Born in Singapore in 1970, to American novelist and travel writer, Paul Theroux , Louis spent much of his childhood globetrotting, but eventually moved with his family to a big old house in Wandsworth, South London.
He attended Westminster School, followed by Oxford University, where he achieved a First Class honours degree in History.

It was after graduation that Louis decided to spend some time in the States:

I felt that at least by being in America I was broadening my mind. I did menial work to make money and spent two months with a glass blower who made unbelievably tasteless gilded cherub goblets"

Although initially resisting the idea of going into journalism, like many of his contemporaries, Louis found a job on a local paper in San Jose, doing "stories on off-beat subjects, like psychics and anarchists, for a weekly newspaper called Metro."

A year later he went to work for the New York-based satirical magazine - Spy, before becoming a correspondent for Michael Moore's 1995 series, TV Nation, for which he anchored sixteen segments.

The first was on the The Klu Klux Klan who were "trying desperately hard to repackage themselves and make themselves seem cuddly and nice, but inevitably they left out racist stickers or hate filled T-shirts."

His best known work - Louis Theroux's WEIRD WEEKENDS were developed in 1995.

"WEIRD WEEKENDS sets out to discover the genuinely odd in the most ordinary setting. To me, it's almost a privilege to be welcomed into these communities and to shine a light on them and, maybe, through my enthusiasm, to get people to reveal more of themselves than they may have intended. The show is laughing at me, adrift in their world, as much as at them. "

The series has covered subjects such as gay porn, wrestling and recently included a one-off special on bizarre British celeb, Jimmy Saville. Meeting groups of people who are off-the-wall in some way, Theroux ridicules them in a subtle and sarcastic manner, which is very British -rather than poking fun at them himself, he simply gives them all the rope they need in order to hang themselves.

Which they do every time, bless them!

What the previous writeups have failed to mention about Louis Theroux is his effectiveness as a journalist. Yes, he gives people lots of opportunities to make fools of themselves (which they invariably do), but his real purpose is much more subtle. He hides his perceptiveness under an innocent, almost childlike exterior and uses this to ask people really nasty questions in a nice way. It is very elegant. He always manages to get past the front that whatever group he is investigating puts out to outsiders, and discovers the true motivation (often money) behind its leaders.

One of his more recent works was a weekend with the magician Paul Daniels and his wife Debbie McGee, and in the weekend he very delicately prised open their happy-go-lucky front to reveal a very vulnerable and fragile relationship. His latest triumph (this will make no sense to American noders) was to be making a documentary on the Hamiltons when the rape investigation started, so for a week or two he was the one everyone wanted to talk to. What he discovered about Neil and his wife has not yet been shown, and because of the incident, now may never be released.

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