Charlie Higson

Charles Murray "Charlie" Higson (born 3 July 1958) is an English actor, comedian, author, and former singer. He has also written and produced for television and is the author of The Enemy book series.

Charlie Higson
Charlie Higson 2013
Higson at the 2013 British Comedy Awards
Born
Charles Murray Higson

3 July 1958 (age 60)
Frome, Somerset, England
OccupationActor, comedian, author
Years active1980–present
Spouse(s)Victoria L Fullick (1995–present)
Children3 children

Early life and education

Born in Frome, Somerset, Higson was educated at Sevenoaks School, Kent and at the University of East Anglia in Norwich (where his brother taught from 1986 to 2008, latterly as Professor of Film Studies) where he met Paul Whitehouse, David Cummings and Terry Edwards. Higson, Cummings and Edwards formed the band The Higsons of which Higson was the lead singer from 1980 to 1986. They released two singles on the Specials' 2 Tone Records label. This was after he had formed the punk band The Right Hand Lovers, wherein he performed as "Switch".[1] Higson then started squatting in London[2] and became a decorator – including decorating the house of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie[3] – before he turned to writing for Harry Enfield with Paul Whitehouse and performing comedy. He came to public attention as one of the main writers and performers of the BBC Two sketch show The Fast Show (1994–2000). He worked with Whitehouse on the radio comedy Down the Line and is to work with him again on a television project, designed to be a spoof of celebrity travel programmes.[4]

Career

In 1994 Higson co-wrote (with Lise Mayer) the screenplay for the film thriller Suite 16.

He worked as producer, writer, director and occasional guest star on Randall & Hopkirk from 2000 to 2001. Subsequent television work has included writing and starring in BBC Three's Fast Show spin-off sitcom Swiss Toni. He has starred in Tittybangbang on BBC Three and appeared as a panellist on QI. In 2010 he co-directed and starred in the series Bellamy's People. In 2017, Higson appeared as Ian Winterman in series three of Broadchurch, and as Ronnie Maguire in series three of Grantchester.

Higson published many novels through the early to mid-1990s which take a slightly dystopian look at everyday life and have a considerably more adult tone than his other work, with characters on the margins of society finding themselves spiralling out of control. This has led Time Out to describe him as "The missing link between Dick Emery and Bret Easton Ellis".[5]

In 2004, it was announced that Higson would pen the Young Bond series of James Bond novels, aimed at younger readers and concentrating on the character's school-days at Eton. Higson was himself educated at Sevenoaks School, where he was a contemporary of Jonathan Evans, former Director General of MI5. The first novel, SilverFin, was released on 3 March 2005 in the UK and on 27 April 2005 in the US. A second novel, Blood Fever, was released on 5 January 2006 in the UK and 1 June in the US. The third novel, Double or Die, was published on 4 January 2007 having had its title announced the day before. The next, Hurricane Gold, came out in hardcover in the UK in September 2007.[6] In this year he also made a debut performance on the panel show QI. His final Young Bond novel, By Royal Command, was released in hardcover in the UK on 4 September 2008.[7]

Higson is currently writing a post-apocalyptic, zombie-horror series of books for young adults. The eponymous first book in the series, titled The Enemy, was released in the UK by Puffin Books in 2009 and in the US by Disney-Hyperion in 2010. Book 2, The Dead, was released in the UK in September 2010. Book 3, The Fear, was published on 15 September 2011. Book 4, The Sacrifice, was released 20 September 2012. Book 5, The Fallen, was released 12 September 2013.[8] At a school event at Abingdon School on 14 September 2011, Charlie told children: "Originally it was going to be three books and then my publisher, Puffin, said make it five, and now we're up to it being seven."[9] At another, in John Lyon's School, he revealed that the last book in his series would be called The End. The Hunted was published on 1 January 2014[10] and The End was published in October 2015.[11]

In 2011, Higson appeared with the original cast (with the exception of Mark Williams) in an online-only version of The Fast Show sponsored by Foster's Lager.[12]

In June 2013 Higson wrote a television adaptation of A Caribbean Mystery, the story that inspired Ian Fleming to give the protagonist of his novel "Casino Royale" a name. He also portrayed the ornithologist James Bond in the production.

In 2015 Higson adapted the novel Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson for ITV Studios into a ten part adventure series set in the 1930s titled Jekyll and Hyde.

In 2018 Higson wrote a Fighting Fantasy gamebook entitled The Gates Of Death, which was published by Scholastic books as part of their campaign to relaunch the Fighting Fantasy franchise. He is a long term FF enthusiast, having attended Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 in London the previous year and also made a cameo appearance in the Ian Livingstone gamebook Blood Of The Zombies.[13]

Personal life

Higson lives in London with his wife and three sons.[14] On his website Higson describes himself as "lazy enough to steal his own bio from Wikipedia!"[15]

Bibliography

Novels

  • King of the Ants (1992) ISBN 0-349-11103-0
  • Happy Now (1993) ISBN 978-0-241-13363-7
  • Full Whack (1995), ISBN 0-241-00287-7
  • Getting Rid of Mister Kitchen (1996) ISBN 0-316-88106-6
  • Monstroso (2010) ISBN 978-0-14-132845-4

The Enemy

The Enemy novels

  1. The Enemy (2009) ISBN 0-14-138464-6
  2. The Dead (2010) ISBN 978-0-14-138465-8
  3. The Fear (2011) ISBN 0-14-138466-2
  4. The Sacrifice (2012) ISBN 978-0-14-133612-1
  5. The Fallen (2013) ISBN 978-0-14-133614-5
  6. The Hunted (2014) ISBN 9780141336107
  7. The End (2015) ASIN B00Z8PHRKS[16]

The Enemy short story

Young Bond

  1. SilverFin (2005), ISBN 0-14-131859-7
  2. Blood Fever (2006), ISBN 0-14-131860-0
  3. Double or Die (2007), ISBN 0-14-132203-9
  4. Hurricane Gold (2007), ISBN 0-14-138391-7
  5. By Royal Command (2008), ISBN 0-14-138451-4
  6. SilverFin: The Graphic Novel (2008), ISBN 978-0-14-132253-7 (with Kev Walker)
  7. Danger Society: The Young Bond Dossier (2009), ISBN 978-0-14-132768-6 (authored short story included in book)

Fighting Fantasy

  • The Gates of Death (2018)

Non-fiction

  • The 'Fast Show' Book (1996), ISBN 0-7522-2267-8 (with Paul Whitehouse)

Short stories

  • "The Red Line" in The 'Time Out' Book of Short Stories , edited by Maria Lexton,(1993), ISBN 0-14-023085-8

References

  1. ^ Odell, Michael (31 August 2008). "This much I know: Charlie Higson, author, 50, London – Life and style – The Observer". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  2. ^ Charlie Higson (October 2015). "Charlie Higson: my days squatting with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse". The Guardian.
  3. ^ according to Stephen Fry on the QI programme (Series D, Episode 12) (repeated on the channel Dave, 21 July 2009)
  4. ^ Byrne, Ciar (1 October 2007). "Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson: Making (radio) waves". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 24 December 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2007.
  5. ^ "Quoted on Publisher's webpage". Little,Brown on 'Full Whack'. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
  6. ^ "Young Bond 4 in September". The Young Bond Dossier. Retrieved 5 April 2007.
  7. ^ "By Royal Command official announcement". The Young Bond Dossier. Archived from the original on 6 July 2008. Retrieved 22 June 2008.
  8. ^ "Official Enemy Website". Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  9. ^ "mostly books blog: A master class in dealing with the undead". Mostly-books.blogspot.com. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  10. ^ Higson, Charlie (2014). The Hunted. Puffin Books. ISBN 978-0141336107.
  11. ^ sapphirebooklover; Higson, Charlie (30 October 2015). "Charlie Higson: 'The Enemy series is my own zombie survival plan'". The Guardian – via The Guardian.
  12. ^ "Foster's – The Fast Show". Fosters.co.uk. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  13. ^ "Fighting Fantasy Interview with Charlie Higson". fightingfantasy.com. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Charlie Higson – Children's Author". lovereading4kids.co.uk. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  15. ^ Charlie Higson (2011). "Charlie Higson, Writer and human person". Charlie Higson. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  16. ^ "A Master Class in Dealing With the Undead". Mostly-Books. 15 September 2011.
  17. ^ Higson, Charlie (5 June 2012). Geeks vs. Zombies. Disney Hyperion. p. 34. ISBN 9780141344249.
  18. ^ "Book Description: Geeks v. Zombies". Amazon.com. 2012.

External links

Blood Fever

Blood Fever is the second novel in the Young Bond series depicting Ian Fleming's superspy James Bond as a teenager in the 1930s. The novel, written by Charlie Higson, was released in the United Kingdom on 5 January 2006 by Puffin Books.

By Royal Command

By Royal Command is the fifth novel in the Young Bond series depicting Ian Fleming's superspy James Bond as a teenager in the 1930s. The novel, written by Charlie Higson, takes place in 1934 and see James at the age of fourteen. Locations include The Alps (Kitzbühel), England, France, Lisbon, and Vienna.By Royal Command was published in hardcover by Puffin Books in the UK on September 3, 2008. Cover art (featuring a black and red Union Jack) was not revealed until the day of publication. The paperback was released on May 28, 2009, and includes an extract from a new Young Bond short story by Charlie Higson, "A Hard Man to Kill".By Royal Command was released by Disney-Hyperion in the U.S. on May 18, 2010. Cover artwork is by Owen Richardson.

Paul Whitehouse

Paul Julian Whitehouse (born 17 May 1958) is a British actor, writer and comedian. He was one of the main stars of the BBC sketch comedy series The Fast Show, and has also starred with Harry Enfield in the shows Harry & Paul and Harry Enfield and Chums. In a 2005 poll to find The Comedian's Comedian, he was in the top 50 comedy acts voted for by comedians and comedy insiders.

Shoot to Kill (Cole novel)

Shoot to Kill is a novel written by Steve Cole, the first continuation entry in the Young Bond series. Cole took over from Charlie Higson who left the series in 2009 after his final instalment A Hard Man to Kill. Shoot to Kill features Ian Fleming's spy, James Bond in his teenage years, finding himself troubled in the outskirts of Los Angeles, having recently been expelled from Eton. It was followed Heads You Die in May 2016.

SilverFin

SilverFin is the first novel in the Young Bond series that depicts Ian Fleming's superspy James Bond as a teenager in the 1930s. It was written by Charlie Higson and released in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2005 by Puffin Books in conjunction with a large marketing campaign; a Canadian release of the same edition occurred in late March. The United States edition, which was slightly edited for content, was released on April 27, 2005 by Miramax Books.

SilverFin's success spawned a mobile game published by PlayerOne on January 5, 2006 in conjunction with the release of the second novel in the Young Bond series, Blood Fever. The game features 3 locations, 15 levels, and a variety of enemies that the player must avoid.

Because Ian Fleming never explicitly said when James Bond was born, Ian Fleming Publications and Charlie Higson chose the year 1920 as his birth year. SilverFin takes place in 1933.

Swiss Toni

Swiss Toni is a fictional used-car dealer played by Charlie Higson, and also the title of a sitcom in which he is the main character. Swiss is a 50-something car dealer going through a midlife crisis. To Toni almost any situation in life is best considered as being "like making love to a beautiful woman", in some rather implausible ways. Swiss is usually depicted wearing a grey suit and with his hair styled in a platinum blond bouffant quiff. The character was created by Charlie Higson and Bob Mortimer and originally introduced in the BBC comedy series The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer, but is best known as a recurring character in another BBC comedy series, The Fast Show.

Swiss Toni later reappeared in an eponymous sitcom, which developed both the character and his situation beyond the confines of the Fast Show sketches. The two series ran on BBC Three in 2003 and 2004, the first three episodes of the first series also being repeated on BBC One. As well as playing the title character, Higson was the show's main writer and one of its producers. Other regular cast members were Rhys Thomas as Paul, a junior salesman at the dealership (also featured in the original Fast Show sketches), Simon Day as Geoff Fowler, a more successful though alcoholic salesman (many of whose lines Day improvised), Matilda Ziegler as Swiss's wife, Ruth, and Elizabeth Spriggs as his mother. Guest appearances were made by, among others, Tom Baker, Olivia Colman, Paul Whitehouse, and snooker player Steve Davis.

Young Bond

Young Bond is a series of young adult spy novels featuring Ian Fleming's secret agent James Bond as a young teenage boy attending school at Eton College in the 1930s. The series, written by Charlie Higson, was originally planned to include only five novels; however, after the release of the fifth novel, Higson considered the possibility of a second series. In October 2013 it was confirmed that a second series of four novels was in development, with the first novel due for release in Q3 2014, but it would be penned by Steve Cole while Higson continued work on his young adult zombie series, The Enemy.Since the release of the first novel, SilverFin, in 2005, the series has become very successful and has led to further works including games, a graphic novel and a supplemental travel guide.

English-language versions of the books are published by Puffin Books in the United Kingdom and Hyperion Books For Children in the United States.

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