Robert Webb (actor): Wikis

  
  

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Robert Webb

Robert Webb
Born Robert Webb
29 September 1972 (1972-09-29) (age 37)
Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Actor, comedian, writer
Years active 1997–present
Spouse(s) Abigail Burdess (2007 - present)

Robert Webb (born 29 September 1972) is an English actor, comedian and writer, and one half of the Mitchell and Webb double act, alongside David Mitchell.

Contents

Early life

Webb is originally from the village of Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire. Webb's parents divorced when he was young. As a child Webb was "hugely spoilt".[1] He was educated at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in Horncastle.[2] His elder brothers went to a local secondary modern school. One became a bus fitter, and the other became a potato wholesaler.[1] While Webb was in the lower sixth form preparing for his A-levels, his mother died of breast cancer, and he moved in with his father and re-sat his A-levels. He went to Robinson College, Cambridge at the age of 20 where he studied English and was a member of the Footlights.[3] He met Mitchell during a Footlights production of Cinderella in 1993.[1]

Career

Mitchell and Webb

The two put together their first project in January 1995, a show about the First World War[4] entitled Innocent Millions Dead or Dying: A Wry Look at the Post- Apocalyptic Age.[5] Robert Webb later described it as being "fucking terrible".[4]

From this, the duo were given the chance to write for Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller and for series two of Big Train.[6] After minor work on The Jack Docherty Show and Comedy Nation, their first break into television acting was in 2000, on the short-lived BBC sketch show Bruiser, which they primarily wrote, and starred in. The show also featured Olivia Colman, who would become a regular cast member of Mitchell and Webb projects, and Martin Freeman, later of The Office fame. Additional material for the show was provided by various people including Ricky Gervais and James Bachman.[7]

In 2001 the two men were commissioned for a sketch show of their own, entitled The Mitchell and Webb Situation, which ran for six episodes on the now defunct channel Play UK.[6] Mitchell and Webb's next project came in 2003, with starring roles in the Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show, as flatmates Mark Corrigan and Jeremy respectively.[8] The pair shared the 2007 Royal Television Society Award for "Comedy Performance",[9] and were jointly nominated for "Best Television Comedy Actor" at the 2006 British Comedy Awards.[10] Peep Show has aired six series, and a seventh is commissioned.[11]

After the success of Peep Show Mitchell and Webb returned to sketch comedy with their BBC Radio 4 sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Sound, which has run for three series. The show was adapted for television and became That Mitchell and Webb Look, producer Gareth Edwards described it as "the shortest pitch [he had] ever written".[4] Towards the end of 2006 the pair made their first tour, with a show called The Two Faces of Mitchell and Webb. The tour was criticised as just "a succession of largely unrelated scenes" by The Guardian's Brian Logan, who gave it a rating of two stars.[12]

That Mitchell and Webb Look won them the BAFTA for "Best Comedy Programme or Series" at the 2007 awards,[13] and they earned a further nomination for it in 2009.[14] It was nominated for two British Comedy awards in 2006: "Britain's Best New TV Comedy" and the "Highland Spring People's Choice".[10] Their stage tour The Two Faces of Mitchell and Webb was nominated for the British Comedy Award for "Best Stage Comedy",[10] and That Mitchell and Webb Sound won a Sony Silver Award.[15] Their first film, Magicians was released on 18 May 2007. It was directed by Andrew O'Connor and written by Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain.[16] Webb played the role of modern magician Karl.[17]

Mitchell and Webb's first comedy book This Mitchell and Webb Book is set for release in 2009,[18] with a further book expected in 2010.[19] They filmed Playing Shop a comedy television pilot for BBC2 about two men who operate a business out of their shed, which they also wrote.[20] Although the BBC were happy with it, Mitchell and Webb scrapped it themselves, as they felt it was too similar to Peep Show. A new pilot has been commissioned.[21]

The duo also fronted the campaign of the UK version of Apple Inc.'s Get a Mac adverts, with Mitchell playing PC.[22] The adverts have received much criticism. Writing in The Guardian, Charlie Brooker claimed that the use of Mitchell and Webb in the adverts was a curious choice. He compared the characters of PC and Mac in the adverts to those of Mark and Jeremy in Peep Show, stating that "when you see the ads, you think, 'PCs are a bit rubbish yet ultimately lovable, whereas Macs are just smug, preening tossers.'"[23] The British Sitcom Guide also criticised the pair for "selling their souls".[24] One journalist called the adverts "worse than not funny", and accused Mitchell and Webb of "an act of grave betrayal" for taking corporate work.[25] In an interview with The Telegraph, Robert Webb responded to the duo's critics, stating that "when someone asks, 'Do you want to do some funny ads for not many days in the year and be paid more than you would be for an entire series of Peep Show?' the answer, obviously, is, 'Yeah, that's fine'".[25] In the same interview, Mitchell also said "I don't see what is morally inconsistent with a comedian doing an advert. It's all right to sell computers, isn't it? Unless you think that capitalism is evil - which I don't. It's not like we're helping to flog a baby-killing machine".[25]

Solo work

Webb has also appeared in two series of the BBC Three sitcom The Smoking Room (2004) and the Radio 4 sketch show Concrete Cow. In 2005 he appeared in the Ben Elton-scripted BBC One sitcom Blessed as Ardal O'Hanlon's 'perfect' counterpart.[6] Webb narrates Young, Dumb and Living Off Mum.

He and Olivia Colman also featured as a naturist couple in Confetti, a 2006 film about a competition for the most original wedding. Webb has since called the film "shit" on several occasions.[26]

Also in 2008, Webb made his West End stage debut in the UK premiere of Neil LaBute's Fat Pig, co-starring as Tom alongside Kris Marshall, Joanna Page and Ella Smith.[27]

Webb won the 2009 series Let's Dance for the charity Comic Relief, parodying the audition sequence from the film Flashdance.[28]

Personal life

Webb married fellow comedy performer Abigail Burdess in 2007.[1] David Mitchell was the best man. They live in Kilburn (as does Mitchell). The couple have a daughter, named Esme Elizabeth Webb, who was born 2 August 2009.[29] In 2006, readers of the New Woman magazine voted Webb as the 88th sexiest man in the world.[30]

Filmography

Film

Year Film Role
2006 Confetti Michael
2007 Magicians Karl

Television

Year Series Role Notes
1997 The Jack Docherty Show Various characters Also writer
1998 Comedy Nation Various characters
2000 Meaningful Sex Graham
Bruiser Various characters Also writer
2001 Fun at the Funeral Parlour Packham Episode 1.4: "The Mountains of Doom"
The Mitchell and Webb Situation Various characters Also writer
People Like Us Unnamed character Episode 2.5: "The Bank Manager"
2002 The Gist Paul Ashdown
2003 My Family Arvo Episode 4.14: "Sixty Feet Under"
2003- Peep Show Jeremy Longest-running role
2004 55 Degrees North Dog Handler Episode 1.3
2004–2005 The Smoking Room Robin Appeared in all 17 episodes
2005 Twisted Tales Colin Episode 1.9: "Nothing to Fear"; also writer
Blessed Bill Hathaway Appeared in all eight episodes
2006- That Mitchell and Webb Look Various characters Also writer; won BAFTA for Best Comedy Programme or Series;
two British Comedy Award nominations
2010 Playing Shop Jamie In development[31]

Non-fictional appearances

As narrator
  • Return To.. (2008)
  • Young, Dumb and Living off Mum (2009)
  • History of Now: The Story of the Noughties (2010)
Comedy programmes
Other programmes

References

  1. ^ a b c d Janice Turner (2008-02-09). "Mitchell and Webb are back on TV". The Times. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/tv_and_radio/article3303938.ece. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  2. ^ "Comedy Star Goes Back to School". Horncastle News. 2006-04-14. http://www.horncastlenews.co.uk/news/COMEDY-STAR-GOES-BACK-TO.1444740.jp. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  3. ^ Rosanna Greenstreet (2005-12-03). "Q&A Robert Webb". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2005/dec/03/weekend7.weekend1. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  4. ^ a b c Mitchell, Ben (2006-08-27). "Masters of comedy". The Observer. http://observer.guardian.co.uk/magazine/story/0,,1856420,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  5. ^ Harris, Sarah (2006-11-19). "David Mitchell & Robert Webb". The Independent on Sunday. http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4159/is_20061119/ai_n16858943. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 
  6. ^ a b c "Robert Webb". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/thatmitchellandwebbsite/cast/webb.shtml. Retrieved 2007-03-17. 
  7. ^ Lewisohn, Mark. "Bruiser". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/articles/b/bruiser_66600740.shtml. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  8. ^ "Peep Show". The British Sitcom Guide. http://www.sitcom.co.uk/peep_show/. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  9. ^ "Programme Awards 2007: Winners". Royal Television Society. 2008-03-19. http://www.rts.org.uk/Information_page_+_3_pic_det.asp?id=34996&sec_id=503. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  10. ^ a b c "British Comedy Awards: Nominations". BBC News. 2006-11-14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6147936.stm. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  11. ^ Parker, Robin (2009-03-18). "Peep Show to return for seventh series". Broadcast. http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/news/2009/03/peep_show_to_return_for_seventh_series.html. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  12. ^ Logan, Brian (2006-10-24). "The Two Faces of Mitchell and Webb". The Guardian. http://arts.guardian.co.uk/reviews/story/0,,1929726,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  13. ^ "Victoria Wood scoops Bafta double". BBC News. 2007-05-20. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6670797.stm. Retrieved 2007-05-20. 
  14. ^ "Bafta TV Awards 2009: nominations". The Guardian. 2009-03-24. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/mar/24/bafta-tv-awards-nominations. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  15. ^ "That Mitchell and Webb Sound". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/thatmitchellandwebbsite/radio.shtml. Retrieved 2007-04-14. 
  16. ^ "That Mitchell and Webb movie". chortle.co.uk. 2006-05-25. http://www.chortle.co.uk/news/2006/05/25/4217/that_mitchell_and_webb_movie. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  17. ^ "Magicians". Channel 4. http://www.channel4.com/film/advertorial/magicians/. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  18. ^ Bruce Dessau (August 2009). "That Mitchell and Webb Interview". Reader's Digest. http://www.readersdigest.co.uk/images/files/Mitchell%20and%20webb%20new.pdf. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  19. ^ Katie Button (2008-01-24). "Mitchell and Webb to write comedy books". Digital Spy. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/showbiz/a87257/mitchell-and-webb-to-write-comedy-books.html. Retrieved 2008-06-12. 
  20. ^ Michael Thornton (2008-12-09). "Mitchell and Webb reveal new sitcom". Digital Spy. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tv/a137869/mitchell--webb-reveal-new-sitcom.html. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  21. ^ Andrew Pettie (2009-06-10). "Interview: David Mitchell and Robert Webb". The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/5487340/Interview-David-Mitchell-and-Robert-Webb.html. Retrieved 2009-06-15. 
  22. ^ Gamet, Jeff (2007-01-29). "Apple UK Get a Mac Ads Debut". Mac Observer.com. http://www.macobserver.com/article/2007/01/29.2.shtml. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  23. ^ Brooker, Charlie (2007-02-05). "I hate Macs". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2006031,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  24. ^ "The British Sitcom Guide Awards 2006". The British Sitcom Guide. http://www.sitcom.co.uk/features/awards2006.php. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  25. ^ a b c "Who are those guys?". The Telegraph. 2007-04-07. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2007/04/07/btmitch107.xml&page=2. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  26. ^ http://twitter.com/RealRobertWebb/statuses/1404626088
  27. ^ "The Stage Review of Fat Pig". The Stage. http://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/review.php/20820/fat-pig. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  28. ^ "Webb dances to Comic Relief title". BBC News. 2009-03-14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7944395.stm. Retrieved 2009-03-15. 
  29. ^ Direct quote from Robert Webb's Twitter on 01/08/09: "Oh yes, and we are a dad. Esme Elizabeth Webb is several weeks and days old today. Gurgle."
  30. ^ Akbar, A. & Bray, E. (2006-02-02). "Introducing world's sexiest men: Bloom, Pitt...and Cameron". The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/introducing-worlds-sexiest-men-bloom-pittand-cameron-465323.html. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  31. ^ Pettie, Andrew (10 June 2009). "Interview: David Mitchell and Robert Webb". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/5487340/Interview-David-Mitchell-and-Robert-Webb.html. 

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