Top comedian backs Norwich culture bid
A popular actor, comedian and writer who is behind some of the most iconic comic creations of the past 20 years has today given Norwich's bid to become UK's first City of Culture in 2013 a welcome boost.Support Norwich on FacebookOfficial Norwich 2013 bid website
A popular actor, comedian and writer who is behind some of the most iconic comic creations of the past 20 years has today given Norwich's bid to become UK's first City of Culture in 2013 a welcome boost.
Paul Whitehouse, who became known for his work with Harry Enfield and as one of the stars of the popular BBC sketch show The Fast Show, said he wishes Norwich luck in its bid to land the prestigious title.
Mr Whitehouse, who was born in Wales, attended the University of East Anglia in 1977 where he made friends with fellow comedian, writer and actor Charlie Higson.
The pair formed a band, The Right Hand Lovers, while at university, and although Mr Whitehouse did not complete his studies in Norwich, he still has fond memories of the city.
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He said: 'Good luck Norwich. I only lasted a year with you but I had some fun in your fine city. I wish you good fortune with your bid for the City of Culture.'
Mr Whitehouse, who is one of the stars to currently appear in adverts for insurance giants Aviva, formerly Norwich Union, was reunited with Mr Higson after he graduated.
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At the time Mr Whitehouse was working as a decorator by day and performing at the weekends with his punk funk group The Higsons.
The pair were inspired to start writing comedy and later met up with Harry Enfield. Mr Whitehouse created Enfield's character Stavros, a London-based Greek kebab shop owner, and Lodsamoney, an Essex boy made good in the 1980s.
This success turned Whitehouse and Higson's career, and they started writing for Vic Reeves' Big Night Out and extensively for the BBC , firstly for A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Paul Merton: The Series , then as performer on shows such as Harry Enfield's Television Programme , where he developed numerous characters including DJ Mike Smash of Smashie and Nicey .
The pair also created a rapid-fire delivery comedy show, The Fast Show , while in 2001 and 2002 Mr Whitehouse wrote and performed in two series of the BBC comedy drama Happiness , in which he played a voice-over actor with a mid-life crisis .
Mr Whitehouse has also appeared in a number of films, including Kevin and Perry Go Large, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Finding Neverland, alongside friend Johnny Depp, and Alice in Wonderland, also with Depp.
The good luck message for the city comes just days after Norwich submitted its final bid alongside other short-listed cities - Birmingham, Sheffield and Derry/Londonderry.
To find out more about the city of culture bid, or how to get involved. Log onto www.en24.co.uk/culture