This article is from the Ben Elton FAQ, by Andrew Wong firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Ben Elton was born on 3 May 1959, in Catford, South London to a
distinguished academic family, whom had originally fled to England in 1938
to escape Hitler's anti-Semitism. Ben's father and uncle were professors at
Surrey and Cambridge, and his grandfather was a reknown classical historian
in Prague who lost his professorship when Hitler invaded.
The youngest of four, he went to Godalming Grammar school, joined amateur
dramatic societies and wrote his first play at 15. He wanted to be a
stagehand at the local theatre, but instead did A-Level Theatre Studies
and studied drama at Manchester University in 1977. Rik Mayall and Adrian
Edmondson were in their final year doing the same degree when Ben arrived.
After graduating in 1980, he started on his career as a stand-up comedian,
and by early 1981 had joined Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson at the
Comedy Store in London. He was paid £15 every time he performed his comedy
routine, and soon became one of the regular comperes.
Originally his stand-up performance was meant simply to showcase his own
material, but from there he wrote and acted in television, and wrote
novels, plays and now screenplays - while still maintaining his
stand-up comedy performances.
He currently lives in Notting Hill, West London with his wife Sophie
Gare, whom he met in Australia while on tour. She plays the saxophone
in an all-girl group The Boom Babies.
He has cited influences as diverse as Morecambe and Wise, and
Noel Coward, and is a strong supporter of the Labour Party.