Carr at the 2007 British Comedy Awards
|Birth name||Alan Graham Carr|
14 June 1976 |
Weymouth, Dorset, England
|Medium||Radio, stand-up comedy, television|
|Alma mater||Middlesex University|
|Subject(s)||Everyday life, innuendo|
Carr was born in Weymouth, Dorset, and spent most of his childhood in Northampton before moving in his early 20s to Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, where he began his comedy career. Carr's breakthrough was in 2001, winning the City Life Best Newcomer of the Year and the BBC New Comedy Awards.
In the ensuing years, his career burgeoned on the Manchester comedy circuit before he became well known for hosting The Friday Night Project with Justin Lee Collins. This led to the release of a short-lived entertainment show Alan Carr's Celebrity Ding Dong in 2008 and, eventually, his popular comedy chat show Alan Carr: Chatty Man, which aired on Channel 4 between 2009 and 2016.
Carr also hosted a radio show, Going Out with Alan Carr, on BBC Radio 2 for three years as well as releasing his autobiography Look Who It Is! (2008) and going on three arena tours: Tooth Fairy Live (2007), Spexy Beast Live (2011) and Yap, Yap, Yap! (2015).
After completing his degree in his early 20s, Carr moved to Manchester, seeking a better life and aspiring to be a comedian. He moved into a house full of activity in Chorlton-cum-Hardy after which he moved to Stretford; which he cites as an inspiration for his comedic work. Carr soon became a regular on the Manchester comedy circuit, including Alan Carr's Ice Cream Sunday at the Manchester Comedy Store. Carr also made friends with fellow comedians based on the Manchester circuit, including Jason Manford, Justin Moorhouse and John Bishop.
Despite being openly gay, he does not consider his sexuality to be a focal part of his act, once saying, "I just think gay people need to get over themselves. Just because you're gay and on the telly doesn't mean you're a role model. I'm just a comedian. That's all I am. What am I meant to do? Do I go down the Julian Clary route and talk about fisting and poppers? I don't talk about being gay and I think what better equality for gays than that?" In September 2016, Carr announced his engagement to his long-term partner Paul Drayton.
On 21 September 2006, Carr and entertainer Lionel Blair helped save a man who was about to fall from a pier in Blackpool. The man was holding on by his fingertips, but the two men managed to pull him to safety.
Carr made his radio presenting debut on Christmas Day 2007 for BBC Radio 2 as part of their Festive Highlights, with the show Alan Carr's Christmas Box. He filled in on BBC Radio 6 Music on 16 February and 14 June 2008 for Adam and Joe and co-presented The Russell Brand Show on 4 October 2008. He also presented Alan Carr's Comedy Outings for BBC Radio 2 in 2008. On 25 April 2009, Carr began hosting Going Out with Alan Carr, a new show for Radio 2, in conjunction with Emma Forbes (later replaced by Melanie Sykes). The show was broadcast every Saturday evening from 6pm to 8pm. On 7 March 2012 he announced that he made the decision to hang up his headphones to focus on his Chatty Man show. Carr said: "I've loved every minute of it but it's time to reclaim my weekends. I wish Radio 2 every success but I'll listen from my home in the future instead." His last show was on 31 March 2012. He returned on Boxing Day 2015 for a one off show on the station. For 4 weeks in January/February 2017 Alan again returned to Radio 2 to sit in for Paul O'Grady on his Sunday show. Carr reunited with Sykes to present a 10 week show called 'Summer Escapes' sitting in for Graham Norton on Saturdays from July till September 2017 on Radio 2. It was on air between 10am and 1pm and included features based around summer including the 'British Seaside Survey'.
Carr performs stand-up regularly, on tour and on television. He has been featured in three Edinburgh shows and in 2007 he toured throughout the UK, which was followed by a DVD entitled "Tooth Fairy Live". Carr had his own monthly show in a Manchester comedy club and he has toured nationwide, supporting other acts. He has performed at the Apollo Theatre in London, which was televised for the BBC One series Live at the Apollo, and has been featured in the Royal Variety Performance.
Carr has appeared and performed at many festivals, including the Reading and Leeds Festivals, Latitude Festival, the Kilkenny Comedy Festival and Live Earth, where he welcomed musical acts David Gray and Damien Rice on stage. He has performed stand-up internationally, including an appearance at the Montreal "Just For Laughs" festival.
In December 2008, when accepting his award for Best Entertainment Personality at the British Comedy Awards, Carr dedicated it to Karen Matthews, who had earlier that month been found guilty of kidnapping Shannon Matthews, her own daughter. Carr was quoted by BBC News as stating: "I should dedicate this award to her [Karen]. She would be my dream guest. I think she's a gay icon. People like a bit of rough, don't they?"
Shahid Malik, MP for Matthews' constituency of Dewsbury, described Carr's comments about Shannon Matthews as "sick and insensitive". Carr subsequently apologised for his comments, saying "I realise what I said was insensitive and I am very sorry for any offence caused." On his own website he added: "For those of you who have enjoyed my comedy and seen my act over the last seven years you all would have got used to my tongue in cheek style and near the knuckle observations. Last night at the Comedy Awards [...] I was being ironic, these aren't my real sentiments obviously."
|2006-2009||Friday/Sunday Night Project||Host|
|2007-2008||Alan Carr's Celebrity Ding Dong||Host|
|2009-2016||Alan Carr: Chatty Man||Host (16 series + 1 special)|
|2011||Who Do You Think You Are?||Himself, one episode|
|2011-present||Alan Carr's Specstacular||Host|
|2012||Playing It Straight UK||Narrator|
|2012, 2014, 2016||Stand Up to Cancer||Co-Host|
|2014||The Singer Takes It All||Host|
|Stars at Your Service||Co-host|
|2015||The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water||Seagull (UK version)|
|2016||Alan Carr's Happy Hour||Host |
|Alan Carr's 12 Stars of Christmas||Host|
|2017||The Price is Right||Host|
|The Remote Controller||Host|
|I Don't Like Mondays||Host|
|Tooth Fairy LIVE||12 November 2007||Live at London's HMV Hammersmith Apollo|
|Spexy Beast Live||14 November 2011||Live at Manchester's Evening News Arena|
|Yap, Yap, Yap! Live||16 November 2015||Live at London's Hammersmith Apollo|