Bill Bailey - Personal Life and Career

Bill Bailey, on his real name Mark Bailey, was born on 13 January 1964, in Bath, Somerset. He is an English stand-up comedian, musician and actor. Besides his extensive stand-up work, Bailey is well known for his appearances on Have I Got News, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, QI and Black Books. The artist Bill Bailey was listed by The Observer as one of the 50 funniest actors in British comedy in 2003. In 2007 and again in 2010, he was voted the 7th greatest stand-up comic on Chanel 4’s 100 Greatest Stand-Ups. Bill Bailey is a patron of International Animal Rescue. He is married since 1998 with Kirsten and has a son named Dax.

Personal Life

Bill Bailey grew up in Keynsham, a town situated between Bath and Bristol, in the West of England. His father was a general practitioner and his mother was a hospital ward sister. Bill’s father had his surgery in the two rooms at the front of the family house.

Bailey learned at King Edward’s School, an independent school in Bath where he was an eminent pupil . However, at about the age of 15 years, he started palying in a school band called Behind Closed Doors which became a distraction from his studies.The band played mostly original work and only a few covers. He was the only pupil at his school to study A-level music and he passed with an A grade.

In 1982 Bill was also the captain of KES 2nd XI cricket team so he liked sports as well and he was good at it, surprisingly for his teachers. He would often combine the two by leading the singing on the long coach trip back from away rugby fixtures. It was here that received his nickname Bill by his music teacher, Ian Phipps, for being able to play the song "Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey" so well on the guitar. He now supports Queens Park Rangers. Bill started an English degree at Westfield College of the University of London but never finished it.

Stand-up comedian, musician and actor Bill Bailey married Kristin in 1998. His son was born five years later, in 2003. A really big Star Trek fan, he named his son after the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Character, Dax. In the same scenario, Bill often refers to himself as a Klingon. He currently lives in Combe Martin, Devon. In 2010, Bailey endorsed the Labour Party in the upcoming General Election, appearing in the party's fifth party election broadcast of the 2010 campaign. He is also a feminist and supports of Fawcett Society.


Bill Bailey begins his stand-up comedy career in 1984, touring with other comedians as Mark Lamarr, Toby Longworth, Martins Stubbs, sometimes doing even three or four concerts a night. In 1994, Bailey performed Rock at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with Sean Lock, a show about an aging rockstar and his roadie, script-edited by comedy writer Jim Miller. The show was later serialised for the Mark Radcliffe’s show on BBC Radio 1. However, the show's attendances were not impressive for the audience. Bailey almost gave up stand-up comedy to take up a telesales job.

Fortunately, Bill Bailey carried on working and the next year he started his solo career with the one man show Bill Bailey's Cosmic Jam. The show was very well received and led to a recording at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London. The stand-up comedy performance was broadcasted in 1997 on Chanell 4 as a one-hour special called Bill Bailey Live.In 2005 that this was released in DVD under its original title. This was the first time that Bailey had been able to tie together his music and post-modern bits with the whimsical rambling style he is now known for.

In 1995, Bill Bailey supported Donna McPhaill and won a Time Out award. He after returned to Edinburgh in 1996 with a critically acclaimed show that was nominated for the Perrier Comedy Award. He also won the Best Live Stand-Up award at the British Comedy Awards, 1999.

In 1991, he made his firs appearance in stand-up shows such as The Happening,Packing Them In, The Stand Up Show, and The Comedy Store. But his firs television show, he had written and presented was BBC’s Is It Bill Bailey? The comedian continued in 2000 on Channel 4’s Black Books, a sitcom about a grumpy bookshop owner, his put-upon assistant, and their neurotic female friend. Three series of six episodes were made, building up a large cult fanbase, providing the public awareness on which Bailey would build a successful national tour in 2001.

In 2002, Bill stared in Never Mind The Buzzocks as the team captain. His style quickly blended into the show, possibly helped by his background in music. He left the show in 2008. Comedian Bill Bailey also presented Wild Thing! I Love You, on Chanel 4 in 2006. The series focuses on the protection of Britain's wild animals.He also stared in Skins, in the first episode of Grand Designs Live - in 2008. In 2009, he appeared in the BBC show Hustle and presented Bill Bailey's Birdwatching Bonanza.

About his stand-up comedy tours, he began in 2001, touring the globe with Bewilderness, which became a huge success. Bailey premiered his show Part Troll at the 2003 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

On the musical side, Bill Bailey was part of punk band Beergut 100, which he founded in 1995 with comedy writer Jim Miller. The band performed at the 2006 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.In February 2007, Bill appeared on two occasions with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Anne Dudley in a show entitled Cosmic Shindig. As a result of his succes In October 2008 he performed Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall with the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Anne Dudley.

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