In addition to his books, and work on TV series like The Young Ones, Ben Elton is a playwright, having written "Gasping", "Silly Cow" and "Inconceivable" (recently filmed as "Maybe Baby") and a stand up comedian

Ben hosted the UK version of Saturday Night Live and had several BBC series of The Man From Auntie (Auntie being the affectionate name for the BBC). His comedic approach is a political ranting, left-wing style, and his catchphrase was "little bit of politics there". In his live shows, his language is extremely anglo-saxon

He has acted, both in the TV adaptation of his novel, Stark, and in Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing

Also made a brief foray into hosting chat-shows, covering for Terry Wogan, leading to the funniest and most confrontational version of this bland format I've ever seen, when called upon to interview Conservative politicians such as Jeffrey Archer

Ben Elton is a British comedian and author. He started his career writing for the TV series The Young Ones with his friend from college Rik Mayall, a series on which he also made two appearances (as host of Nozin' Around and a contestant on University Challenge).

As a stand-up comedian he first came to the public eye as host of the UK version of Saturday Night Live (later Friday Night Live), where his monologues at the start and end of the show, along with his catchphrases 'little bit of politics' and 'my name's Ben Elton, goodnight!' and his penchant for shiny suits made him very well known. This was in the mid-late 1980s, and the subject of his monologues was usually the iniquity of Margaret Thatcher.

During this time he also co-wrote the TV series Filthy, Rich and Catflap and Happy Families, two rather unsuccessful series using many of the cast members of The Young Ones. Far more successful was his stint writing for Black Adder, which he started co-writing during the second series, and helped turn around from the rather dull first series into one of the funniest series in TV history.

In the early 90s, Elton also got his own TV series, The Man From Auntie, which continued the style of his Saturday Night Live performances, slightly less successfully. However, for much of the 90s he gave up stand up comedy to concentrate on his writing. The one return he did make to the form, The Ben Elton Show in 1998, was tired and predictable. This was possibly due to the election of a nominally left-wing government a year earlier, but may well have been more to do with his own waning talents.

While in his prime Elton was one of Britain's great comic writers, much of his work in the 90s was lacklustre to say the least. His reunion with Black Adder star Rowan Atkinson on The Thin Blue Line was disappointing, and his novels, which started well with Stark, became progressively less interesting - the last few have been unreadable dreck. He reached a new low however with his cowriting the musical The Beautiful Game with Andrew Lloyd-Webber, and now writing the new Queen musical We Will Rock You. The once anti-establishment angry young man was last seen compering the Queen's Jubilee concert.

The following is as complete a list of Elton's works as I've been able to put together from memory - please msg me if there are any additions:


Bachelor Boys - The Young Ones Book (with Rik Mayall and Lise Mayer)
This Other Eden
Blast From The Past
Dead Famous
High Society

TV shows as writer

The Young Ones (also performer)
Filthy, Rich and Catflap
Blackadder II
Blackadder: The Cavalier Years
Blackadder III (also performer)
Blackadder's Christmas Carol
Blackadder Goes Forth
Blackadder Back And Fourth
Mr Bean (first episode only)
Stark (also performer)
The Thin Blue Line

TV Shows as performer

Saturday Night Live
Friday Night Live
Wogan (as guest host)
The Man From Auntie
The Ben Elton Show




Silly Cow
Blast From the Past
The Beautiful Game (with Andrew Lloyd Webber)
We Will Rock You (with Queen)


Much Ado About Nothing (as actor)
Maybe Baby (writer)

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