The Sunnewspaper asked if Chris Morris's July 2001 Brass Eye Special on paedophilia was 'the sickest TV ever?' It was certainly the most controversial, though his uncompromising style of comedy meant he was rarely far from trouble.
Morris first came to national prominence at the heart of a group of virtually unknown comedians brought together by Armando Iannucci. This book follows them from their 1991 news satire On the Hour, which transferred from radio to television where it was reinvented as the equally successful The Day Today. It became impossible to watch bulletins without thinking of Morris's Paxmanesque anchor character chastising a reporter -- 'Peter! You've lost the news!' -- or authoritatively delivering nonsense headlines: 'Sacked chimney worker pumps boss full of mayonnaise.' Meanwhile co-star Steve Coogan created a lasting anti-hero in Alan Partridge, imbued with a horrible life all of his own.
But Morris himself was always the most compelling character of all. Drawing on exclusive new interviews and original research, this book creates a compelling portrait of Morris from his earliest radio days and of the comedians and writers who frequently took on the industry they worked in, polarising opinion to such a degree that government ministers threatened to ban them entirely. THIS IS THE NEEEWWWWS!
LUCIAN RANDALL's previous books include the biography of Vivian Stanshall, Ginger Geezer (Fourth Estate). He lives in London.