Sunday, 26 August 2007

Biography 7: Sean Lock

This week, our focus is on the infamous koala fiend, Mr Sean Lock.

Born on 22nd April 1963 in Woking, Sean Lock first began a career as a builder. Eventually he took to a new path as a stand up comedian, beginning with a five-minute open spot in a small pub in Hackney in 1988. He is currently a regular at London's Comedy Store and has appeared at all the major festivals around the world including Edinburgh, Melbourne, Montreal and the Stavanger Humorfestivat in Norway. In 2000, his show 'No Flatley, I Am The Lord Of The Dance' was nominated for the prestigious Perrier Award. That year he also received a British Comedy Award for Best Stand Up (previous winners have included Jack Dee, Eddie Izzard and Jo Brand). Sean has also won a Time Out Comedy Award.

Sean has performed in some of the most successful live shows of recent years, beginning in 1995 when he collaborated with Bill Bailey on Rock, a much misunderstood music industry spoof, which would later become serialised on Radio 1. His radio credits include regular contributions to Mark Radcliffe's Evening Show on Radio 1, Loose Ends on Radio 4, and The Treatment on Radio 5. He made his name in radio in 1998/9 with the show 15 Minutes of Misery on Radio 4, written by and starring Lock as the inhabitant of a South London tower block. This series grew into 15 Storeys High, where he played the same character, renamed as Vince and now a swimming pool lifeguard. It ran for two series on radio and two series on television in 2004.

As well as 15 Storeys High, Sean has gradually moved his comedy towards television, commencing with his own slot on the show Newman and Baddiel in Pieces, where he played Shenley Grange in a recurring sketch called Disappearing World – the character would warn about endangered species before ultimately killing said species. He subsequently became the first comedian to perform at Wembley Arena due to the fact that he was supporting Robert Newman and David Baddiel. However, he was booed offstage, and it was Newman and Baddiel who were widely reported as being the first to have done this.

As a writer, Sean co-created Mark Lamarr's Leaving The 20th Century, and has contributed to such shows as Never Mind The Buzzcocks, It's Only TV But I like It, and Is It Bill Bailey, and also wrote material for Bailey, Lamarr and Lee Evans. His other television credits include appearances on The World Of Lee Evans, Here's Johnny, and The Stand Up Show. He has also guested on the World Cup special edition of They Think It's All Over.

Sean is currently a team captain on the Channel 4 panel show 8 Out Of 10 Cats (a position he has held for the previous two years) and has his own show on the same channel, TV Heaven Telly Hell, that returned for a second series this year.

On QI, Sean has proved remarkably popular with such stories about how he got a little too close to a koala, how he went to a fish ‘n’ chip shop in Eastbourne (which wasn’t open), and most memorably, his discovery of a portal to the underworld while Rory McGrath discussed Latin bird names. Given his popularity, his appearances in future QI series seem assured.

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