense that beyond this occurrence there is another, and that they are linked, some sense that life has chapters.
  • ...he felt frustrated, his sense of fate and direction subverted by banalities - the frustration of the man who, having thought himself following his destiny, finds he is actually on the A318 to New Malden.
  • That's the thing about your destiny: how are you supposed to know it when it arrives? How are you supposed to recognise it from the random life?

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