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Ben Elton was born in Catford in 1959 and was a ubiquitous and influential member of the burgeoning alternative comedy movement throughout the 1980s.
Having had initial success with Manchester University cohorts Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmonson co-writing The Young Ones, a prolific career followed, with TV (Blackadder, The Thin Blue Line), novels, musicals and a film (Maybe Baby) under his belt.
As a performer, he hit the anti-Thatcherite zeitgeist with his scatter-gun delivery on Saturday Live and also had his own BBC series: The Man From Auntie.
An ill-judged stint as a replacement host for Wogan; collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber and work for the establishments he once mocked have latterly made him a figure of contempt for some comedians (he's been relegated to Room 101 twice) who accuse him of selling out.
It is, however, unlikely television comedy would look quite the same had it not been for Elton's influence.
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