Self-styled '1982 Stars in Their Eyes Michael Bolton Regional Finalist', Bill Bailey is one of Britain's finest comedians both on TV and on the stand-up circuit.
Raised in the West Country and trained classically as a musician, he mixed up theatrical work with stints playing lounge piano and jazz keyboards before an urge to mix jokes into his music led him to begin a stand-up career in 1989.
Initially performing as half of double-act The Rubber Bishops (with Martin Stubbs and then Sean Lock), Bailey's first solo show Cosmic Jam earned a Perrier nomination in 1995, and just two years later he was starring in his own BBC TWO series (Is It Bill Bailey?), offering a hilarious mix of stand-up, sketches and songs.
Although it was disappointingly not re-commissioned, the show cemented a partnership between Bailey and co-star Simon Pegg, which has since resurfaced in both Spaced (Channel 4) and 2007 movie Hot Fuzz.
Bailey has since had further TV success, as the deranged Manny Bianco in sitcom Black Books as well as making reliably funny turns on Never Mind the Buzzcocks and QI, and with sell-out tours he continues to excel in stand-up.
In 2007 he broadened his horizons by both producing and appearing in sketch compilation Pinter's People in the West End and with his uniquely surreal wit and unrivalled skill at musical comedy he remains one of Britain’s most popular comics.
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