Simon Bird

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Simon Bird
Simon Bird, 2010.jpg
Bird at the BAFTAs TV Awards, June 6, 2010
BornSimon Antony Bird[1]
(1984-08-19) 19 August 1984 (age 29)
Guildford, Surrey, England
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge Birkbeck, University of London
OccupationActor, Comedian
Years active2004-present
 
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Simon Bird
Simon Bird, 2010.jpg
Bird at the BAFTAs TV Awards, June 6, 2010
BornSimon Antony Bird[1]
(1984-08-19) 19 August 1984 (age 29)
Guildford, Surrey, England
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge Birkbeck, University of London
OccupationActor, Comedian
Years active2004-present

Simon Antony Bird (born 19 August 1984) is an English actor, and comedian. He is best known for playing Will McKenzie in the BAFTA-winning E4 sitcom The Inbetweeners, and for playing Adam Goodman in the Channel 4 Comedy Friday Night Dinner.

Early life[edit]

Bird was born in Guildford, Surrey in the United Kingdom into a "solidly professional middle-class" family as the third of four children[2] of Heather (née Gage) and Graham Bird,[3] both of whom are economics professors at the University of Surrey.[4][5] Bird's three siblings are Alan, currently a Deputy Head at Brighton College; Anne, a doctor in New York City in the United States; and Tom, a medical student at the University of East Anglia.[3]

Bird was educated at Royal Grammar School, Guildford and the Queens' College at the University of Cambridge, where he read English.[6] At Cambridge, Bird was the President of the Footlights, the university's sketch and theatrical group.[7]

Career[edit]

Early comedy career[edit]

While completing an M.A. in Cultural & Critical Studies at Birkbeck College, Bird set up the sketch comedy group "The House of Windsor" with Joe Thomas (who plays Simon Cooper in The Inbetweeners) and Jonny Sweet.[citation needed] They performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 2007 and in 2008 with a show called The Meeting, described as a site-specific comedy installation set in an actual boardroom, which received national media attention and a clutch of five-star reviews.[citation needed] Bird and Thomas were also regulars on series 1 and 2 of The Weekly Show, a podcast for Channel 4 Radio (2006-7).

Bird also performs stand-up comedy and took part in Chortle's national student comedy awards in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, coming second in his final attempt. (He was a finalist in 2006, and was disqualified for deliberately breaking the rules in 2007.)[8][9]

Breakthrough[edit]

In 2008, Bird was cast in E4's teen comedy The Inbetweeners as Will McKenzie, along with Joe Thomas.[10] He won the 2008 British Comedy Award for Best Male Newcomer[11] and the 2009 British Comedy Award for Best Actor.[12] He was also nominated for Best Comedy Performance at the 2008 Royal Television Society Awards,[13] and Best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme at the 2009 BAFTA Awards.[11]

Subsequent work[edit]

In 2010 Bird created a BBC Three comedy panel show The King Is Dead, in which a well-known person is hypothetically killed off and a panel of three personalities go head-to-head in a series of satirical quiz rounds and challenges in their bid to replace them. He hosted alongside Nick Mohammed and Katy Wix.

Another of Bird's projects is Friday Night Dinner, a single-camera comedy written by Robert Popper and made by Big Talk Productions. Although his character in Friday Night Dinner is a member of a Jewish family (the Friday night dinner being a Jewish tradition), Bird himself is not Jewish.[14]

Simon Bird returned to the character of Will McKenzie in The Inbetweeners Movie which was released on 17 August 2011.

Bird has also recently co-created, co-written, and co-starred in a pilot, 'Chickens', for Channel 4, alongside Jonny Sweet and Joe Thomas. It is about three men who remain in England during World War I. It was broadcast as part of Channel 4's Comedy Showcase season. In 2012, Sky1 picked up a 6 episode season, filming began in late 2012 and the series premiered in Summer 2013.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Bird is a well-known Crystal Palace FC fan.[16]

Of his choice of career, Bird states that, "I never came into this industry to be an actor. I wanted to be a comedian. All the people I love are being themselves – like Larry David" and that his parents wish for him to complete his Ph.D..[17]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
2011The Inbetweeners MovieWill McKenzie
2013The Look of LoveJonathan Hodge
2013The Harry Hill MovieVet
2014The Inbetweeners Movie 2Will McKenzie

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
2008–2010The InbetweenersWill McKenzieBritish Comedy Award Best Male Comedy Newcomer (2008)
British Comedy Award Best TV Comedy Actor (2009)
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Male Performance in a Comedy Role (2010)
2010The King is DeadHimself/hostCreator, writer
2011Comedy ShowcaseCecilEpisode: "Chickens"
2011–presentFriday Night DinnerAdam
2013ChickensCecil

References[edit]

  1. ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1984-2004.; ancestry.com
  2. ^ Barton, Laura (5 October 2012). "Mr Bird is not amused - Simon gets serious". London Evening Standard. 
  3. ^ a b Gilbert, Gerard (4 October 2012). "Simon Bird: 'Danger with The Inbetweeners is that it will no longer be believable that we are under the age of 30'". The Independent. 
  4. ^ "Professor Heather Gage". University of Surrey - Guildford. 
  5. ^ "Professor Graham Bird". University of Surrey - Guildford. 
  6. ^ Wyllie, Alice (7 October 2012). "Simon Bird on Friday Night Dinner, and why his awkward persona isn't all an act". The Scotsman. 
  7. ^ Deacon, Michael (27 Mar 2009). "Interview: Simon Bird and Joe Thomas on The Inbetweeners". Telegraph. 
  8. ^ Simon Bird - Revels Chortle Student Comedy Awards 2007
  9. ^ Simon Bird - Chortle Student Comedy Awards 2008 2
  10. ^ http://www.e4.com/inbetweeners/about.html
  11. ^ a b http://www.britishcomedyawards.com/past-winners/2008.aspx
  12. ^ http://www.britishcomedyawards.com/past-winners/2009.aspx
  13. ^ http://www.rts.org.uk/winners-rpa?term_node_tid_depth=122
  14. ^ http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/entertainment/articles/2011-03/04/gq-tv-simon-bird-interview-friday-night-dinner-the-inbetweeners-movie-film
  15. ^ http://sky1.sky.com/chickens/inbetweeners-stars-simon-bird-joe-thomas-to-star-in-chickens
  16. ^ Buckley, James. "James Buckley talks Crystal Palace v Brighton & Hove Albion". ShortList Magazine. 
  17. ^ Webb, Claire (22 August 2013). "Chickens: Inbetweeners Simon Bird and Joe Thomas on playing overgrown schoolboys - again". Radio Times. 

External links[edit]