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Marcus Alexander Brigstocke (born 8 May 1973) is an English comedian and satirist who has worked extensively in stand-up comedy, television and radio. He is particularly associated with the 6.30pm comedy slot on BBC Radio 4, having frequently appeared on several of its shows.

Early life

Brigstocke attended Westbourne House Schoolmarker just outside Chichester before going onto King's Bruton School in Somerset. He studied Drama at the University of Bristolmarker.

Comedy career

Many of the central themes of Brigstocke's work were first addressed during his time as a student at the University of Bristol. While at Bristol he often performed in the comedy trio Club Seals, which later made the transition to TV in the series of short programmes We Are History. Very few of the conventions and institutions of the bourgeoisie have escaped his ire, be it the middle-class obsession with heritage (The Museum of Everything), the turpitude of contemporary business culture (Think the Unthinkable), or English provincial parochialism (Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off). However, Brigstocke's favourite joke is to impersonate DJ Tim Westwood, whom Brigstocke portrays as an archetypal wigger, making much of his father (formerly) being an Anglican bishop.

With a successful radio career including The Now Show with Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis, he retains a cult following. The Now Show also provided an outlet for his fierce dislike of David Blaine, referring to Blaine himself as Git Wizard, and his "Above The Below" stunt as Freakdangle. Brigstocke hailed the failure of Blaine's "Drowned Alive" as proof that Blaine is "not special; not magic; just a moistened git". He is increasingly enjoying mainstream success, recently having appeared on such broadly popular TV shows such as Have I Got News for You and Jack Dee's Live at the Apollo series.

Brigstocke plays an arts journalist named Marcus in the Neil Gaiman film A Short Film About John Bolton, and a radio DJ in the Richard Curtis film Love Actually. On 9 April 2006, Brigstocke appeared in BBC Radio 4's Classic Serial adaptation of The Code of the Woosters as Bertie Wooster with Andrew Sachs as Jeeves.

He hosts his satirical programme on BBC4, The Late Edition, which has been described as "Newsnight with jokes". It is loosely based on the format made popular by the American programme The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. This commitment led to his absence from the final two Now Show series of 2006, his place filled by other comedians referred to by the rest of the cast as "our replacement Marcus Brigstocke". He did however return to series in 2007.

Brigstocke's first stand up comedy DVD Planet Corduroy, produced by Phoenix Film & Television Productions, was released in November 2007.

In April 2008 he and fellow comedian and snowboarder, Andrew Maxwell founded the Altitude Festival - a comedy and music festival in the ski resort of Meribel, in the French Alps.

In September 2008, Brigstocke was team captain for the recording of the first series of a new TV comedy panel debating show, Argumental for UK TV channel Dave. In this, he competes against Rufus Hound with a variety of guest participants, under the chairmanship of John Sergeant.

In 2009, Brigstocke will star in the UK tour of the hit American live improv show, Totally Looped.

He has also worked for television shows aimed at children for CBBC: Stupid! and Sorry I've Got No Head.

The Pac-Man joke

One of the best-known jokes Brigstocke uses is an ironic commentary on the controversy regarding the influence of video games on children:
 This joke is frequently quoted on the internet and often attributed to famous figures in electronics (such as an apocryphal CEO of Nintendo, "Kristian Wilson," although Hiroshi Yamauchi held that position from 1950 to 2002), but Brigstocke vehemently claims authorship of the joke:

On the topic of plagiarism, Brigstocke has definitely plagiarised Bill Hicks: "I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out."

Excuse My French (BBC2)

Brigstocke took part in the BBC programme Excuse My French, which was broadcast on BBC2. On the programme he, Ron Atkinson and Esther Rantzen were immersed in the French language by staying in a classic French town in the Provence region, being compelled to adapt to the French lifestyle and speak the language. His ultimate assignment was to perform a live stand-up comedy act in French to a French audience, a task at which he excelled. According to the programme, he continues to learn French, and has since performed more stand up in France (predominantly in English, but with sections in French).

Selected radio credits

Selected television credits

Personal life

Brigstocke is dyslexic. During an appearance on the BBC TV show Room 101, first broadcast in January 2007, he admitted to having had weight problems as a younger man, and was once in rehab for food addiction. He still battles with his excessive appetite. He was expelled from King's School, Bruton for "beastie-ing" a car (that turned out to belong to one of the groundsmen) and shoplifting stuff from the local shops to feed both his alcohol needs and "excessive appetite". During his early adulthood, he was a goth.

During the early nineties he worked, part time, as a podium dancer at London nightclub the Ministry of Soundmarker.

Brigstocke lives in South London with his wife and university sweetheart, Sophie Prideaux, whom he married in 2001 in West Somerset. The couple have two children.Marcus likes snowboarding – he had set up a stand up tour in the Alps.

During an episode of The Late Edition filmed in October 2007, Brigstocke 'admitted' being an atheist, and was presented with an Out Campaign T-shirt by his guest and out-spoken atheist Richard Dawkins to which Brigstocke replied:

:"Look at that. Outed, outed as an atheist and proud to be so"


  1. Would I Lie to You? (BBC TV) 24 August 2009
  2. Oglethorpe, Tim: Interview: Marcus Brigstocke - Savage past of Marcus; Marcus Brigstocke of The Savages on his misspent youth and how he got back on the straight and narrow. The Mirror (London, England) April 21, 2001
  3. Chortle, Making an exhibition of themsleves The Museum Of Everything
  4. excerpt on youtube

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