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Hawks in 2003
|Born||Antony Gordon Hawksworth
12 May 1960
Brighton, Sussex, England
|Known for||Morris Minor and the Majors, "Stutter Rap (No Sleep Til Bedtime)", Playing the Moldovans at Tennis, Round Ireland with a Fridge|
Antony Gordon Hawksworth, MBE (born 12 May 1960), known professionally as Tony Hawks, is a British comedian and author.
Born in Brighton, East Sussex, Hawks was educated at Brighton Hove and Sussex Grammar School (1971-76) (became Brighton Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College in 1975) and Brighton College (1976-78). He stated during an appearance on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue that he briefly attended the University of Manchester.
After leaving a drama degree at Manchester University prematurely, Hawks appeared in the West End musical Lennon - A Musical Biography at The Astoria. By 1988, before he found chart success, he was already appearing in BBC Radio 4's Big Fun Show with Paul Merton, John Irwin and Josie Lawrence.
Hawks first attempted to break into show business as a singer-songwriter, but it was with a novelty record that he had his first brush with fame. As leader of the trio Morris Minor and the Majors, he reached number 4 in the UK Singles Chart with the Beastie Boys parody, "Stutter Rap (No Sleep til Bedtime)" in 1988. It went on to sell 220,000 copies, and reached a peak of number two in Australia. The follow-up, a pastiche of Stock Aitken Waterman called "This Is the Chorus", fared less well.
A TV series followed from this, Morris Minor's Marvellous Motors, written by and starring Hawks. In it the fictional bandleader attempted to maintain his pop career while running a garage. It ran for one series in 1989.
Hawks performs stand-up comedy, and is a regular on TV and radio panel games in the UK, including I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, Just a Minute, The Unbelievable Truth and Have I Got News for You, although he first came to prominence as one of two resident performers -- the other was Jo Brand -- on semi-successful BBC monologue show The Brain Drain.
He has also appeared in Red Dwarf in a number of supporting roles, on several occasions as a voice artist for intelligent machines. Hawks provided the voice of a vending machine in "Future Echoes" and "Waiting for God" and the voice of a suitcase in "Stasis Leak", and appeared on screen as The Guide in "Better Than Life", The Compere in "Backwards", and Caligula in "Meltdown". On 29 May 2009, Hawks featured in an episode of "Carpool", with his Red Dwarf co-star Robert Llewellyn.
He also provided the voice-over for a restaurant advertisement in the episode "Me²", although this role was uncredited. In the first few seasons of Red Dwarf, Hawks performed a warm-up act for the live audience before taping began. He has appeared as a pundit the television series Grumpy Old Men and as a contestant on the BBC quiz show School's Out.
In November 2010, he was a guest on a number of TV and radio programmes to discuss the film version of Round Ireland with a Fridge, including Simon Mayo's BBC Radio 2 show, "Loose Ends", BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Scotland. He was also a contestant on a special edition of Mastermind for Children in Need; featured as part of Comic Relief 2011.
In March 2011, he travelled to Japan to appear at the Okinawa International Movie Festival where Round Ireland with a Fridge was nominated for Best Comedy. In late 2011, Hawks completed his first national theatre tour for a decade, taking his one-man show, 'Random Fun' to 30 towns and cities around the UK. He was also a guest on many television and radio shows during the tour including BBC Breakfast and The Wright Stuff.
In August 2013, he, as well as many other comedians appeared in the television adaptation of the Radio show Just a Minute for the 45th anniversary of the show.
Hawks has written six books:
Hawks has also contributed to the collection The Weekenders: Travels in the Heart of Africa.
The film was shot in London, West Wales, the Surrey Hills and Ireland in 2009. It was directed by Ed Bye and the producers were Tony Hawks, Simon Sharkey and Greg Macmanus, the cinematographer was John Sorapure and the film editor was Mark Wybourn. The film premiered at the Cambridge Film Festival and was released on DVD on 8 November 2010.
It was co-directed by Hawks and Mikolaj Jaroszewicz, cinematographer on the Oscar winning Peter and the Wolf, and edited by Christopher White. Production design was by Edward Lidster and Vlad Lozovan, sound by Ludovic Lassare and lighting by Tim Jordan.
It was the first British feature film to be made in Moldova, with additional filming in London, Belfast and Israel and it premiered with a special charity screening at the Odeon West End in Leicester Square on 21 June 2012
Hawks staged a special charity performance of his comedy musical 'Midlife Cowboy' at the Lyric Theatre in London on 25 April 2016. It starred Hawks, Jack Dee, Doon Mackichan, Ben Miller, Alistair McGowan and Charlotte Page. Proceeds from the performance were donated to the Tony Hawks Care Home in Moldova.
Hawks donated half of the royalties from his book Playing the Moldovans at Tennis to a trust fund for Moldova, which was used to open the Hippocrates Centre, a medical centre that provides rehabilitative therapy for disabled children from socially vulnerable families. Hawks continues to support Hippocrates through fundraising and personal involvement and was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours "for services to disadvantaged children in Moldova".
Proceeds from the film version of Playing the Moldovans at Tennis also go to the Care Home.
Hawks is the co-founder and public face of the 'Tennis for Free' campaign which aims to make Britain's existing municipal tennis facilities available to all.
He is frequently confused with pro-skateboarder Tony Hawk, largely because the latter's video game franchise uses the possessive apostrophe ("Tony Hawk's"). Hawks maintains a list of emails intended for the skateboarder and his mischievous responses to them, on his website. On 2 January 2008, he appeared on an edition of Celebrity Mastermind, with Tony Hawk as his chosen specialist subject. Hawks noted that his correspondents "might be able to do backside varials but they can't spell to save their lives".