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Stephen Fry

Fry in "Happy Birthday to GNU (2008)"
Born Stephen John Fry
24 August 1957 (1957-08-24) (age 52)
Hampstead, London, England
Occupation Actor, comedian, author, writer, television presenter and film director
Years active 1982–present
Domestic partner(s) Daniel Cohen (since 1995)
Official website

Stephen John Fry (born 24 August 1957) is a British actor, writer, comedian, television presenter and film director. He first came to attention in the 1982 Cambridge Footlights Revue presentation, "The Cellar Tapes", which also included Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson and Tony Slattery. With Hugh Laurie, as the comedy double act Fry and Laurie, he co-wrote and co-starred in A Bit of Fry and Laurie, and the duo also played the title roles in Jeeves and Wooster.

As a solo actor, Fry played the lead in the film Wilde, was Melchett in the Blackadder television series and is the host of the erudite, but comedy-based quiz show, QI. He also presented a 2008 television series Stephen Fry in America, which saw him travelling across all 50 U.S. states in six episodes. Fry has become known to American audiences for his recurring guest role as Dr. Gordon Wyatt on the Fox crime series Bones.

Apart from his work in television, Fry has contributed columns and articles for newspapers and magazines, and has written four novels and an autobiography, Moab Is My Washpot. He also appears frequently on BBC Radio 4, starring in the comedy series Absolute Power, being a frequent guest on panel games such as Just a Minute, and acting as chairman for I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, where he was one of a trio of hosts who succeeded the late Humphrey Lyttelton.

Fry has been described as a "national treasure", a phenomenon and "an epitome of the Renaissance man".[1]

Contents

Early life

Fry was born in Hampstead, London, the son of Marianne Eve Fry (née Newman) and Alan John Fry, who was an English physicist and inventor.[2][3] His maternal grandparents, Martin and Rosa Neumann,[3] were Jewish immigrants from Šurany, which is now in Slovakia,[3][4] and his mother's aunt and cousins died in Auschwitz.[3] Fry grew up in the village of Booton near Reepham, Norfolk, having moved from Chesham, Buckinghamshire at a young age.

Fry briefly attended Cawston Primary School, Cawston, Norfolk, described later in his 1997 book Moab Is My Washpot,[5] before going on to Stouts Hill Preparatory School and then to Uppingham School, Rutland, where he joined Fircroft house. He was expelled from Uppingham when he was fifteen, and subsequently from Paston School.

At seventeen, after leaving Norfolk College of Arts and Technology, Fry absconded with a credit card stolen from a family friend, was arrested in Swindon, and as a result spent three months in Pucklechurch Prison on remand.[6]

Following his release he resumed education at City College Norwich, promising administrators that he would study rigorously to sit the Cambridge entrance exams. He passed well enough to gain a scholarship to Queens' College, Cambridge. At Cambridge, Fry joined the Cambridge Footlights, appeared on University Challenge, and gained a degree in English literature.[7] It was at the Footlights that Fry met his future comedy collaborator Hugh Laurie.

Career

Television

Fry signing autographs at the Apple Store, Regent Street, London on 3 February 2009

Fry's career in television began with the 1982 broadcasting of The Cellar Tapes, the 1981 Cambridge Footlights Revue which was written by Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson and Tony Slattery. The revue caught the attention of Granada Television, who, keen to replicate the success of the BBC's Not the Nine O'Clock News, hired Fry, Laurie and Thompson to star alongside Ben Elton in There's Nothing to Worry About!. A second series, re-titled Alfresco, was broadcast in 1983 and a third in 1984; it established Fry and Laurie's reputation as a comedy double act. In 1983, the BBC offered them their own show, which became The Crystal Cube, a mixture of science fiction and mock documentary that was axed after the first episode. Undeterred, Fry and Laurie appeared in an episode of The Young Ones in 1984, and Fry in Ben Elton's 1985 series, Happy Families. In 1986 and 1987 Fry and Laurie also performed sketches on the LWT/Channel 4 show Saturday Live.

Forgiving Fry and Laurie for The Crystal Cube, the BBC commissioned a sketch show in 1986 that was to become A Bit of Fry and Laurie. The programme ran for 26 episodes spanning four series between 1986 and 1995, and was very successful. During this time Fry starred in Blackadder II as Lord Melchett, made a guest appearance in Blackadder the Third as the Duke of Wellington, then returned to a starring role in Blackadder Goes Forth as General Melchett. In 1988, he became a regular contestant on the popular improvisational comedy radio show Whose Line Is It Anyway?. However, when it moved to television, he only appeared three times: twice in the first series and once in the ninth.

Between 1990 and 1993, Fry starred as Jeeves (alongside Hugh Laurie's Bertie Wooster) in Jeeves and Wooster, 23 hour-long adaptations of P.G. Wodehouse's novels and short stories.

In 2000, Fry played the role of Professor Bellgrove in the BBC serial Gormenghast which was an adaptation of the first two novels of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast series.

QI

In 2003, he began hosting QI, a panel game that has become one of the most-watched entertainment programmes on British television.[8] In 2006, he won the Rose d'Or award for "Best Game Show Host" for his work on the series.[9]

Other series

A foray into documentary-making has seen Fry fronting the Emmy Award-winning The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive in 2006, and in 2007 a documentary on the subject of HIV and AIDS, HIV and Me. Also in 2006, he appeared in the genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?, tracing his family tree to discover his Slovak Jewish ancestry. His six-part travel series Stephen Fry in America began on BBC One on 12 October 2008.[10] A five-part companion series, More Fry in America, has been commissioned for BBC Four; it will feature in-depth essays that Fry could not include in the original programmes because of time constraints.[11]

Fry has also been involved in nature documentaries, having narrated Spectacled Bears: Shadow of the Forest for the BBC Natural World series in 2008.[12] He also embarked upon a series with zoologist Mark Carwardine in which the pair sought out endangered species, some of which were featured in Douglas Adams and Carwardine's 1990 book/radio series, Last Chance to See. The resulting programmes were broadcast in 2009.[13]

From 2007 to 2009, Fry appeared in and was executive producer for the legal drama Kingdom, which ran for three series on ITV1.[14] He has also taken up a recurring guest role as psychiatrist Dr. Gordon Wyatt in the popular American drama Bones.

On 7 May 2008, Fry gave a speech as part of a series of BBC lectures on the future of public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom,[15] which he later recorded for a podcast.[16]

Fry also narrates the English language version of the Spanish children's animated series Pocoyo.[17]

Film

Having made his film debut in the 1985 film The Good Father, Fry had a brief appearance in A Fish Called Wanda (in which he is knocked out by Kevin Kline, who is posing as an airport security man) and then appeared in the lead role for Kenneth Branagh's Peter's Friends in 1992. In the romantic comedy film I.Q. of 1994 he played the role of James Moreland.[18] Portraying Oscar Wilde (a man of whom he had been a fan since the age of 13) in the 1997 film Wilde, he fulfilled to critical acclaim a role that he has said he was "born to play". In 2001, he played the detective in Robert Altman's period costume drama, Gosford Park. In the same year he also appeared in the Dutch film The Discovery of Heaven, directed by Jeroen Krabbé and based on the novel by Harry Mulisch.

In 2003, Fry made his directorial debut with Bright Young Things, adapted by himself from Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies. In 2001, he began hosting the BAFTA Film Awards, a role from which he stepped down in 2006.[19] Later that same year, he wrote the English libretto and dialogue for Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation of The Magic Flute.

Fry continues to make regular film appearances, notably in treatments of literary cult classics. He served as narrator in the 2005 film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and in 2005 he appeared in both A Cock and Bull Story, based on Tristram Shandy, and in V for Vendetta.[20] In 2006, he played the role of gadget-master Smithers in Stormbreaker, and in 2007 he appeared as himself hosting a quiz in St Trinian's. In 2007, Fry wrote a script for a remake of The Dam Busters for director Peter Jackson.[21]

Fry in "Happy Birthday to GNU (2008)"

In 2008, he participated in a film celebrating the 25th anniversary of GNU, Happy Birthday to GNU. Fry was offered a role in Valkyrie but was unable to participate.[22] Fry starred in the Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland, as The Cheshire Cat, alongside Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway.[23]

Radio

Fry came to the attention of radio listeners with the 1986 creation of his supposed alter-ego, Donald Trefusis, whose "wireless essays" were broadcast on the BBC Radio 4 programme Loose Ends. In the 1980s he starred as David Lander in four series of the BBC Radio 4 show Delve Special, written by Tony Sarchet, which became a six part Channel 4 series This is David Lander in 1988. In 1988, Fry wrote and presented a six-part comedy series entitled Saturday Night Fry; frequent radio appearances have ensued (notably on panel games Just a Minute and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue). In 2000, he began starring as Charles Prentiss in the Radio 4 comedy Absolute Power, reprising the role for three further series on radio and two on television. In 2002, Fry voiced Winnie-the-Pooh and was one of the narrators in Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, both written by A.A Milne. He presented a weekly, 20 x 120-minute series, "The Incomplete and Utter History of Classical Music", a 'witty guide' to the genre over the past 1,000 years, on Classic FM.

In 2007, he hosted Current Puns, an exploration of wordplay, and Radio 4: This Is Your Life, to celebrate the radio station's 40th anniversary. He also interviewed Tony Blair as part of a series of podcasts released by 10 Downing Street.[24]

In February 2008, Fry began presenting podcasts entitled Stephen Fry's Podgrams, in which he recounts his life and recent experiences.[16] In July 2008, Fry appeared as himself in I Love Stephen Fry, an Afternoon Play for Radio 4 written by former Fry and Laurie script editor Jon Canter.[25]

In August 2008 he hosted Fry's English Delight, a three-part series on BBC Radio 4 about metaphor, quotation and cliché.[26] Fry returned with a second series a year later.[27]

In the summer 2009 series of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, Fry was one of a trio of hosts replacing Humphrey Lyttelton (the others being Jack Dee and Rob Brydon).[28]

He also lends his voice to the introduction and stings for Phill Jupitus' fortnightly podcast, The Perfect Ten.

Theatre

Fry wrote a play entitled Latin! (or Tobacco and Boys) for the 1980 Edinburgh Festival, where it won the "Fringe First" prize.[29] It had a revival in 2009 at London's Cock Tavern Theatre, directed by Adam Spreadbury-Maher.[30] The Cellar Tapes, the Footlights Revue of 1981, won the Perrier Comedy Award. In 1984, Fry adapted the hugely successful 1930s musical, Me and My Girl, for the West End, where it ran for eight years. He also famously starred in Simon Gray's 1995 play, Cell Mates, from which he left three days into the West End run, pleading stage fright. He later recalled the incident as a hypomanic episode in his documentary on bipolar disorder. In 2007, Fry wrote a Christmas pantomime, Cinderella, which ran at London's Old Vic Theatre.[31] Fry is a long-time fan of the 1960s anarchic British musical comedy group, the Bonzo Dog Band and, particularly, of its eccentric front man, the late Vivian Stanshall. Fry helped to fund an ill-fated 1988 London re-staging of the Stanshall's acclaimed Stinkfoot, a Comic Opera, written by Vivian and Ki Longfellow-Stanshall for the Bristol-based Old Profanity Showboat. Fry performed several of Stanshall's numbers as part of the Bonzo's 26 January 2006 reunion concert at the London Astoria. He also appears as a shiny New Millennium Bonzo on their post-reunion album, Pour l'Amour des Chiens, including his reciting of a recipe for "Salmon Proust", playing a butler in "Hawkeye the Gnu", and voicing ads for the fictitious "Fiasco" stores.

Video games

Fry's voice has been featured in a number of video games, including an appearance as Reaver, a main character in the Xbox 360 game Fable II, and as the narrator in LittleBigPlanet on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable.[32] He also served as narrator on the first four Harry Potter games (Philosopher's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban and the Goblet of Fire).

Advertisments

Fry has lent himself and his voice to many advertisements, for companies and products such as Marks and Spencer, Twinnings, Kenco, Vauxhall, Direct Line, Calpol, Heineken, Alliance & Leicester, After Eights and Orange Mobile.

Literature

Since the publication of his first novel, The Liar (1993), Fry has written three additional novels, several non-fiction works and an autobiography. Making History (1997) is partly set in an alternative universe where Adolf Hitler's father is made infertile and his replacement proves a rather more effective Führer. The book won the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. The Hippopotamus (1994) centers around Edward (Ted/Tedward) Wallace and his stay at his old friend Lord Logan's country manor in Norfolk. The Stars' Tennis Balls (2000) is a modern retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo. Fry's book, The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within, is a guide to writing poetry.

In the United Kingdom, he is a well-known narrator of audiobooks, notably the Harry Potter series.[33] He has recorded audio versions of works by Roald Dahl, Michael Bond, A. A. Milne, Anthony Buckeridge and Douglas Adams, as well as several of his own books.

When writing a book review for Tatler, Fry wrote under an alias, Williver Hendry, editor of A Most Peculiar Friendship: The Correspondence of Lord Alfred Douglas and Jack Dempsey, a field close to Fry's heart as an Oscar Wilde enthusiast. Once a columnist in The Listener and The Daily Telegraph, he now writes a weekly technology column in the Saturday edition of The Guardian. His blog attracted more than 300,000 visitors in its first two weeks of existence.[10]

On 26 May 2009, Fry unveiled The Dongle of Donald Trefusis, an audiobook series following the character Donald Trefusis (a character from Fry's novel The Liar and from the BBC Radio 4 series Loose Ends), set over 12 episodes.[34] After its release, it reached No. 1 on the UK Album Chart album chart list.

On 2 January 2010 it was announced that Fry was "switching off his connections with the outside world" in order to complete a second volume of his autobiography.[35]

Twitter

Fry wields a considerable amount of influence through his use of the social networking site Twitter.[36][37] He is frequently asked to promote various charities and causes, often inadvertently causing the host website to crash due to the sheer volume of traffic generated by his large number of followers, as Fry notes on his website: "Four thousand hits a second all diving down the pipeline at the same time for minutes on end."[38] Fry uses his influence to recommend underexposed musicians and authors (which often see large increases in web hits and sales)[39][40] and to spread contemporary issues in the world of media and politics, notably the dropping of an injunction against The Guardian[41][42] and the lambasting of Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir over her article on deceased Boyzone member Stephen Gately.[43][44]

On 31 October 2009 Stephen Fry sparked debate amongst users again when he announced an intention to leave the social networking site after criticism from another user on Twitter. He retracted the intention the next day.[45]

On 15 November 2009 Stephen's Twitter account reached 1,000,000 followers. He commemorated the million followers milestone with a humorous video blog in which a 'Step Hen Fry' clone speaks from the year 2034 where MySpace, Facebook and Twitter have combined to form 'Twit on MyFace'.[46]

Acclaim

Stephen Fry visits Nightingale House, London, December 2009

In 1995, Fry was presented with an honorary doctorate from the University of Dundee, which named their main Students' Association bar after his novel The Liar; Fry is a patron of its Lip Theatre Company.[47] He also served two consecutive terms—1992 to 1995 and 1995 to 1998—as the student-elected Rector of the University of Dundee. Fry was also awarded an honorary degree from Anglia Ruskin University of Cambridge, England in 2005.[48][49] and was also made honorary president of the Cambridge University Quiz Society and honorary fellow of Queens' College, Cambridge. He is a Patron of the Norwich Playhouse theatre and a Vice President of The Noël Coward Society.[50] Fry was the last person to be named Pipe Smoker of the Year before the award was discontinued.[citation needed]

In December 2006 he was ranked sixth for the BBC's Top Living Icon Award,[51] was featured on The Culture Show, and was voted most intelligent man on television by readers of Radio Times. The Independent on Sunday Pink List named Fry the second most influential gay person in Britain in May 2007. He had taken the twenty-third position on the list the previous year.[52] Later the same month he was announced as the 2007 BT Mind Champion of the Year[53] in recognition of the awareness raised about bipolar disorder by his documentary The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive. Fry was also nominated in "Best Entertainment Performance" for QI and "Best Factual Series" for Secret Life of the Manic Depressive at the 2007 British Academy Television Awards.[citation needed] That same year, Broadcast magazine listed Fry at number four in its "Hot 100" list of influential on-screen performers, describing him as a polymath and a "national treasure".[54] He was also granted a lifetime achievement award at the British Comedy Awards on 5 December 2007[55] and the Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards on 20 January 2010[56].

BBC Four dedicated two nights of programming to Fry on 17 and 18 August 2007, in celebration of his 50th birthday. The first night, comprising programs featuring Fry, began with a sixty-minute documentary entitled Stephen Fry: 50 Not Out. The second night was composed of programs selected by Fry, as well as a 60-minute interview with Mark Lawson and a half-hour special, Stephen Fry: Guilty Pleasures.[citation needed] Stephen Fry Weekend proved such a ratings hit for BBC Four that it was repeated on BBC Two on 16 and 17 of that September. However, there has also been criticism, one journalist describing him as a stupid person's idea of what an intelligent person looks like.[57]

He is mentioned in the dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip song "Thou Shalt Always Kill", in the line "thou shalt not question Stephen Fry".

Fry has claimed to hold the UK record for saying "fuck" the most times on a live television broadcast.[58]

Personal life

Fry struggled to keep his homosexuality secret during his teenage years at public school, and has claimed not to have engaged in sexual activity for sixteen years from 1979 until 1995.[59][60] When asked when he first acknowledged his sexuality, Fry quipped: "I suppose it all began when I came out of the womb. I looked back up at my mother and thought to myself, 'That's the last time I'm going up one of those.'"[61] Fry currently lives in London with his partner, Daniel Cohen, whom he met in 1995.[62] He drives a black TX4 London cab. He also has a second home near King's Lynn, Norfolk.

Fry was an active supporter of the Labour Party for many years, and appeared in a party political broadcast on its behalf with Hugh Laurie and Michelle Collins in November 1993. Despite this, he did not vote in the 2005 General Election because of the stance of both the Labour and Conservative parties with regard to the Iraq War. Despite his praising of the current government for social reform, Fry has been critical of the Labour Party's "Third Way" concept. He is on cordial terms with Prince Charles (despite a mild parody Fry performed in his role of King Charles I in the comedy programme Blackadder: The Cavalier Years), through his work with the Prince's Trust. He attended the wedding of the Prince of Wales to Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005.

Fry is a friend of British comedian and actor (and Blackadder co-star) Rowan Atkinson and was best man at Atkinson's wedding to Sunetra Sastry at the Russian Tea Room in New York City. He was also a friend of British actor John Mills.[63] He was best man at the wedding of Hugh Laurie (whom he considers to be his best friend[64]) and is godfather to all three of Laurie's children.

A fan of cricket, Fry has claimed to be related to former England cricketer C.B. Fry,[65] and was recently interviewed for the Ashes Fever DVD, reporting on England's victory over Australia in the 2005 Ashes series. Regarding football, he is a supporter of Norwich City (as mentioned in Ashes Fever), and is a regular visitor to Carrow Road.

Fry has talked on occasion about his passion for whisky. He visited the Woodford Reserve whiskey distillery in Kentucky, US in his BBC series Stephen Fry in America. Stephen cites his favourite whisky as the Master of Malt 19 year old Tomatin.[66]

He has been described as "deeply dippy for all things digital", claims to have owned the second Macintosh computer sold in the UK (the first going to Douglas Adams) and jokes that he has never encountered a smartphone that he has not bought.[67] He counts Wikipedia among his favourite websites "because I like to find out that I died, and that I'm currently in a ballet in China, and all the other very accurate and important things that Wikipedia brings us all."[68]

Fry has a long interest in Internet production, including his own website since 1997. His current site, The New Adventures of Mr Stephen Fry, has existed since 2002 and has attracted many visitors following his first blog in September 2007, which comprised a 6,500 word "blessay" on smartphones. In February 2008, Fry launched his private podcast series, Stephen Fry's Podgrams, and a forum, including discussions on depression and activities in which Fry is involved. The website content is created by Stephen Fry and produced by Andrew Sampson. Fry is also a supporter[69] of GNU and the Free Software Foundation. For the 25th anniversary of the GNU operating system, Fry appeared in a video explaining some of the philosophy behind GNU by likening it to the sharing found in science.[70] In October 2008, he began posting to his Twitter stream,[71] which he regularly updates.[72] On 16 May 2009, he celebrated the 500,000-follower mark: "Bless my soul 500k followers. And I love you all. Well, all except that silly one. And that's not you."[73]

On 30 April 2008, Fry signed an open letter, published in The Guardian newspaper by some well known Jewish personalities, stating their opposition to celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel.[74] Furthermore, he is a signatory member of the British Jews for Justice for Palestinians organisation, which actively campaigns for Palestinian rights.[75]

A year later, The Guardian published a letter from Fry addressing his younger self, explaining how his future is soon to unfold, reflecting on the positive progression towards gay acceptance and openness around him, and yet not everywhere, while warning on how "the cruel, hypocritical and loveless hand of religion and absolutism has fallen on the world once more".[76]

Fry was among over one hundred signatories to a statement published by Sense About Science on 4 June 2009, condemning British libel laws and their use to "severely curtail the right to free speech on a matter of public interest."[77]

Auschwitz controversy

On 6 October 2009, Fry was interviewed by Jon Snow on Channel 4 News[78] as a signatory of a letter to British Conservative Party leader David Cameron expressing concern about the party's relationship with Poland's opposition national conservative Law and Justice Party in the European Parliament.[79] During the interview, he stated:

There has been a history, let's face it, in Poland of a right-wing catholicism which has been deeply disturbing for those of us who know a little history, and remember which side of the border Auschwitz was on and know the stories, and know much of the anti-semitic, and homophobic and nationalistic elements in countries like Poland.

The remark prompted a complaint from the Polish Embassy in London, an editorial in The Economist and criticism from British Jewish historian David Cesarani.[80][81][82][83] Fry has since posted a six-page apology on his personal weblog, in which he stated:

I offer no excuse. I seemed to imply that the Polish people had been responsible for the most infamous of all the death factories of the Third Reich. I didn't even really at the time notice the import of what I had said, so gave myself no opportunity instantly to retract the statement. It was a rubbishy, cheap and offensive remark that I have been regretting ever since.[84]

I take this opportunity to apologise now. I said a stupid, thoughtless and fatuous thing. It detracted from and devalued my argument, such as it was, and it outraged and offended a large group of people for no very good reason. I am sorry in all directions, and all the more sorry because it is no one's fault but my own, which always makes it so much worse.[84]

Health

Fry has been diagnosed with cyclothymia, a mild form of bipolar disorder.[85] He suffered a nervous breakdown in 1995 while appearing in a West End play called Cell Mates and subsequently walked out of the production, prompting its early closure and incurring the displeasure of co-star Rik Mayall and playwright Simon Gray. Mayall's comedy partner, Adrian Edmondson, made light of the subject in his and Mayall's second Bottom live show. After walking out of the production, Fry went missing for several days while contemplating suicide. He abandoned the idea and left the United Kingdom by ferry, eventually resurfacing in Belgium.[86] Fry has spoken publicly about his experience with bipolar disorder, which was also depicted in the documentary Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic-Depressive.[87][88] In the programme, he interviewed other sufferers of the illness including celebrities Carrie Fisher, Richard Dreyfuss and Tony Slattery. Also featured were chef Rick Stein, whose father committed suicide, Robbie Williams, who talks of his experience with major depression, and comedienne/former mental health nurse Jo Brand.

In 2009, Fry lent his support to a campaign led by the human rights organisation Reprieve to prevent the execution of Akmal Shaikh, a British national who suffered from bipolar disorder, yet, despite calls for clemency, was executed in the People's Republic of China.[89]

Fry has a deviated nasal septum because he fell and broke his nose when he was six. He is six feet five inches tall. (QI Season 4 ep. 11 of 13).

In January 2008, he broke his arm while filming Last Chance to See in Brazil.[90] He later explained in a podcast how the accident happened: while climbing aboard a boat, he slipped between it and the dock, and, while stopping himself from falling into the water, his body weight caused his right humerus to snap. The damage was more severe than first thought: the resulting vulnerability to his radial nerve — he was at risk of losing the use of his arm — was not diagnosed until he saw a consultant in the UK.[91]

As the host of QI, Fry has revealed that he is allergic to both champagne[92] and bumble bee stings.[93]

Appearing on Top Gear in 2009, Fry had lost a significant amount of weight, prompting host Jeremy Clarkson to ask jokingly, "Where's the rest of you?" Fry explained that he had shed a total of 6 stone (84 lb; 38 kg).[94]

Business

In 2008, Fry formed SamFry Ltd, with long-term collaborator Andrew Sampson, to produce and fund new content, as well as manage his official website.[95]

Bibliography

References

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  14. ^ "ITV axes Stephen Fry's 'Kingdom'". Digital Spy. 9 October 2009. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tv/news/a181343/itv-axes-stephen-frys-kingdom.html. Retrieved 11 November 2009. 
  15. ^ "BBC — The future role of public service broadcasting — Stephen Fry". http://www.bbc.co.uk/thefuture/video_fry.shtml. Retrieved 19 June 2008. 
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  18. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110099/
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  30. ^ "Review of Latin!". Notesfromtheunderground.co.uk. http://www.notesfromtheunderground.co.uk/fryandley.html. Retrieved 11 November 2009. 
  31. ^ "Old Vic Theatre — Cinderella". http://www.oldvictheatre.com/whatson.php?id=37. 
  32. ^ "Stephen Fry Lending British Charm to Little Big Planet PSP: News from 1UP.com". 1UP.com. 21 April 2009. http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3173855. Retrieved 21 April 2008. 
  33. ^ "News: Rowling & Stephen Fry attend British Comedy Awards". www.hpana.com. http://www.hpana.com/news.20304.html. Retrieved 14 January 2008. 
  34. ^ "The New Adventures of Mr Stephen Fry - The Dongle of Donald Trefusis - Episode 3 now available". Stephenfry.com. http://www.stephenfry.com/dongle/. Retrieved 25 July 2009. 
  35. ^ BBC News: Stephen Fry quits the web to write his autobiography
  36. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8406898.stm
  37. ^ "Don't laugh – Stephen Fry is giving the orders now". Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/gill-hornby/6349700/Dont-laugh---Stephen-Fry-is-giving-the-orders-now.html. Retrieved 17 October 2009. 
  38. ^ Stephen Fry: (26 August 2009). "Servers With A Smile « The New Adventures of Stephen Fry". Stephenfry.com. http://www.stephenfry.com/2009/08/26/servers-with-a-smile/#more-1197. Retrieved 17 October 2009. 
  39. ^ Published: 7:00AM BST 11 September 2009 (11 September 2009). "Stephen Fry's Twitter posts on David Eagleman novel sparks 6000% sales spike". Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/6170777/Stephen-Frys-Twitter-posts-on-David-Eagleman-novel-sparks-6000-sales-spike.html. Retrieved 17 October 2009. 
  40. ^ "UK | Wales | North West Wales | Fry's Twitter lift for singer, 16". BBC News. 14 October 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_east/8306827.stm. Retrieved 17 October 2009. 
  41. ^ Alan Rusbridger (13 May 2009). "The Trafigura fiasco tears up the textbook". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/oct/14/trafigura-fiasco-tears-up-textbook. Retrieved 17 October 2009. 
  42. ^ Jacobson, Seth (13 October 2009). "Twitter claims another scalp as Trafigura backs down | Business | News & Comment". The First Post. http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/54667,news-comment,business,twitter-claims-another-scalp-as-trafigura-backs-down. Retrieved 17 October 2009. 
  43. ^ "UK | Anger over Mail column on Gately". BBC News. 16 October 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8311499.stm. Retrieved 17 October 2009. 
  44. ^ "Showbiz - News - Twitter outrage over Gately smear". Digital Spy. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/showbiz/news/a182344/twitter-outrage-over-gately-smear.html. Retrieved 17 October 2009. 
  45. ^ "Fry ends row with Twitter critic". 1 November 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8336425.stm. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  46. ^ "Twillionth". http://www.stephenfry.com/2009/11/14/twillionth/. 
  47. ^ "Lip Theatre: History". Dusa.dundee.ac.uk. http://www.dusa.dundee.ac.uk/lip/history/history.htm. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  48. ^ "Anglia Ruskin University's Honorary Graduate Site". Anglia.ac.uk. http://www.anglia.ac.uk/ruskin/en/home/microsites/honorary/fry.html. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  49. ^ "England | Cambridgeshire | Fry talks of Cambridge 'elitism'". BBC News. 22 November 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cambridgeshire/4459724.stm. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  50. ^ "Welcome to the Noël Coward Society". Noelcoward.net. http://www.noelcoward.net/html/committee2007.html. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  51. ^ "Living Icons". BBC. 11 December 2006. http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2006/12_december/01/icons.shtml. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  52. ^ "Independent on Sunday Pink List 2007". News.independent.co.uk. 6 May 2007. http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article2516664.ece. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  53. ^ Stephen Fry named BT Mind Champion of the Year 2007
  54. ^ "Hot 100: Talent" (free registration required). Broadcast. 18 December 2007. http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/news/people/2007/12/hot_100_talent.html. Retrieved 22 December 2007. 
  55. ^ Hemley, Matthew (6 December 2007). "Gavin and Stacey sweeps British Comedy Awards". The Stage. http://www.thestage.co.uk/news/newsstory.php/19070/gavin-and-stacey-sweeps-british-comedy-awards. Retrieved 16 December 2007. 
  56. ^ "Delight for Stephen Fry at TV awards". The Independent. 21 January 2010. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/stephen-frys-tv-delight-1874511.html?action=Popup&ino=1. Retrieved 22 January 2010. 
  57. ^ Stephen Fry: The most annoying man in Britain? The erstwhile national treasure is in serious danger of Twittering away all his popularity Times Online, 6 September 2009
  58. ^ Stephen Fry, Paperweight (Random House, 1992), p.173
  59. ^ "The Adventures of Mr Stephen Fry". http://www.stephenfry.com/moab/one-mans-journey/. Retrieved 11 May 2008. 
  60. ^ The Sunday Herald. "Borne to be Wilde". http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4156/is_20030928/ai_n12584983. Retrieved 11 May 2008. 
  61. ^ Levine, Nick (19 September 2007). "Ten Things You Never Knew About Stephen Fry". Digital Spy. http://www.digitalspy.com/showbiz/a75964/ten-things-you-never-knew-about-stephen-fry.html. Retrieved 23 March 2009. 
  62. ^ "Stephen Fry: A restless soul". The Independent. 20 September 2004. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/stephen-fry-a-restless-soul-546925.html. Retrieved 16 September 2008. 
  63. ^ "Entertainment | Film | Acting legend Sir John Mills dies". BBC News. 24 April 2005. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/4476875.stm. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  64. ^ "Stephen Fry on Hugh Laurie and House MD". Megavideo. http://www.megavideo.com/?v=XC1DCUYS. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  65. ^ "Series A, Episode 8". QI. 30 October 2003. No. 8, season A.
  66. ^ "Reuters: Fry says 'Aye' to Master of Malt Whisky". reuters.com. 7 October 2009. http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS147636+07-Oct-2009+BW20091007. Retrieved 9 October 2009. 
  67. ^ "Dork talk". Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/series/dorktalk. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  68. ^ "Videojug: Interview with Stephen Fry". Videojug.com. 31 May 2007. http://www.videojug.com/interview/stephen-fry-the-internet. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  69. ^ "Patronage of GNU Project". Gnu.org. http://www.gnu.org/thankgnus/2008supporters.html#TOCpatrons. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  70. ^ "Freedom Fry - "Happy birthday to GNU"". Gnu.org. 20 October 2008. http://www.gnu.org/fry/happy-birthday-to-gnu.html. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  71. ^ "Fry's first Twitter post". Twitter.com. 9 October 2008. https://twitter.com/stephenfry/status/952627960. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  72. ^ "Stephen Fry's Twitter Stream". Twitter.com. https://twitter.com/stephenfry. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  73. ^ Fry, Stephen. "stephenfry" Twitter 16 May 2009 (accessed 18 May 2009)
  74. ^ Close. "''The Guardian'': We're not celebrating Israel's anniversary". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/30/israelandthepalestinians. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  75. ^ "'Signatories'". jfjfp.com. http://jfjfp.com/?page_id=9. Retrieved 8 November 2009. 
  76. ^ Stephen Fry. "'The Guardian': Stephen Fry's letter to himself: Dearest absurd child". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/apr/30/stephen-fry-letter-gay-rights. Retrieved 10 May 2009. 
  77. ^ "The law has no place in scientific disputes". Sense About Science. 7 October 2009. http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/index.php/site/project/334. Retrieved 12 October 2009. 
  78. ^ "Fry's fears over Tories' anti-gay links". Channel 4. http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/domestic_politics/fryaposs+fears+over+toriesapos+antigay+links/3374297. Retrieved 9 October 2009. 
  79. ^ Charter, David. "Right-wing Polish MEP Michal Kaminski becomes Tories controversial EU leader". Times Newspapers Ltd.. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6715542.ece. Retrieved 9 October 2009. 
  80. ^ "Europe.view: Unoccupied Britain". The Economist. http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displayStory.cfm?story_id=14635055. Retrieved 17 October 2009. 
  81. ^ David Ceserani (13 October 2009). "Stephen Fry's Auschwitz blunder". Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/oct/12/stephen-fry-auschwitz-poland. Retrieved 17 October 2009. 
  82. ^ Day, Matthew. "Stephen Fry provokes Polish fury over Auschwitz remark". Telegraph Media Group. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/poland/6274395/Stephen-Fry-provokes-Polish-fury-over-Auschwitz-remark.html. Retrieved 9 October 2009. 
  83. ^ "Complaints: Fry 'slandered' Poland over Auschwitz". Channel 4. http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/domestic_politics/complaints+fry+aposslanderedapos+poland+over+auschwitz/3377697. Retrieved 9 October 2009. 
  84. ^ a b "Poles, Politeness and Politics in the age of Twitter". http://www.stephenfry.com/2009/10/19/poles-politeness-and-politics-in-the-age-of-twitter/. Retrieved 19 October 2009. 
  85. ^ "Health: ''The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive''". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/tv_and_radio/secretlife_documentary.shtml. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  86. ^ "Comedian Fry reveals suicide bid". BBC News. 21 July 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/5202066.stm. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  87. ^ "Cardiff University: Genetic research into mood disorders". Cardiff.ac.uk. 16 October 2008. http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/for/prospective/inter/news/stevenfry.html. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  88. ^ Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, BBC. Retrieved 11 November 2009.
  89. ^ "Stephen Fry begs China to spare life of mentally ill Briton facing death by firing squad". Daily Mail. 12 October 2009. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1219618/Stephen-Fry-begs-China-spare-life-mentally-ill-Briton-facing-death-firing-squad.html. Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  90. ^ "Fry breaks arm filming in Brazil". BBC. 18 January 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7196783.stm. Retrieved 18 January 2008. 
  91. ^ "Stephen Fry's Podgrams: Episode 1, Broken Arm". Stephenfry.com. http://www.stephenfry.com/podcasts/. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  92. ^ QI Series C/3, Episode 10
  93. ^ QI Series C/3, Episode 7
  94. ^ Top Gear, 28 June 2009, BBC Two
  95. ^ "About". Stephenfry.com. http://www.stephenfry.com/misc/about-us/. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
Paul Henderson Scott
Rector of the University of Dundee
1992–1998
Succeeded by
Tony Slattery

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

If ignorance is bliss, why aren't there more happy people in the world?

Stephen Fry (born August 24, 1957) is a British writer, comedian, actor, broadcaster and director.

Also see: A Bit Of Fry And Laurie

Contents

Sourced

  • An original idea. That can't be too hard. The library must be full of them.
    • The Liar (1991)
  • I am a lover of truth, a worshipper of freedom, a celebrant at the altar of language and purity and tolerance. That is my religion, and every day I am sorely, grossly, heinously and deeply offended, wounded, mortified and injured by a thousand different blasphemies against it. When the fundamental canons of truth, honesty, compassion and decency are hourly assaulted by fatuous bishops, pompous, illiberal and ignorant priests, politicians and prelates, sanctimonious censors, self-appointed moralists and busy-bodies, what recourse of ancient laws have I? None whatever. Nor would I ask for any. For unlike these blistering imbeciles my belief in my religion is strong and I know that lies will always fail and indecency and intolerance will always perish.
    • "Trefusis Blasphemes" radio broadcast
  • If I had a large amount of money I should certainly found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases and yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence and oppression that howls daily about our ears.
    • "Trefusis on Any Questions" in Paperweight (1993) p. 61.
    • Originally broadcast on Loose Ends, BBC Radio 4, circa 1987.
  • I don't need you to remind me of my age, I have a bladder to do that for me.
    • "Trefusis Returns!" in Paperweight (1993) p. 279.
    • Originally printed in The Daily Telegraph circa 1990.
  • (On libraries) What's great about them is that anybody can go into them and find a book and borrow it free of charge and read it. They don't have to steal it from a bookshop... You know when you're young, you're growing up, they're almost sexually exciting places because books are powerhouses of knowledge, and therefore they're kind of slightly dark and dangerous. You see books that kind of make you go 'Oh!'
  • The key word for me (my spleen isn't really big enough to explode with all the splenetic juices of fury that drive me when I consider this), but the real key word that triggers my rage is the word 'energy', when people start talking about it in terms of negative or positive types. For instance, "there's very negative energy in here." What are you talking about? What do you mean? I mean, let's think about it. What does energy mean? Well, we know what it means: energy from petrol when it's burned, it moves the car. "This room has positive energy" — well, where the f**k's it going then? It's not moving. It's covering up such woolly thinking, such pathetic nonsense. And astrology: most people will say of astrology, "Well, it's harmless fun." And I should say that for 80% of the cases it probably is harmless fun, but there's a strong way in which it isn't harmless. One, because it is so anti-science. You will hear things like, "Science doesn't know everything." Well, of course science doesn"t know everything. But, because science doesn't know everything, it doesn't mean that science knows nothing. Science knows enough for us to be watched by a few million people now on television, for these lights to be working, for quite extraordinary miracles to have taken place in terms of the harnessing of the physical world and our dim approaches towards understanding it. And as Wittgenstein quite rightly said, "When we understand every single secret of the universe, there will still be left the eternal mystery of the human heart."
    • Room 101 (2001)
  • On the subject of biblical texts and examples to why you can't do certain things with your body that you wish to, I find that absolutely absurd. I've always been extremely uncomfortable with the idea in any society that the belief is based on revealed truth, that's to say on a text like a Bible or a Qur'an, or whatever it is. It seems to me that the greatness of our culture, for all its incredible faults, is that we have grown up on the Greek ideal of discovering the truth, discovering by looking around us, by empirical experiment, by the combination of the experience of generations of ancestors who have contributed to our sum knowledge of the way the world works, and so on. And to have that snatched away and to be told what to think by a book, however great it may be in places, this is a book that says you can sell your daughter into slavery, it's a book that bans menstruating women from within miles of temples. The fact that it also says that for one man to lie with another man is an abomination, is no more made relevant or important than the fact that you can't eat shellfish.
  • I don't think we should ever allow religion the trick of maintaining that the spiritual and the beautiful and the noble and the altruistic and the morally strong and the virtuous are in any way inventions of religion or particular or peculiar to religion. It's certainly true that you could say the Christ who said "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone" - that's a wonderful to have said. Anyone who said that would earn a great deal of respect and interest, you'd say that's one of most beautiful phrases ever, ever uttered. But there is no, absolutely no monopoly on beauty and truth in religion, and I suppose one of the reasons that I'm so fond of the Greeks, and one of the reasons that the great radical and poet Shelley wrote his Prometheus Unbound was that he understood that if you were to compare the Genesis myth, which has, which had bedeviled our culture, the Western European culture for a very long time indeed, for two thousand years, it was essentially a myth in which we should be ashamed of ourselves. God says: who told you you were naked? What possible reason have we to believe that we are naked or that if we are naked there is something to be ashamed of, that what we are and what we do is something for which we should ever apologise, we should apologise for our dreams, our impulses, our appetites, our drives, our desires, are not things to apologise for. Our actions sometimes we do apologise for and we excoriate ourselves for and rightly, but that's the Genesis myth. The Greek myth of Prometheus, who stole fire from heaven and who gave to his favourite - his favourite mortal: man. In other words what the Greeks were saying is that we have divine fire, whatever is divine is in us, as humans. We are as good as the gods. The gods are capricious and mean and foolish and stupid and jealous and rapine and all the things that Greek mythology show us that they are, and that's a much better it seems to me - and for that the gods punished Prometheus and chained him to the Caucasus and vultures chewed away at his liver everyday as it regrew because he was immortal of course, and Shelley quite rightly understood - and interestingly his wife of course wrote Frankenstein as the modern Prometheus - understood that that mythological idea, that champion of a real humanity and a real humanism, as we've come to call it, is we are captains of our soul and masters of our destiny, and that we contain any divine fire that there is, divine fire that is fine and great. I mean it's perfectly obvious that if there were ever a God he has lost all possible taste. You've only got to look - forget the aggression and unpleasantness of the radical right or the Islamic hordes to the East - the sheer lack of intelligence and insight and ability to express themselves and to enthuse others of the priesthood and the clerisy here, in this country, and indeed in Europe, you know God once had Bach and Michelangelo on his side, he had Mozart, and now who does he have? People with ginger whiskers and tinted spectacles who reduce the glories of theology to a kind of sharing, you know? That's what religion has become, a feeble and anaemic nonsense, because we understood that the fire was within us, it was not in some idol on an altar, whether it was a gold cross or whether it was a Buddha or anything else, that we have it. The fault is in our stars, but also the glory is (correcting himself) in us not in our stars. The glory - anything - we take credit for what is great about man and we take blame for what is dreadful about man, we neither grovel or apologise at the feet of a god, or are so infantile as to project the idea that we once had a father as human beings and we therefore should have a divine one too. We have to grow up, which is partly what Christopher was saying.
  • Almost the whole of my text at the moment, in my head as I fall asleep, is summed up by the word "contempt". Contempt, in politics, for the hypocrisy, the double standards, the double dealing, the corruption and the moral suasion. It's almost impossible for me to explain just how deeply I feel contempt. I want to go into detail - and I think you'll be rather shocked, and I hope rather edified, by what I have to say. So who are these terrible hypocrites? Who are these double dealers? Who are these liars and fraudulent corrupt people? Well, you're listening to one of them: that's me. And I'm talking to millions of them: that's you. It's not the politicians, God bless them. Sexless, uninteresting, graceless and very often styleless people as they may be, it is we who are the problem in politics. We expect a very high standard of living. We expect food to be cheap and available. We expect energy to be cheap and available. we also expect to be able to mouth off at parties about how terrible it is that the ozone layer is being eaten away and the glaciers are melting and how awful it is that people are starving in other countries. And we pay this group of styleless sexless people whom we call politicians a small amount of money in order to lay off our own guilt. Our own cant and hypocrisy is laid at their door. And apparently, it's they who are the hypocrites. It is they who are corrupt. it is they who refuse to solve the problems of the world. Well, it isn't. It's us. It's me, and it's you. Take this week, for example. Suppose you're prime minister, you've got all these illegal immigrants. What are you supposed to do? Are you supposed to hide the true facts? That's hardly something the public would accept, so you campaign and you say "we don't know how many there are - let's do something about it", and then you're accused of incompetence. Well, of course you don't know how many there are: they're illegal immigrants. Do we expect magic from our politicians? We're not going to get it. They're just human beings like you and me. And what about this "Let's Talk" business? Yes, it sounds like a very bad BT advert. On the other hand, what would we say if they didn't say that? We'd say that they're arrogant, and that they never listen. They can't win because they've got us to serve, and we are filth. The wheels have come off the New Labour project, everyone agrees, and so therefore it will come to pass. All aeroplanes have a certain amount of life in the sky, and then metal fatigue hits and they fall out of it. As someone who worked hard for a Labour victory in the 90s, do I regret it? Not really. It was bound to happen. And it'll happen with the next government, and the one after it. Because all governments serve us. They serve the filth.
  • I should say today that it's tragic that people lose faith in what was once an honourable profession but people will lose faith in journalists. There's nothing one can do about it. People no longer trust journalists - we'll have to turn to politics instead for our belief in people. I almost mean that. Although, of course, anybody can talk about snouts in troughs and go on about it, for journalists to do so is almost beyond belief. Beyond belief. I know lots of journalists - I know more journalists than I know politicians - and I've never met a more venal and disgusting crowd of people when it comes to expenses and allowances...Not all [of them] but then not all human beings are either. I've cheated expenses. I've fiddled things. You have, of course you have. Let's not confuse what politicians get really wrong - things like wars, things where people die - with the rather tedious bourgeois obsession with whether or not they've charged for their wisteria. It's not that important, it really isn't. It isn't what we're fighting for. It isn't what voting is for and the idea that 'Oh, we've all lost faith in politics' [is] nonsense. It's a journalistic made-up frenzy. I know you don't want me to say that. You want me to say "No, it matters, it's important." It isn't it. Believe me, it isn't. It's not the big deal; it's not what we should be worrying about. I know no one's going to pay any attention and newspapers will great joy over filling yards and yards of newsprint with tiny, pointless details of this politician's or that politician's squalid and sad little life as they see it. It's not the big picture, it really isn't. You know, we get the politicians we deserve, it's our fault as much as anybody else's. This has been going on for years and suddenly because a journalist discovers it it's the biggest story ever! It's absolute nonsense, it really is.
  • There’s nothing worse than the British in one of their fits of morality.
    • On the expenses scandal in the UK.
    • Quoted in Pink News
  • Greasy, miserable, British and pathetic
    • On the sacking of Angus Deayton from Have I Got News For You
    • On the BBC Website
  • He takes coke and has slept with a prostitute - but he's a TV presenter for God's sake!
    • On the sacking of Angus Deayton from Have I Got News For You.
    • Quoted in The Independent
  • I think faith in each other is much harder than faith in God or faith in crystals. I very rarely have faith in God; I occasionally have little spasms of it, but they go away, if I think hard enough about it. I am incandescent with rage at the idea of horoscopes and of crystals and of the nonsense of 'New Age', or indeed even more pseudo-scientific things: self-help, and the whole culture of 'searching for answers', when for me, as someone brought up in the unashamed Western tradition of music and poetry and philosophy, all the answers are there in the work that has been done by humanity before us, in literature, in art, in science, in all the marvels that have created this moment now, instead of people looking away. The image to me . . . is gold does exist, and for 'gold' say 'truth', say 'the answer', say 'love', say 'justice', say anything: it does exist. But the only way in this world you can achieve gold is to be incredibly intelligent about geology, to learn what mankind has learnt, to learn where it might lie, and then break your fingers and blister your skin in digging for it, and then sweat and sweat in a forge, and smelt it. And you will have gold, but you will never have it by closing your eyes and wishing for it. No angel will lean out of the bar of heaven and drop down sheets of gold for you. And we live in a society in which people believe they will. But the real answer, that there is gold, and that all you have to do is try and understand the world enough to get down into the muck of it, and you will have it, you will have truth, you will have justice, you will have understanding, but not by wishing for it.
  • Pathetic, naive, like small noisy tantrums.
    • On the e-book Poets Against the War.
    • Interview with The Daily Telegraph promoting his book The Ode Most Travelled.[1]
  • You cannot work too hard at poetry. People are bad at it not because they have tin ears, but because they simply don't have the faintest idea how much work goes into it. It's not as if you're ordering a pizza or doing something that requires direct communication in a very banal way. But it seems these days the only people who spend time over things are retired people and prisoners. We bolt things, untasted. It's so easy to say, 'That'll do.' Everyone's in a hurry. People are intellectually lazy, morally lazy, ethically lazy...All the time. When people get angry with a traffic warden they don't stop and think what it would be like to be a traffic warden or how annoying it would be if people could park wherever they liked. People talk lazily about how hypocritical politicians are. But everyone is. On the one hand we hate that petrol is expensive and on the other we go on about global warming. We abrogate the responsibility for thought and moral decisions onto others and then have the luxury of saying it's not good enough.
  • I genuinely believe that the Catholic church is not, to put it at its mildest, a force for good in the world. And therefore it is important for me to try and martial my facts as well I can to explain why I think that. But I want first of all to say that I have no quarrel, no argument and I wish to express no contempt for individual devout and pious members of that church. It would be impertinent and wrong of me to express any antagonism towards any individual who wishes to find salvation in whatever form they wish to express it. That to me is sacrosanct as much as any article of faith is sacrosanct to anyone of any church or any faith in the world. It’s very important. It’s also very important to me as it happens that I have my own believes. They are a belief in the Enlightenment, they’re a belief in the eternal adventure of trying to discover moral truth in the world. And there is nothing, sadly, that the Catholic church and its hierarchs likes to do more than to attack the Enlightenment. It did so at the time – reference was made to Galileo and the fact that he was tortured for trying to explain the Copernican theory of the universe. Just imagine in this square mile how many people were burned for reading the Bible in English. And one of the principle burners and tortures of those who tried to read the Bible in English here in London was Thomas More. Now, that’s a long time ago, it’s not relevant. Except, that it was only last century that Thomas More was made a saint and it was only in the year 2000 that the last pope, the Pole, he made Thomas More the Patron Saint of Politicians. This is a man who put people on the rack for daring to own a Bible in English. He tortured them for owning a Bible in their own language. The idea that the Catholic church exists to disseminate the word of the Lord is nonsense. It is the only owner of the truth for the billions that it likes to boast about. Because those billions are uneducated and poor, as again it likes to boast about. It’s perhaps unfair of me as a gay man to moan this enormous institution, which is the largest and most powerful church on earth. It has over a billion, as they like to tell us, members, each one of whom is under strict instructions to believe the dogmas of the church, but may wrestle personally with them of course. It’s hard for me to be told that I am evil, because I think of myself as someone who is filled with love. Whose only purpose in life is to achieve love and who feels love for so much of nature and the world and for everything else. We certainly don’t need the stigmatisation, the victimisation that leads to the playground bullying when people say: “You’re a disordered, morally evil individual.” That’s not nice, it isn’t nice. The kind of cruelty in Catholic education and the kind of child abuse – let’s not call it child abuse, it was child rape – the kind of child rape that went on systematically for so long... Let’s imagine that we can overlook this and say it has nothing whatever to do with the structure and nature of the Catholic church and the twisted and neurotic and hysterical way that its leaders are chosen, the celibacy, the nuns, the monks, the priesthood: this is not natural and normal, ladies and gentlemen, in 2009. It really isn’t. I have yet to approach one of the subject dearest to my heart. I’ve made three documentary films on subject of AIDS in Africa. My particular love is the country of Uganda, it’s one of the countries that I love most in the world. There was a period when Uganda had the worst incidence of HIV/AIDS in the world. But through an amazing initiative called ABC: Abstinence, Be faithful, Correct use of condoms... Those three – I am not denying that abstinence is a very good way of not getting AIDS, it really is, it works. So does being faithful, but so do condoms! And do not deny it! And this Pope not satisfied with saying: “Condoms are against our religion. Please consider first abstinence, second being faithful to your partner,” he spreads that lie that condoms actually increase the incidence of AIDS. He actually makes sure that AIDS is conditional on saying “no” to condoms. I have been to – there is a hospital in Bwindi in the west of Uganda where I do quite a lot of work – it is unbelievable, the pain and suffering you see. Now yes, yes it is true, abstinence will stop it. It’s the strangest thing about this church, it is obsessed with sex, absolutely obsessed. Now they will say we “with our permissive society and rude jokes are obsessed.” No, we have a healthy attitude. We like it, it’s fun, it’s jolly, because it’s a primary impulse it can be dangerous and dark and difficult. It’s a bit like food in that respect only even more exciting. The only people who are obsessed with food are anorexics and the morbidly obese and that in erotic terms is the Catholic church in a nutshell. Do you know who would be the last person ever to be accepted as a prince of the church? The Galilean carpenter, that Jew. They would kick him out before he tried to cross the threshold. He would be so ill at ease in the church. What would he think – what would he think of St. Peter’s? What would he think of the wealth and the power and the self-justification and the wheedling apologies? The Pope could decide that all this power, all this wealth, this hierarchy of princes and bishops and archbishops and priests and monks and nuns could be sent out in the world with money and art treasures to put the back in the countries that they once raped and violated. They could give that money away and they could concentrate on the apparent essence of their belief. And then I would stand here and say that Catholic church may well be a force for good in the world, but until that day, it is not. Thank you.
    • Abridged Intelligence² debate speech: "The Catholic church is a force for good in the world", November 7th 2009

Moab is My Washpot (autobiography, 1997)

  • I have always disbelieved that Sicilian saying about revenge being a dish best served cold. I feel that--don't you?--when I see blinking, quivering octogenarian Nazi war criminals being led away in chains. Why not then? It's too late now. I want to see them taken back in time and punished then...Blame, certainly, is a dish only edible when served fresh and warm. Old blames, grudges and scores congeal and curdle and cause the most terrible indigestion.
  • I have to mime at parties when everyone sings Happy Birthday . . . mime or mumble and rumble and growl and grunt so deep that only moles, manta rays and mushrooms can hear me.
    • on his frustrating inability to sing
  • I know that my early life was at one and the same time so common as to be unremarkable, and so strange as to be the stuff of fiction. I know of course that this is how all human lives are, but that it is only given to a few of us to luxuriate in the bath of self-revelation, self-curiosity, apology, revenge, bafflement, vanity and egoism that goes under the name Autobiography. You have seen me at my washpot scrubbing at the grime of years: to wallow in a washpot may not be the same thing as to be purified and cleansed, but I have come away from this very draining, highly bewildering and passionately intense few months feeling slightly less dirty. Less dirty about the first twenty years of my life, at least. The second twenty, now that is another story.
  • It is a cliché that most clichés are true, but then like most clichés, that cliché is untrue.
  • It is, I know, for I have experienced it perhaps twice in my life, an awful privilege to be too much loved and perhaps the kindest thing I ever did in my life was never to let Matthew know to what degree he had destroyed my peace and my happiness.
  • I remember nothing of this, no ambulance rides, nothing. Nothing between switching out the bedside lamp and the sudden indignity of rebirth: the slaps, the brightness, the tubing, the speed, the urgent insistence that I be choked back into breathing life. I have felt so sorry for babies ever since.
    • On his suicide attempt at age 17
  • LSD reveals the whatness of things, their quiddity, their essence. The wateriness of water is suddenly revealed to you, the carpetness of carpets, the woodness of wood, the yellowness of yellow, the fingernailness of fingernails, the allness of all, the nothingness of all, the allness of nothing. For me music gives access to every one of these essences of existence, but at a fraction of the social or financial cost of a drug and without the need to cry 'Wow!' all the time, which is one of LSD's most distressing and least endearing side-effects.
  • When I had first caught sight of Matthew I saw the beauty in everything. Now I saw only ugliness and decay. All beauty was in the past. Again and again I wrote in poems, in notes, on scraps of paper. My whole life stretched out gloriously behind me. If I wrote that sick phrase once, I wrote it fifty times. And I believed it, too.
  • Life, that can shower you with so much splendour, is unremittingly cruel to those who have given up.
  • My vocal cords are made of tweed. I give off an air of Oxford donnishness and old BBC wirelesses.
  • My first words, as I was being born... I looked up at my mother and said, "that's the last time I'm coming out one of those."
    • On being gay
      • Stephen Fry actually admitted this was a quote from a friend, not himself. (Moab Is My Washpot)
  • I used many times to touch my own chest and feel, under its asthmatic quiver, the engine of the heart and lungs and blood and feel amazed at what I sensed was the enormity of the power I possessed. Not magical power, but real power. The power simply to go on, the power to endure, that is power enough, but I felt I had also the power to create, to add, to delight, to amaze and to transform.
  • Didn't Woody Allen say that all literature was a footnote to Faust? Perhaps all adolescence is a dialogue between Faust and Christ. We tremble on the brink of selling that part of ourselves that is real, unique, angry, defiant and whole for the rewards of attainment, achievement, success and the golden prizes of integration and acceptance; but we also in our great creating imagination, rehearse the sacrifice we will make: the pain and terror we will take from others' shoulders; our penetration into the lives and souls of our fellows; our submission to willingness to be rejected and despised for the sake of truth and love and, in the wilderness, our angry rebuttals of the hypocrisy, deception and compromise of a world which we see to be so false. There is nothing so self-righteous nor so right as an adolescent imagination.
    • On adolescence

Quotes from Twitter

  • Weak watery sun, but sun nonetheless. Why does it take me nearly 2 hours just to get through the morning emails? Pah, poo and pants. Twitter (April 18, 2009).
  • I gather a repulsive nobody writing in a paper no one of any decency would be seen dead with has written something loathesome and inhumane.

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/16/jan-moir-column-on-stephe_n_323964.html

External links

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Simple English

File:Stephen
Stephen Fry

Stephen John Fry (born 24 August 1957, Hampstead, London) is a British comedian, writer, TV personality, and journalist. He presents TV show QI. He used to work a lot with Hugh Laurie.








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