Stephen Fry, aka Mister iPad, has been best known in recent years for his occasional outbursts, a love for the products of a fruit-named tech company, his love-hate relationship with Twitter and his caretaker role at QI.
But look beyond the horizon and you can see a comedy career which stretches back forever – well ok 30 years or so.
A graduate of the Cambridge Footlights, Fry’s success was born when he met his future writing partner Hugh Laurie. Fry almost never even made it to the famous college however after spending three months in prison after absconding with a credit card belonging to a family friend at the tender age of 17.
Luckily Fry after his release, he pleaded with his was given the chance to sit the entrance exams and did well enough to earn himself a place studying English Lit.
Fry broke into the comedy mainstream when the Cambridge Footlights won the first-ever Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1981 with a revue show titled The Cellar Tapes. The show spawned the careers not only of Fry but also Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson and Tony Slattery.
In 1982 The Cellar Tapes were broadcast on TV and Fry hasn’t looked back since. Fry and Laurie were offered their own show by the BBC in 1983 called the Crystal Cube and as their double act blossomed A Bit of Fry & Laurie was born.
A Bit of Fry & Laurie ran for nine years from 1986 to 1995 and by the time the show finished Fry – who also appeared in the phenomenally successful Blackadder - had established himself at the top of the comedy tree.
As the son of an inventor Fry’s link with all things technological makes sense, and he claims to have bought the third-ever Apple Mackintosh sold in the UK after Douglas Adams, who bought the first two.
Since 1995 Fry suffered a nervous breakdown and almost committed suicide – walking out of the play he was appearing and eventually making his way to Belgium. Since then Fry has been more open about his bi-polar disorder, and has produced a documentary on the subject titled Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive.
Apart from the odd spat at the public at large on Twitter, Fry has largely been much more healthy since, and has settled into his role as veteran presenter, intellectual baffler and seasoned traveller, he also may be spotted occassionally driving around London in his own Black Cab, we're not sure if he offers fares but it would be one hell of a journey.
- Commissioners and TV executives
- The Top 100 most influential people in comedy: 20 - 1
- Edinburgh Fringe 2012 picks: Free Fringe and free gigs
- Stewart Lee: "I don't think a 16-year-old me would want to be a comedian"
- The Top 100 most influential people in comedy 60 - 41
- Danny Dyer film Run For Your Wife takes £747 at box office
- The Top 100 most influential people in comedy
- The Top 100 People In Comedy 80 - 61
- The Top 100 most influential people in comedy: 100 - 81
- Edinburgh Fringe 2012 picks: First Hours