British Comedian and Rear of the Year, 1998.

Born on January 28th, 1957 as Chris Collins in Oldbury, UK, Frank first made a name for himself on national television by co-hosting Fantasy Football League with David Baddiel in 1994. Previous to that, he had been performing stand-up comedy with gradually increasing success since 1987 when a trip to the Edinburgh Festival convinced him that it was a better alternative to factory work. He had already managed to avoid any sort of employment by undertaking A-Levels at night-school, followed by an English degree at Birmingham Polytechnic and an M.A. at Warwick University.

After a disastrous first gig at the Birmingham Anglers Association, Frank continued to perform unpaid spots on London's caberet circuit before forming and compering in his own club in Birmingham, building up a local following and gradually honing his act of hilarious yet borderline-tasteless comedy. He returned to the Edinburgh Festival in 1991 and walked away with the Perrier Award which lead to his television debut on Central West and managed to get no less than 131 complaints, including one from Edwina Currie.

He went on to find further fame with his own talk show named, surprisingly, The Frank Skinner Show, with guests ranging from Gene Wilder, Tony Blair and Eddie Izzard to an Oliver Reed-esque encounter with a very drunk Tara Palmer Tomkinson. His quick wit and steadfast inability to let any guest get the better of him succeeded in making sure the experience was embarassing for only one person:

"She says we cut out her witty remarks but I'd challenge anyone to do the edit that would have made Tara look good. We were as nice as anyone could have been - and I quite fancied her."

He teamed up with David Baddiel again for Baddiel & Skinner: Unplanned, a live-recorded show with no script and all comedy material coming from questions asked by members of the audience. But that's another node...

Possibly Pointless Trivia:

  • His stage name came about when it became clear that another performer was already registered under his birth name. After toying with the idea of naming himself Wes Bromwich, after his supported football team West Bromwich Albion, he borrowed Frank Skinner from a man in his dad's pub dominoes team.

  • Frank was expelled from school after he discovered where the spent dinner tickets were kept and made a profitable business out of selling them back to his fellow pupils at a significantly lower price.


December, 2001:
Frank took the prize for 'Best Comedy Entertainment Personailty' at the British Comedy Awards, beating off competition from the other nominees Johnathan Ross and Graham Norton. (thanks stupot)

January, 2002:
As a big exclusive for ITV, Frank interviewed top pop starlet Britney Spears and managed to get through the program without looking like some kind of fawning sycophant. Apparently, just what I read, of all the UK interview programs, Britney chose Frank. I am, however, not sure how true that is. The highlight of the show, however, had to be the sketch pastiche of Pop Idol at the beginning, with Frank playing the role of each of the four judges.

research thanks cannon:

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