3rd May 1959
Benjamin Charles "Ben" Elton (born 3 May 1959) is an English comedian, author, playwright and director. He was a leading figure in the British alternative comedy movement of the 1980s, as a writer on such cult series as The Young Ones and Blackadder, as well as also a successful stand-up comedian on stage and TV. He was a high-profile frontman of 1980s left-wing political satire. Since then he has published thirteen novels and more lately become known for writing the musical We Will Rock You (2002) and Love Never Dies (2010), the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera.
Biography[edit | edit source]
In 1985 Elton began his successful writing partnership with Richard Curtis. Together they wrote Blackadder II, Blackadder the Third (in the episode "Sense and Senility", Elton appeared as a bomb-wielding anarchist) and Blackadder Goes Forth. Blackadder, starring Rowan Atkinson, was a worldwide hit, winning four BAFTAs and an Emmy.
Elton and Curtis were inspired to write Blackadder Goes Forth upon finding the First World War to be a particularly apt subject for a situation comedy. This series, which dealt with greater, darker themes than prior Blackadder episodes, was widely praised for Curtis's and Elton's scripts, in particular the final episode. Before writing the series, the pair read a number of books about the war and found that
|“||Actually, all the lead up to the first world war was very funny, all the people coming from communities where they'd never bumped into posh people...and all being so gung ho and optimistic...the first hundred pages of any book about the world war are hilarious, then of course everybody dies.||”|