AMSTELL Simon
Person
AMSTELL Simon

AMSTELL
Simon

British comedian and television presenter

Profession: Comedian

Content

Biography

Simon Marc Amstell is a British comedian and television presenter. He wrote and directed the films Carnage (2017) and Benjamin (2018). His work on television has included presenting Popworld and Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

Early years

Amstell was born in east London in 1979, to David and Tina (née Leventhal) Amstell. He was brought up in a Jewish family, and he is the eldest of four children. He was educated at Beal High School, a state comprehensive school in Ilford.

Life and career

Amstell's first television appearance was in 1993 when he appeared as a contestant on the Channel 4 game show GamesMaster. In 1994, he appeared on Good Morning with Anne and Nick performing an impression of Dame Edna Everage. Also that year, he appeared in an episode of Family Catchphrase, describing himself as a budding magician and showing one of his tricks to the show's presenter Andrew O'Connor, himself a magician. Amstell and his family won a television and a video recorder.

Amstell started performing on the comedy circuit when he was in his early teens and later became the youngest finalist to appear in the BBC New Comedy Awards. His first professional television appearance was in 1998 as a presenter on the UK children's channel Nickelodeon.

Popworld

From 2000 to 2006, Amstell presented Popworld on Channel 4 with Miquita Oliver. He voiced the characters "Timothy the Popworld melon" and "Richard the Popworld horse" and developed a highly ironic, surreal and left-field style which gained the show a cult following but angered many of its guests. One example was a mock interview with singer Lemar called "Lemar From Afar" in which Amstell shouted questions into a megaphone from one end of the world's largest car park while Lemar stood at the other end. Another was a "Si-chiatrist" interview with Luke Pritchard and Hugh Harris of The Kooks in which Amstell played the role of psychiatrist with Pritchard and Harris as his patients.

Never Mind the Buzzcocks

Amstell first appeared on the comedy show Never Mind the Buzzcocks as a guest during Mark Lamarr's tenure as host, in 2003 and 2006. Following Lamarr's departure, he was one of the series' guest hosts before becoming permanent host from 2006 to 2009. He said at the time that he hoped to beat "the universal, exceptionless rule that when a new host takes over an old show it is a horrible, embarrassing disaster".

In June 2007, Amstell and long-term collaborator Dan Swimer wrote Imagine... A Mildly Amusing Panel Show, a spoof version of Alan Yentob's arts programme Imagine. Yentob and Amstell play themselves in a mock interview between what a number of commentators described as "overtly sexual"[citation needed] clips taken from Amstell's Never Mind the Buzzcocks episodes. It was followed in February 2008 by Never Mind the Buzzcocks: A Moving Tribute, which jokingly implied that Amstell had either died or retired from the show.

On 25 April 2009, Amstell announced via his internet mailing list that he would not be hosting another series of Never Mind the Buzzcocks because of his desire to concentrate on his live tours and stand-up performances.

Amstell received several accolades for his work on Never Mind the Buzzcocks. In 2007, he won the Royal Television Society Award for Best Entertainment Performance[16] and the British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Entertainment Personality. And in 2008, he received a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Entertainment Performance; Harry Hill won the award. Moreover, Amstell's era was the reason why Never Mind the Buzzcocks was chosen as the 36th-best TV show of the decade by The Times.

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