Ricky Grover is quite literally and in more ways than one, one of the biggest names in modern British comedy. Born and bred in the East End of London, Ricky tried his hand at such diverse occupations as hairdressing and boxing before almost staggering into the comedy business. Now a prolific and award-winning writer, as well as an acclaimed actor appearing as Andrew onEastenders (BBC 2011) and as the lead role in his 2011 film ‘Big Fat Gypsy Gangster’ plus presenter and stand-up comedian, it is hard to believe that top comic Ricky Grover was illiterate until he was in his early thirties.
Primarily a stand-up comedian, Ricky Grover is responsible for some of the most memorable moments on British comedy stages in the past 20 years. His Diet Coke break pastiche has to be seen to be believed as his does his affectionate tribute to the late, great Luciano Pavarotti and his Nessun Dorma routine.
As well as appearing as himself to great effect, Ricky Grover is also an acclaimed character comedian. One of his favourite and most popular comic roles is the character of Bulla, a violent offender/minder/bouncer who first came to nationwide prominence on The 11 O’clock Show, also the launch pad for Ali G and Ricky Gervais. Ricky Grover’s ‘Bulla’ was even interviewed on BBC TV by one of Bulla’s biggest fans – the one-and-only chat show host Michael Parkinson. He was also reincarnated to great effect in the BBC2 comedy series ‘Orrible’, alongside Johnny Vaughan.
Ricky Grover has also appeared as a guest, comedian and actor in such landmark British comedy television programmes as Red Dwarf, Fist of Fun and Black Books. Not one to stick to the straight and narrow, Ricky Grover also provided the voice for the character of Yangus in the PlayStation 2 game Dragon Quest VIII.
Ricky Grover’s talent as an actor, comedian and writer is second to none and has been recognised the world over. In 1996 his short film Punch won the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. In 2000, Ricky Grover won the Best Actor award at the Brest European Short Film Festival for his performance in the film Hungry. Never shy to discuss his own problems, in 2006, Ricky Grover wrote and hosted the BBC documentary F*** Off I’m Fat as part of the BBC’s first “Body Image” season. In 2007, the comedian presented a peak-time Tonight With Trevor McDonald report on obesity. In July 2009 he starred in the BBC4 sitcom Getting On, directed by Peter Capaldi and in the Vampire film Dead Cert under the direction from the famous Steven Lawson. Ricky Grover also appeared in Guy Ritchie’s movie Revolver and in documentary maker Clive Gordon’s feature film debut Cargo.
Ricky Grover’s first love however, as the outlet that gave him his break, is comedy and particularly stand-up. In order to give something back, he recently hosted a BBC Two episode of Grandad’s Back in Business in which Ricky Grover mentored two stand-up comedians.
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