David Mitchell

David Mitchell Headshot

Comedian • Actor • Writer

Birth Date: July 14, 1974

Age: 49 years old

Birth Place: Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, UK

David Mitchell advanced to the front of a long line of cutting-edge British comedy luminaries as star of the envelope-pushing Channel 4 sitcom "Peep Show" (2003- ) and proceeded to ensconce himself as one of the U.K.'s sharpest comedic wags. Mitchell established creative partnership with Robert Webb at Cambridge University and began contributing sketches to a succession of Brit shows in the early 2000s.

Their tandem act helped sell dual starring roles on "Peep Show," a ribald, wickedly mean sitcom about two mismatched, irredeemably hapless roommates. It led to a raft of nominations and awards and a sequence of projects under their Mitchell and Webb imprint, including four seasons of their razor-sharp sketch-com "That Mitchell and Webb Look" (BBC, 2006-2010) and the feature film comedy "Magicians" (2007).

Mitchell's talents for rapier, curse-laden wordplay made him much-in-demand among the U.K.'s panel shows, and he expanded his imprint across media with a signature series of online rants, a regular newspaper column and a gig deconstructing the news for Channel 4's "10 O'Clock Live" (2011- ). Juxtaposing his nerdy, unassuming aesthetic with a deft skill for emphatically dispelling BS, Mitchell steadily built a reputation as Great Britain's answer to Jon Stewart.

He was born David James Stuart Mitchell on July 14, 1974, in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, the son of hoteliers Ian and Kathy Mitchell. The family made the move to Oxford when both parents landed jobs teaching hotel management at Oxford Polytechnic. David grew into a standout student and developed his discursive skills in speech extracurriculars, drama and debate at the venerable Abingdon School in nearby Abingdon.

As his wit sharpened, he hid a yen to become a comedy writer and performer out of fear it was too disreputable. It was not until he matriculated at Cambridge University in 1993, ostensibly to study history, that he met similarly comedy-minded cohorts. He joined up with the university's storied satirical performance troupe, Footlights, where he met Rob Webb.

The two began collaborating on their own sketches and plays and, after graduation, staged a succession of original works at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They landed work as a writing duo and on-air talent on a succession of short-lived TV projects, notable among them the surrealist sketch show "Big Train," (BBC, 1998-2002), which starred a young Simon Pegg; "Bruiser" (BBC, 2000), which saw them in a troupe that included Martin Freeman and Olivia Colman (the latter to be a regular in all their ensuing projects); and the six-episode sketch series "The Mitchell and Webb Situation" (Play UK, 2001), which, though little-seen, earned them critical accolades.

In 2003, the underwatched program led to what would be their breakthrough project, "Peep Show." Mitchell and Webb teamed up with writers Jess Armstrong and Sam Bain to put a new spin on an "Odd Couple" concept, with the twist being that the narrative would be shot through character POVs and embellished by their snarky internal dialogue. Mitchell played Mark, a frumpy, grossly insecure office drone incapable of emotional honesty, to Webb's Jeremy, a mercurial, obliviously narcissistic would-be hipster; the creators distinguished the characters' cringe-inducing social foibles by expending little effort to mine redeeming qualities out of them.

Bowing on Channel 4 in 2003, the show drew small audiences but universal raves both from critics and Britain's comedy community. Celebrated as the new vanguard of cutting-edge comedy, the partners returned to sketch work with "That Mitchell and Webb Sound" on BBC Radio 4 during their non-"Peep Show" work periods.

In 2006 they adapted that as a concurrent series for BBC TV, "That Mitchell and Webb Look." Between the two series, Mitchell and Webb became constants among nominees for major awards for television comedy, becoming the new Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.

"Peep Show" took home the British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy in 2006 and 2007 and the BAFTA for Best Sitcom in 2008, while "That Mitchell and Webb Look" won the BAFTA for Best Comedy Show in 2007. Mitchell and Webb were jointly nominated for the BCA for Best TV Comedy Actor in 2006, and Mitchell won it the next year and its BAFTA counterpart in 2009. The duo also rated their first feature film as they took starring roles in the Bain and Armstrong-penned "Magicians," released in 2007.

In a "Peep Show" vein, they played a onetime illusionist duo act who clumsily trying to piece together a partnership that ended amid cuckoldry and grizzly death. Their cred took a hit in 2007 when the pair agreed to engender PC and Mac types in the U.K. version of Apple's "Get a Mac" ad campaign.

Mitchell picked up some work outside the dyad, highlighted by a recurring role on the Jennifer Saunders/Dawn French reunion project, "Jam and Jerusalem" (BBC, 2006- ), and a conspicuous flurry of appearances on Britain's numerous current event comedy-panel shows.

In 2005, Mitchell had initially done a brief stint as host of the panel/quiz show "FAQ U" (Channel 4, 2005- ) and his talents for blistering off-the-cuff analysis increasingly made him a hot commodity on the panel-show circuit as he became a staple on such series as "QI" (BBC, 2003- ), "Have I Got News for You" (BBC, 1990- ) and "Mock the Week" (BBC, 2005- ). He built on his growing imprint as a public affairs wit by writing a column for the U.K.'s Guardian and Observer newspapers; recording a series of cutting online rants under the rubric "David Mitchell's Soapbox;" and, in 2010, taking on presenter duties (along with Jimmy Carr, Charlie Brooker and Lauren Laverne) on a live U.K. election-night comedy analysis show for Channel 4, "Alternative Election Night."

Channel 4 greenlit a regular version of the show "10 O'Clock Live" (2011- ) in which he delivered barbed monologues similar to his "Soapbox." On a substantial roll, HarperCollins published Mitchell's autobiography, Back Story: A Memoir in 2012, and later that year, Mitchell wed TV presenter and fellow Guardian and Observer contributor Victoria Coren.

By Matthew Grimm

Credits

MigrationStream

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GooGoo
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2023
72%

David Mitchell's Outsiders

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2021

Outsiders: Gone Wild

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2021

The CleanerStream

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Terence Redford
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2021
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Mitchell on Meetings

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2021

Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2020

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2020

You're Dead To Me

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2020

GreedStream

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Nick
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2019
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Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2018

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2018

Stand up to Cancer 2018

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2018

The Big Narstie Show

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2018

Back: Extras

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2018

Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2017

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2017

BackStream

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Stephen
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2017
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Peppa Pig: Peppa's Australian Holiday

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2017

Channel 4's Alternative Election Night

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2017

Salty

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John Hardigger
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2017

Peppa Pig: My First Cinema Experience

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2017

Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2016

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2016

Upstart Crow

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Will Shakespeare
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2016

Big Fat Quiz of Everything

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2016

Big Fat Quiz of Everything

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2016

Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2015

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2015

Harry Hill in Professor Branestawm Returns

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Harold Haggerstone
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2015

The Works Presents

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2015

Alternative Election Night

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2015

Up All Night

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Policeman
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2015

The Dark Room

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The Smart Man
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2015

The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2014

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2014

The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm

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Harold Haggerstone
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2014

The Rest Is History

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2014

Duck Quacks Don't Echo

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2014

Crackanory

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2013

Ambassadors

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2013

Was It Something I Said?

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2013

Was It Something I Said?

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2013

Big Fat Quiz of the 80s

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2013

8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown

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2013

8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown

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2013

Gogglebox

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Mock the Week Looks Back at...

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2013

The Last Leg

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2013

Drama On 4

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Sammonicus
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2012

Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2011

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2011

Blackadder: The Whole Rotten Saga

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The Jonathan Ross ShowStream

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2011

QI XL

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QI XL

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QI XL

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10 O'Clock Live

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2011

Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2010

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The Real Swiss Family Robinson

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2010

The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2009

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Mock the Week... Again

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2010

Have I Got a Bit More News for You

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Alan Carr: Chatty Man

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2009

Blackadder's Most Cunning Moments

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Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2007

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2007

Phineas and FerbStream

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2007

Barry Humphries' Flashbacks

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Would I Lie to You?Stream

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2007

Would I Lie to You?Stream

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2007

Would I Lie to You?Stream

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Would I Lie to You?Stream

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2007

Would I Lie to You?Stream

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2007

The Graham Norton ShowStream

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2007

The Graham Norton ShowStream

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2007

The Unbelievable Truth

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2007

Magicians

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Harry
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2007

Jam and Jerusalem

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Dr. James Vine
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2006

That Mitchell and Webb Look

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2006

That Mitchell and Webb Look

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2006

The One Show

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2006

Alternate Routes - Melbourne

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2006

The Taming of the Shrew

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2005

Mock the Week

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2005

8 Out of 10 Cats

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2005

Doctor WhoStream

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2005
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Big Fat Quiz of the Year

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Who Do You Think You Are?

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Heresy

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Peep ShowStream

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Mark Corrigan
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2003
96%

QIStream

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2003

QIStream

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That Mitchell and Webb Sound

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2003

Loose Ends

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The Mitchell and Webb Situation

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The Mitchell and Webb Situation

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2001

Have I Got News for You

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Have I Got News for You

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Room 101

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1994

Richard Cardinal: Cry From a Diary of a Metis Child

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Diary Read by
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1986