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Paul Whitehouse

Sue Lawley's castaway is comedian Paul Whitehouse.

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the comedian and star of The Fast Show, Paul Whitehouse. Born in the Rhonda Valley in Wales, Paul and his family soon moved to Enfield where he grew up. Paul was never particularly ambitious, but he was bright and got a place at University, although he dropped out in his first year. He went on to work as a plasterer and was quite content, enjoying a bit of humorous banter in the pub with his friends who included Harry Enfield and Charlie Higson.

Harry was the first to get employment as a comedian - on Saturday Night Live, and he employed Paul and Charlie to write for him. Soon Paul was a regular contributor to Harry's show Harry Enfield and Chums. But Paul and Charlie were awash with ideas and characters and decided together to form their own show - a fast paced sketch show where the characters would come on, deliver a catchphrase, and exit. The Fast Show was born, and with it came an influx of new catchphrases that swamped common vernacular, such as "Brilliant!" "Very, very drunk" "Suit you, sir!" and "which was nice". After various acting roles on television and completing a live tour of The Fast Show Paul decided to write a situation comedy, and in 2001 the series Happiness was born.

At the 1998 Baftas Paul won the Best Light Entertainment Performance prize and The Fast Show won Best Light Entertainment Programme. Paul was also recently listed number seven in a Radio Times poll of the 50 most powerful people in British TV comedy.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: Tumbling Dice by Rolling Stones
Book: A chord book full of songs and arias
Luxury: A piano

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 7 Feb 2003 09:00

Music Played

  • The O’Jays

    Love Train

    • Forever Soul.
    • Sony.
  • Anita Whitehouse

    Unwaith Eto (To See You Again) - PRIVATE TAPE

  • Sex Pistols

    God Save The Queen

    • Sex Pistols.
    • Virgin.
  • Enrico Caruso

    Una Furtiva Lagrima

    • Caruso: Early Recordings.
    • Nimbus.
  • Hackney 5-0

    Carmen Miranda

    • Hackney 5-0.
    • Traxdata.
  • Aretha Franklin

    I Say A Little Prayer

    • 60s Soul - 90s Soul.
    • Parlophone.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Vissi d'arte (from Tosca)

    Soloist: Maria Callas Orchestra: Orchestre de la Societe

    • Tosca.
    • EMI.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • The Rolling Stones

      Tumbling Dice

      • Exile on Main Street.
      • Virgin.
  • Book Choice

    • A chord book full of songs and arias

  • Luxury Choice

    • A piano


Role Contributor
Presenter Sue Lawley
Interviewed Guest Paul Whitehouse


  • Sun 2 Feb 2003 11:15
  • Fri 7 Feb 2003 09:00

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