About Gordon Angus Deayton
Gordon Angus Deayton
Birth name Gordon Angus Deayton Born (1956-01-06) 6 January 1956 (age 57) Surrey, England Medium Television, Stand up comedy Nationality British Years active 1988–present Genres Satire, parody Partner(s) Lise Mayer (1991–present) Notable works and roles Patrick Trench in One Foot in the Grave Have I Got News for You Gordon Angus Deayton (/ˈdiːtən/; born 6 January 1956) is an English actor, writer, musician, comedian and broadcaster. He is best known as the former presenter of the satirical panel game Have I Got News for You, a job from which he was dismissed in October 2002 after a second round of tabloid allegations about his personal life. He is also known for his role as Victor Meldrew's long-suffering neighbour Patrick Trench in the comedy series One Foot in the Grave.
The youngest of three sons to a Prudential plc insurance broker/manager and a home economics school teacher, Deayton was brought up in Banstead, Surrey, and attended Oakhyrst Grange School and Caterham School. He showed early promise as a footballer, and had a trial with Crystal Palace. He was captain of the Caterham U16 Rugby team.
Deayton read languages at New College, Oxford, where he was recruited into the Oxford Revue, performing with them at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This led to the creation of the parody band the Hee Bee Gee Bees (re the Bee Gees) in 1980, with the songs written by Richard Curtis and Philip Pope. Their best-selling single "Meaningless Songs (In Very High Voices)" (plus the B-side "Posing in the Moonlight") was a parody of the falsetto style of disco hits by the Bee Gees.
Radio and television career
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The foundation of Deayton's career was a parody of British local radio stations, Radio Active, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 between 1981 and 1987, which he both co-wrote and performed in. It transferred to television as KYTV between 1989 and 1993. Deayton presented a tribute to Radio Active and KYTV colleague and friend (and long-time BBC producer) Geoffrey Perkins for BBC Radio 4 on 4 October 2008. During this period, Deayton was also frequently seen appearing as a straight man alongside Rowan Atkinson. He starred with Atkinson in two separate roles (a pool attendant and a man on a park bench) in the Mr. Bean episode "The Curse of Mr. Bean" and appeared opposite Atkinson in the Black Adder episode "Born to be King" (1983) as one of the Jumping Jews of Jerusalem. He also appeared regularly in comedy sketches on Alexei Sayle's Stuff.
In 1990 Deayton was cast as the Meldrews' neighbour Patrick Trench in the British suburban sitcom One Foot in the Grave and was selected as the host of Have I Got News for You. The same year, he featured in a TV advert for the Vauxhall Nova car. Knowing that Deayton was keen to move into more acting roles, friend and producer Andre Ptaszynski tried to persuade him to take the lead role in Steven Moffat's sitcom Chalk, a role eventually taken by David Bamber.
Deayton's suave manner as host of Have I Got News for You led to his being nicknamed "TV's Mr Sex", by a Time Out listings writer. He was much in demand as a presenter of television specials including the BBC's New Year's Eve show and the BAFTA Awards. He also featured in a series of advertisements for Barclaycard and the films Savage Hearts and Elizabeth.
In one episode of Coupling, he appears in a fantasy sequence alongside Mariella Frostrup. In addition, he hosted the late-1990s BBC show Before They Were Famous, which showed early and frequently embarrassing clips of TV and film stars (including Deayton himself) when they were relatively unknown.
In May 2002, the News of the World newspaper published allegations about his private life suggesting that he had taken cocaine and had sex with prostitutes. He was ridiculed by Paul Merton and Ian Hislop in the following episode of Have I Got News For You, but was allowed to continue as presenter. Deayton took the lampooning good-naturedly, beginning the episode with: "Good evening and welcome to Have I Got News For You, where this week's loser is presenting it." He added later "Do not adjust your set, my face is this red". This ridiculing concealed a bitterness felt by the others on the show when it had been revealed shortly before then that Deayton was on £50,000 a show whereas contestants received only £12,500 each a show. After a second round of allegations emerged in the papers that October, Deayton was fired as presenter two episodes into the new series of Have I Got News for You, after both Merton and Hislop repeatedly implied during the programme that Deayton should resign for the good of the show. Since then, the show has been hosted by a different guest presenter each week.
After being forced out of Have I Got News for You, he continued to work on other projects including a reunion of the Radio Active cast in a new episode broadcast in December 2002. In 2003, he guest-starred as Downing Street's top spin doctor in an episode of the BBC comedy Absolute Power, starring Stephen Fry and John Bird. He starred in BBC comedy Nighty Night which was shown from January 2004. Deayton had a cameo role as a hotel receptionist in the 2004 Fat Slags film. A few months later, he made a return to TV presenting with ITV's cookery reality show Hell's Kitchen and then the light-hearted quiz Bognor or Bust. In January 2006 he hosted an ITV show based upon self-help videos called Help Your Self.
Deayton is associated with the Comic Relief/Sport Relief charity and has featured in many of its TV broadcasts. He also co-presented the Sport Relief charity programme Only Fools on Horses in July 2006.
Deayton appeared for the England team as a second-half substitute in the Soccer Aid football match in support of UNICEF on 27 May 2006. He returned as a starting player for England in the 7 September 2008 rematch.
In 2007 he made an acting appearance in Casualty, playing an exaggerated version of himself in a Comic Relief-related storyline.
Deayton returned to the BBC in June 2007, hosting a new TV comedy panel game, Would I Lie to You? In November 2007, he was censured by the BBC for making a "pungently personal" joke about Sir Jimmy Savile and his late mother on the show. Deayton left the show in 2009 and was replaced as host by Rob Brydon.
Deayton was also selected by ITV to be the host of the third series of Hell's Kitchen, which started broadcasting on 3 September 2007 at 9:00 pm. However, he was sacked from the programme in 2009 after a series of arguments with chef Marco Pierre White. Claudia Winkleman was his replacement.
In 2008 he also presented Comedy Sketchbook, a nostalgic look at classic comedy sketches, on BBC1.
He presented the 2008 British Comedy Awards on 6 December 2008, after regular host Jonathan Ross stepped down because of the controversy surrounding the Russell Brand Show prank telephone calls row.
In 2009, Deayton starred as the mysterious, "all-knowing man" in That Deadwood Feeling, a British comedy film starring Jack Davenport, Dexter Fletcher and David Soul.
Deayton was planned to appear alongside Mandy Moore and Martin Freeman in Swinging with the Finkels, a 2010 film written and directed by Jonathan Newman.
Deayton will appear alongside Tony Hawks in the feature film Playing the Moldovans at Tennis, which was recorded in 2010 for release in 2011.[when?]
Deayton returned to BBC Radio 4 in 2011 as host of the panel show It's Your Round.
On 12 December 2012, it was announced that Deayton had joined the cast of the BBC drama series Waterloo Road in the role of a cynical new French teacher, George Windor. He will make his first appearance in episode 27 of the eighth series, to be broadcast in 2013. In December 2012 he appeared in an edition of the BBC Two series World's Most Dangerous Roads, in which he and co-traveller Mariella Frostrup were filmed driving along the east coast of Madagascar.
At Oxford, Deayton was in a relationship with the actress Helen Atkinson-Wood (a co-star on Radio Active and KYTV). Whilst touring with the HeeBeeGeeBees in Australia in the 1980s, Deayton saved Atkinson-Wood's life when he rescued her after she was caught in a rip tide whilst swimming off Sydney’s Manly Beach. Deayton later[when?] lived with 1970s singer/songwriter Stephanie de Sykes. Since the early 1990s, he has been in a long-term relationship with scriptwriter Lise Mayer; they have a son, Isaac, born in December 2000. They live in Islington.
Deayton is a Manchester United supporter, and a friend of former player and current Director of Manchester United's youth academy, Brian McClair.
Tabloid allegations and reaction
In May 2002 the British tabloid newspaper News of the World published allegations about Deayton's affair with a woman, who later claimed she was a prostitute, and his use of the illegal drug cocaine. In October there were further reports of another affair, and he was asked to step down as the quizmaster of Have I Got News For You on 29 October 2002. Deayton was dismissed despite it being believed that a majority of the programme's audience opposed the decision to fire him. One online poll on the BBC's own website showed over three-quarters of respondents wanting Deayton to stay on as the programme's host.
The BBC said his position as a satirical commentator on the week's news had become "untenable". Paul Merton, a personality on Have I Got News for You, proclaimed on the interview show Parkinson that he thought Deayton a "dull man" and compared his sacking to "the Marx Brothers -- we lost Zeppo, it's not a big deal"; Merton also stated that he believed Deayton would soon return to television on other programmes because "you can't keep talent like that down". Merton later revealed that he "never got on" with Deayton, finding him "arrogant and aloof". However, Merton refused to condemn Deayton's behaviour in relation to the sex scandals, saying "I wouldn't have done it myself, but disapprove? I don't want to set myself up as a moral arbiter". Merton denied all knowledge of Deayton's allegedly blaming him and co-star Ian Hislop for his dismissal from the programme, revealing that the only time Deayton discussed his predicament with him was when he thanked Merton for making the scandal "funny on television". Merton also stated that despite their differences he wished Deayton well for the future.
Stephen Fry has supported Deayton by refusing to appear on the show again.
Year Film Role Notes 1989 KYTV 1991–2000 One Foot in the Grave Patrick Trench 1990–2002 Have I Got News for You Presenter 2003 Absolute Power (comedy) Colin Priestley (S01 E04, S02 E06) TV series 2004–05 Nighty Night Don TV series 2007–08 Would I Lie to You? Presenter 2012 Pramface Mr Derbyshire TV series 2013– Waterloo Road George Windsor TV series
Radio Active (with Geoffrey Perkins). Sphere 1986. ISBN 0-7221-2806-1 (a book to tie-in with the radio series) The Uncyclopaedia of Rock (with Geoffrey Perkins and Jeremy Pascall). Ebury Press 1989. ISBN 0-85223-612-3. In Search of Happiness with Angus Deayton (with Lise Mayer). Macmillan 1995. ISBN 0-333-63061-0 (Companion book for a BBC TV series)
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