The IT Crowd Wiki
Richard Ayoade 1.png
Richard Ellef Ayoade
Biographical information






Eye colour


Hair colour



6' 2" (1.88 m)

Years Active


In The IT Crowd

Maurice Moss

Notable Roles
  • Maurice Moss in The IT Crowd
  • Saboo in The Mighty Boosh
  • Dean Learner in the Gareth Marenghi stage shows and series

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.


Early life[]

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).

Television career[]

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.

Other work[]

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.

Personal life[]

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.


Year Title Type Role
1999 The Armstrong and Miller Show Comedy Uncredited
2000 Movie Babylon Comedy Documentary
2003-2007 The Mighty Boosh Comedy
  • Dixon Bainbridge
  • Saboo
2003 Hello Friend Comedy short film Computer film
2004 AD/BC: A Rock Opera Comedy
  • Joseph
  • Writer
  • Director
The Life and Death of Peter Sellers Biography Photographer at wedding
Gareth Marenghi's Darkplace Comedy horror
  • Dean Learner
  • Writer
  • Director
2004: The Stupid Version Comedy Himself
2005 Festival Film Dwight Swan
Nathan Barley Sitcom Ned Smanks
The Mighty Boosh: Inside the Zooniverse Documentary
  • Himself
  • Dixon Bainbridge
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
Time Trumpet Comedy Himself
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
Time Shift Documentary Narrator
2008 Arctic Monkeys at the Apollo Music Director
2009 Bunny and the Bull Film Museum tour guide
2010 Submarine Film
  • Writer
  • Director

Behind the scenes[]

  • Ayoade is the only actor to appear in both the British and the American version of The IT Crowd.

External links[]