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Jasper Carrott OBE
Birth name Robert Norman Davis
Born 14 March 1945 (1945-03-14) (age 65)
Acocks Green, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
Medium Stand-up, television
Nationality British
Years active 1975–present
Spouse Hazel Jackson (m. 1973–present) «start: (1973)»"Marriage: Hazel Jackson to Jasper Carrott" Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasper_Carrott)
Website http://www.jaspercarrott.com/

Jasper Carrott OBE (born Robert Norman Davis, 14 March 1945) is a British comedian (declaring himself "world famous in Birmingham"), actor and television presenter.

Contents

Early life

Born in Shaftmoor Lane, Acocks Green (what he would later describe as sounding like the address for "the home of a professional rapist"[1]), Birmingham, Carrott was educated at Acocks Green Primary School and Moseley Grammar School. He then worked as a trainee buyer at a city centre department store called The Beehive with schoolfriend Bev Bevan and later attended Aston University in the heart of Birmingham.

Rise to fame

In February 1969 he started his own folk club, "The Boggery", in Solihull with his friend Les Ward, where Carrott performed folk songs as well as MC. Before long, his banter with the audience overtook the actual songs: he became known more as a comedian than a singer. He also worked as a musical agent (in partnership with John Starkey, who became his manager in 1974 until 1992), as Fingimigig, managing (among other acts) Harvey Andrews. He toured the UK, appearing in Rugby clubs and the like. He independently recorded an album, financed by himself, called "Jasper Carrot - In the Club", which he sold out of the back of his car/van. It was this album that contained the original "Magic Roundabout" - see below. Released in 1973, the LP is quite rare, although it mainly consists of material later used in his first three official LPs (such as Hare Krishna, Car Insurance, Bastity Chelt, and Hava Nagila) plus the Fred Wedlock song The Folker.

He had a surprise UK top-5 chart hit in 1975 - the novelty record "Funky Moped", written by Chris Rohmann and was produced by Jeff Lynne. The B-side of this single was a risqué monologue parodying the animated children's TV series The Magic Roundabout. This was banned by the BBC, which is widely believed to have aided its commercial success.

By the end of the 1970s, Carrott had developed a number of anecdotal sketches which he still performs in similar form some thirty years on. Often these sketches purported to be auto-biographical; many of them celebrate Birmingham accent and culture, including his support of his beloved Birmingham City. His sketches were captured on records such as Jasper Carrott Rabbitts on and on and on... and Carrott in Notts which were recordings of live performances. Notable hits were Bastity Chelt a complete song in Spoonerism, The Football Match describing a visit to Old Trafford, The Nutter on the Bus including the well known cry of "Has anybody seen my camel?"), The Mole ("There's only one way to get rid of a mole - blow its bloody head off!") and Zits - an explanation of an American slang word for spots which brought the word into use in England.

In 1979 he published A Little Zit on the Side which purported to be a humorous auto-biography. The follow-up, Sweet And Sour Labrador, mixed sections of his stand-up routines with similar autobiographical material, much of it related to his world travels.

Jasper also was one of the comperes for the Birmingham Heart Beat Charity Concert 1986 which featured many local bands such as ELO and the Moody Blues,with a finale that included George Harrison from The Beatles.

On 15 September 2007 he was inducted into the Birmingham Walk of Stars at a presentation as part of the Arts Fest 2007 celebrations. The award was presented by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham. Carrott is the 2nd inductee, following Ozzy Osbourne.

Jasper Carrott was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the British Comedy Awards 2008 on the 6 December.

Career

His break into television was with the LWT series An Audience with Jasper Carrott in 1978. This was followed by Carrott's Lib - a Saturday night comedy show broadcast live on the BBC - and then by a string of different shows. The most notable of these were Carrott's Commercial Breakdown, which broadcast weird and wonderful adverts from around the world, and the sketch and stand-up shows Carrott Confidential, 24 Carrott Gold, The Jasper Carrott Trial and Canned Carrott, some of which also gave TV exposure to the comedy partnership of Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis.

In addition to his television work, Carrott made a foray into cinema when he played Heinrich in the 1987 British comedy Jane and the Lost City.[2]

Canned Carrott also featured a regular police drama spoof called The Detectives, co-starring Robert Powell, which was spun off into its own series. In 2002 - 2004, he starred in the sitcom All About Me.

He performed in several of the Secret Policeman's Ball charity concerts for Amnesty International, and returned to the stage in 2004 for several sell out shows at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham featuring classic routines from his career. He returned to a singing role for the musical "Go Play Up Your Own End" (written by Malcolm Stent, songs by Harvey Andrews) in 2005.

In 2005, he appeared in and put on "Jasper Carrott's Rock With Laughter". He appeared alongside performers such as Bill Bailey, Bonnie Tyler, Lenny Henry, Bobby Davro, the Lord of the Dance troupe and Bev Bevan.

In the summer of 2007, Jasper hosted the Endemol-produced game show Golden Balls for ITV1. Promising ratings led to a recommission, and the second series which began in January 2008. A third series began in April 2008, and fourth series started in October 2008.

He was the host of the Sunday night interactive national pub quiz, Cash Inn and also an investor in the company, operated by Innterplay, this company has since entered administration.

He was 20th in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians show.

Literary work

As well as the two autobiographical writings written above, Carrott also wrote a novel called, 'Shop! or A Store is Born'.

Business interests

He turned his hand to business as part owner of the production company Celador, makers of the internationally successful Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?. In 2006, he and wife Hazel sold their shares in the company for over £10m as part of a management buyout deal.

Personal interests

His daughter, Lucy Davis, is an actress best known for playing Dawn in The Office.

He is a proud supporter and former director of the football club Birmingham City. He was made an OBE in 2002. The University of Birmingham awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2004.

As an April fool story in 2006, The Independent newspaper reported that the University of Birmingham's twinned status with its Alabama namesake led to a liaison between Carrott and Condoleezza Rice, whom he described as "a ferocious kisser". The story was subsequently featured as a University Challenge bonus round question on spoof news items.

Carrott still lives near Birmingham, in Darley Green close to Knowle and Dorridge. Carrott was a keen runner and supported his local Knowle Fun Run through sponsorship and publicity, including 2001 where he paid out several thousand pounds based on the £10 per person who beat him to the finish line.

Carrott has two Bassett Hounds that he enjoys taking for long walks. They are called Enrique and Patricia. Carrott hopes to add to his canine family a third hound, which he wants to name Matt Bianco.

He also sneaked into local football club Birmingham City's team photo.[citation needed]

He is also a long time patron and fundraiser for Sunfield Children's Home, a school for children with autism and complex learning needs. The school is located in the village of Clent just outside Stourbridge.

TV Shows

  • A Half-Hour Mislaid With Jasper Carrott (BBC Midlands, 1976)
  • An Audience With Jasper Carrott (LWT, 1978)
  • The Unrecorded Jasper Carrott (LWT, 1979)
  • Carrott Gets Rowdie (LWT, 1980)
  • Carrott Del Sol (LWT, 1981)
  • Beat the Carrott (LWT, 1981)
  • Carrott's Lib (BBC, 1982-83)
  • American Carrott (Channel 4, 1985)
  • Cool it (Associate producer/co-writer) (1985-1986)
  • Stand-up America (Writer & presenter) (1987)
  • Carrott Confidential (BBC, 1987-1989)
  • Carrott's Commercial Breakdown (BBC, 1989)
  • 24 Carrott Gold (BBC, 1990)
  • Canned Carrott (BBC, 1990-1992)
  • Carrott's Commercial Breakdown 2 (BBC, 1991)
  • One Jasper Carrott (BBC, 1992)
  • Carrott's Commercial Breakdown 3 (BBC, 1993)
  • The Detectives (Bob Louis) (BBC, 1993-1997)
  • Carrott-U-Like (BBC, 1994)
  • Carrott's Commercial Breakdown 4 (BBC, 1996)
  • The Jasper Carrott Trial (BBC, 1997)
  • Jasper Carrott - Back to the Front (BBC, 1999)
  • All About Me (Colin Craddock) (BBC, 2002-2004)
  • 24 Carrott Gold - The Best of Jasper Carrott (BBC, 2004)
  • Golden Balls (Presenter) (ITV1, 2007-2009)

Films

LPs

  • Rabbits On & On... (1975)
  • Carrott in Notts (1976)
  • A Pain in the Arm (1977)
  • The Best of Jasper Carrott (1978)
  • The Unrecorded Jasper Carrott (1979)
  • Beat the Carrott (1981)
  • The Best of Carrott's Lib (1982)
  • The Stun (Carrott Tells All) (1983)
  • Cosmic Carrott (1986)
  • The Dark side of The Carrott (2009)

References

  1. ^ Carrott, Jasper. 1982. Sweet & Sour Labrador.
  2. ^ "Biography". Jasper Carrott: The Official Website. http://www.jaspercarrott.com/biography.asp?SiteID=JAS&M=4&PageID=20&CatType=biog. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 

External links

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