|Richard Ellef Ayoade|
6' 2" (1.88 m)
|In The IT Crowd|
Richard Ellef Ayoade (b. 1977) is an English stand-up comedian, actor, presenter, director and writer most noted for his portrayal of Maurice Moss in the British sitcom, The IT Crowd, as well as his roles in Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding's The Mighty Boosh and Garth Marenghi's Darkplace.
Richard Ayoade was born in 1977 in Whipps Cross, London, and is the only child to a Nigerian father and a Norwegian mother. He was educated at St. Joseph's College in Ipswich, Suffolk and went on to study law at St. Catharine's College, Cambidge, between 1995 and 1998. While attending the college, Ayoade became involved in theatre and won the Martin Steele Prize for play production and also became involved in the amateur theatrical club, Footlights, which he became president of during 1997-1998. With the help of Footlights vice-president John Oliver, Ayoade co-wrote two pantomimes, Grimm's Fairytales and Sleeping Beauty. Ayoade also appeared in the touring shows Emotional Baggage (1997) and Between a Rock and a Hard Place (1998).
Gareth Marenghi series
Ayoade went on to co-write the comedy/horror stage show Gareth Marenghi's Fright Knight, with Matthew Hollness, in which he also appeared in at the Edinburgh Fringe Show in 2000. Despite its low budget, the show was nominated for a Perrier Award. Ayoade then co-wrote the sequel to Fright Knight, Gareth Marenghi's Netherhead, which won him a Perrier Comedy Award. Ayoade continued with the Gareth Marenghi series and co-wrote, directed and appeared in Gareth Marenghi's Darkplace, which was given its own mini-series by Channel 4. Ayaode's character in the show, Dean Learner, was resurrected in 2006 to host to comedy chat show, Man to Man with Dean Learner, with Hollness playing each guest every week.
The Mighty Boosh
Ayoade was involved in an early radio version of The Mighty Boosh, playing Tommy Nookah in the second episode, Jungle, in 2001. Ayoade was due to appear alongside future The IT Crowd star Noel Fielding as part of the main cast of the first series of the television version of The Mighty Boosh, playing villain Dixon Bainbridge, however, he had already signed a contract with Channel 4 and was only capable of appearing in the pilot episode. The part was filled in by future The IT Crowd star, Matt Berry.
However, Ayoade returned in the second series to play DJ turned shaman Saboo, who was originally only supposed to appear in one episode but made three more appearances in series three. Ayoade also contributed to the Boosh when not on screen, acting as script editor in the third series. Ayoade also co-wrote The Mighty Book of Boosh with Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt, Rich Fulcher, Dave Brown and Michael Fielding.
The IT Crowd
Ayoade was noticed by Irish comedy writer, Graham Linehan, who was recruiting a cast of actors to appear in his new sitcom, The IT Crowd, and asked Ayoade to audition for the part of the technically brilliant but socially awkward Maurice Moss. Ayoade landed the role. The IT Crowd is the longest running series Ayoade has appeared in, running from 2006 to 2010. Ayoade was the only cast member of the original British series to be asked to appear in the pilot episode for the American version. Ayoade appeared alongside American actors Joe McHale and Jessica St. Clair in the pilot episode of the American version, which was nearly identical to the first episode of the British version. However, the series never saw the light of day.
Ayoade has also directed several music vidoeos, including the Arctic Monkeys' "Fluorescent Adolescent", "Crying Lightning" and "Cornerstone", Super Furry Animals' "Run Away" (featuring The IT Crowd co-star Matt Berry), The Last Shadow Puppets' "Standing Next to Me" and "My Mistakes Were Made For You", Vampire Weekend's "Oxford Comma" and "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa", as well as videos for Kasabian's "Vlad the Impaler", which starred The IT Crowd co-star Noel Fielding and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Heads Will Roll". In 2007, Ayoade also directed the Arctic Monkeys' DVD At the Apollo, recorded in Manchester. It previewed in cinemas across the UK in October 2008 and was released on DVD the following month.
Ayoade has also made appearances in The IT Crowd co-star Chris Morris' sitcom Nathan Barley, playing Ned Smanks. Ayoade also directed, co-wrote and appeared in the parody rock opera, AD/BC: A Rock Opera. Before his acting career, Ayoade worked as a stand-up comedian and performed on The Stand Up Show on BBC 1. He also appeared on the BBC Radio 4 stand up show 4 at the Store which is now available on CD along with the performances of other comedians. Ayoade is currently working on adapting Joe Dunthorne's book Submarine into a film, which he started directing and filming in October 2009 (now finished). He also appeared in the film, The Bunny and the Bull, where he portrayed an extremely boring tour guide. Ayoade is also the host of series 2 of the BBC programme Gadget Man and spin-off show Travel man.
On September 8, 2007, Ayoade married British actress Lydia Fox, the daughter of James Fox and the sister of Laurence Fox. He is also the brother-in-law of actress Billie Piper.
Awards and nominations
- 2000: Nominated for a Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for Gareth Marenghi's Fright Knight.
- 2001: Won a Perrier Comedy Award for Gareth Marenghi's Netherhead.
- 2007: Won Best DVD for Arctic Monkeys: At the Apollo at the NME Awards.
- 2007: Won Best Video for "My Mistakes" at the NME Awards.
- 2008: Won Outstanding Actor in a Comedy TV Series at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival for his portrayal of Maurice Moss in The IT Crowd.
- 2008: Nominated for Best Director at the UK Music Video Awards.
- 2008: Nominated for Best Rock Video at the UK Music Video Awards.
|1999||The Armstrong and Miller Show||Comedy||Uncredited|
|2003-2007||The Mighty Boosh||Comedy||
|2003||Hello Friend||Comedy short film||Computer film|
|2004||AD/BC: A Rock Opera||Comedy||
|The Life and Death of Peter Sellers||Biography||Photographer at wedding|
|Gareth Marenghi's Darkplace||Comedy horror||
|2004: The Stupid Version||Comedy||Himself|
|Nathan Barley||Sitcom||Ned Smanks|
|The Mighty Boosh: Inside the Zooniverse||Documentary||
|The Mighty Boosh: A History||Documentary||Dixon Bainbridge|
|2006||Man to Man with Dean Learner||Comedy chat show||Dean Learner|
|Darkplace Illuminatum||Comedy short film||Dean Learner|
|Horrificata Illuminatum||Comedy short film||Dean Learner|
|Snuff Box||Comedy||Music show host|
|2006-present||The IT Crowd||Sitcom||Maurice Moss|
|2007||Comic Relief 2007: The Big One||Comedy charity festival||Additional material|
|The Big Fat Anniversary Quiz||Quiz show||Himself|
|2008||Arctic Monkeys at the Apollo||Music||Director|
|2009||Bunny and the Bull||Film||Museum tour guide|
Behind the scenes
- Ayoade is the only actor to appear in both the British and the American version of The IT Crowd.