Biography (Part Two)

Bill’s 2001 tour Bewilderness was a commercial and critical success, with The New York Times calling him “a treat for the funny bone, the brain and the ear”, and The Telegraph pronouncing him “a hobbit with a wicked sense of humour”.

Among other things, Bewilderness demonstrated Bill’s wide range of musical knowledge, making him an ideal choice to take over from Sean Hughes as team captain on Never Mind the Buzzcocks in 2002. He has now appeared in 5 series, and the show is still going strong, despite the departure of long-time host Mark Lamarr.

Bill’s next big tour, Part Troll, was met with equal acclaim and achieved success all over the world. Its beginnings were at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2003, a year when Bill also branched out as a dramatic actor in an extremely well-received production of 12 Angry Men, as the restrained Juror 4. Two years later he assumed the vastly different role of the slouchy, unkempt Oscar in The Odd Couple, and received equally excellent reviews.

In 2006 Bill premiered his show Steampunk in Edinburgh, and appeared on our screens on Sunday afternoons hosting Wild Thing I Love You, a Channel 4 wildlife show calling for Bill and his team to come up with innovative solutions to animals’ problems and in 2007 Bill took his audio-visual comedic extravaganza, Tinselworm, on a sold-out arena tour of the kingdom.

In 2008, Bill appeared in Channel Four’s Skins, and performed at a host of summer festivals, including the inaugural Comedy Session at the iconic Eden Project. He toured Australia and New Zealand with Tinselworm and then decided to make a stop at The Royal Albert Hall in order to perform Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra with Anne Dudley and the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Bill finished a ten week run at London’s Gielgud Theatre early in 2009 and followed that with a summer tour of the UK, Bill Bailey: Live, for which (amongst other subjects) Bill drew inspiration from Darwin and all things evolutionary. Then came a nationwide tour of Bill Bailey’s Remarkable guide to the Orchestra (performing with various orchestras), to coincide with the DVD release of the same name, culminating in a performance at London’s O2 Arena.

Bill Bailey’s Birdwatching Bonanza was transmitted in January 2010 on Sky1 HD and Sky1 where Bill played host to two celebrity teams in a series of tough, competitive bird watching challenges. In March, he appeared at the O2 for Channel 4’s Comedy Gala to raise money for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, and followed that with an appearance as Farmer Macreadie in Emma Thompson’s feature film, Nanny McPhee and The Big Bang.

The Spring of 2010 saw the genesis of what would become Bill’s Dandelion Mind show. Bill toured the highlands and North of England (during which he hot footed it back to Kew Gardens for a day to have a pitcher plant named after him – the ‘Nepenthes Bill Bailey’ – at the Chelsea Flower Show), performing the show in the open air to a very large crowd at Bristol City’s football ground – Ashton Gate Stadium, before traveling to Dublin’s O2 to record his next DVD.

Bill played the part of Angus the hangman for John Landis’s feature, Burke and Hare, released in November 2010, and which coincided with the start of a 10 week West End run at the Wyndham’s Theatre in London where his Dandelion Mind show could be seen.

Little Crackers series was transmitted in December 2010, marking the debut of a raft of new British-originated comedies for Sky 1 HD. Featuring ‘Carpark Babylon’ a 12 minute film written, co-directed by and starring Bill, in which his character temporarily forgets that Christmas is about giving, not gadgetry, the series also included films by Julia Davis, Stephen Fry, Catherine Tate, Meera Syal, Dawn French, Victoria Wood, Chris O’Dowd, Jo Brand, David Baddiel, Julian Barratt and Kathy Burke.

In January 2011 Bill hosted Comic’s Choice for Channel Four – a five episode celebration of comedy and comedic talent which was broadcast nightly in the run-up to the British Comedy Awards . Each episode saw Bill chatting to a British A-list comedian (Alan Davies, Lee Mack, Jo Brand, Jessica Hynes, Sean Lock) about their favourite comedy performers, actors and shows.

The lastest feature in which Bill can be found is Chalet Girl, directed by Phil Traill and released in February 2011.

Bill is currently developing more ideas for film and television with his own production company, Glassbox Productions (formed in November 2007), who are responsible for bringing to the screen Tinselworm, Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra and Dandelion Mind.

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