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24 September 2014

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Paul Whitehouse

Paul Whitehouse

The Fast Show begat many things, but the most important - to British comedy at least - was that it pushed Paul Whitehouse out of the shadows.

Whitehouse had been active in comedy a long time before his breakthrough.

He'd been behind a lot of Harry Enfield's more memorable turns, or at least given them a great big push.

Mike Smash is a perfect example of Whitehouse's ability to make a soft impact devastatingly funny. Loadsamoney, the character embodying the vileness of the 1980s, was a powerful satirical tool co-created by Whitehouse.

Then the Fast Show happened - Whitehouse and co-writer Charlie Higson's tour-de-force, the show that established broken comedy on the BBC, and too full of wonderful characters to really go into and making most of the cast into stars.

The two most memorable pieces, however, were Ted and Ralph, surely one of the greatest unrequited love stories of our time - with Ralph's continual quest to express his love for his groundsman always running aground.

Incomprehensible Roly Birkin QC was a role in which there were virtually no lines at all - merely deft timing of half-remembered utterings, that finally bled from comedy into absolute, heart-rending sadness.

Whitehouse's solo work has been uniformly strong. Help, with Chris Langham, sees him act over 20 roles against Langham's therapist.

It's his performance as voiceover actor Danny Spencer in Happiness that has continued his reputation as a weaver of intensely personal, yet deeply funny, tales of modern life.

Appearances by Paul Whitehouse
Start YearAliasProgramme BrandCountry

As an Actor

Help 2005

As a Performer

The Fast Show 1994

As a Writer

The Fast Show 1994
Help 2005

As a Producer

Help 2005

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