British actor, director, and television presenter Richard Ellef Ayoade. His comedy, which he describes as “massively mediocre,” is also renowned. Being renowned for his modesty, he finds it embarrassing to discuss his successes and accomplishments. Since adolescence, he has been passionate about films, primarily comedies. During college, he participated in stage productions and was president of a Cambridge amateur theater club. As one of the most gifted young British comedians, he is lauded for his roles in ‘Garth Marenghi,’ ‘The Mighty Boosh,’ and as the socially inept IT technician in the television sitcom ‘The IT Crowd’. Not only did he act in many of his films and television series, but he also directed/co-directed and co-wrote the scripts. His success in directing his own films, ‘Submarine’ and ‘The Double,’ has established him as a member of the new British filmmaking school. He has also developed a career as a rock video director; his videos are frequently frivolous and humorous. He has appeared in numerous fashion magazines as one of the most stylish gents in London. The multitalented individual has lent his voice to a number of animated films and has also penned two comedic books with very distinctive formats.
Youth and Early Life
Richard Ellef Ayoade was born in Hammersmith, west London, on June 12, 1977, but he grew up in Suffolk County after his parents relocated there. His Nigerian father Layide Ade Laditi Ayoade is an electrical engineer, while his Norwegian mother Dagny Amalie is also an electrical engineer. They have no other children.
In 1995, after attending St Joseph’s College in Ipswich, he attended Cambridge University to study law. Along with future actors Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Olivia Colman, he graduated from Cambridge in 1998. In 1997, he served as president of the Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club. In college, he also won the Martin Steele Prize for play production.
Together with the club’s vice president, John Oliver, he wrote and acted in several Footlights Dramatic Club productions. He performed in touring productions of “Emotional Baggage” and “Between a Rock and a Hard Place.”
Richard Ayoade’s Career
Together, Richard Ayoade and Matthew Holness wrote the play “Garth Marenghi’s Fright Knight.” In 2000, he co-starred with Matthew in the performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the performance was nominated for a Perrier Award.
In 2000, he created the improvisational comedy series ‘Bruiser,’ which starred David Mitchell, Robert Webb, and Matthew Holness. In 2001, he co-wrote and starred in the sequel to “Fright Knight,” “Garth Marenghi’s Leatherhead.” It earned him the Perrier Comedy Award.
He was a member of the cast of ‘The Mighty Boosh’. The British comedy group The Mighty Boosh features comedians such as Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding. The company has created numerous stage productions and radio series.
In 2001, Ayoade also appeared in the radio series The Boosh. In 2005, he proceeded to portray the character of Saboo in the second series. In the third season, he was involved with ‘The Mighty Boosh’ as an actor as well as a script editor.
Richard and Matthew devised the Channel 4 horror comedy series ‘Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace’ in 2004. The series was written, directed, and starred in by him. In the same year, he directed, co-wrote, and co-starred in “AD/BC: A Rock Opera” with Matt Berry, which was broadcast on BBC Three. In 2004, he had a minor part as a reporter in the HBO television film “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.”
In 2005, he was selected as Ned Smanks in the Charlie Brooker and Chris Morris-penned Channel 4 sitcom Nathan Barley. In 2006, his character Dean Learner hosted a comedy chat program titled “Man to Man with Dean Learner.” It was broadcast by Channel 4. That same year, he appeared in the BBC Two comedy series Time Trumpet.
In 2006, he began portraying the socially inept IT technician Maurice Moss on the Channel 4 comedy series The IT Crowd. This part was written specifically for Richard Ayoade by Irish writer and director of television comedy Graham Linehan.
His performance garnered him the award for best actor in a television comedy series at the 2008 Monte-Carlo Television Festival. The series ran for four seasons. Additionally, he won the BAFTA for Best Male Comedy Performance.
During his discussion of scripts with the film company Warp, he expressed his desire to direct a music video. Warp introduced him to Arctic Monkeys, and in 2007 he created the video for the band’s single “Fluorescent Adolescent.” For this, he was nominated for a UK Music Video Award. Since then, he has produced several videos. In the same year, he directed the music video for “Run-Away” by Super Furry Animals.
In 2008, he continued to direct a number of music videos, beginning with ‘Oxford Comma’ and ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’ by Vampire Weekend. These were followed by “Standing Next to Me” and “My Mistakes Were Made for You” by The Last Shadow Puppets. The Arctic Monkeys’ live DVD, ‘At the Apollo,’ was also directed by him. Later, he directed two additional music videos for the Arctic Monkeys: ‘Crying Lightning’ and ‘Cornerstone.
In 2010, he directed his first feature film, a comedy-drama titled “Submarine.” It was praised by critics. In addition, he received a BAFTA nomination for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer. In 2011, he directed an episode of the television comedy series Community. The episode entitled “Critical Film Studies” takes homage to the 1981 film “My Dinner with Andre.” The episode was appreciated by critics.
Richard Ayoade provided the voice for the primary character of the Channel 4 animated sitcom Full English. After five episodes, however, the program was canceled. In the animated film “The Boxtrolls,” he lent his voice to the antagonist Mr. Pickles. He also provided the vocal for a snowman antagonist in the animated series Danger Mouse.
Alongside Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill, he appeared in the 2012 science fiction comedy “The Watch.”
Even though the film did not perform well, his performance was praised highly. In the same year, he provided the voice for the hammerhead shark character Todd Lagoona in Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy television series.
His second film, “The Double,” a black comedy thriller starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska, was written and directed by him in 2013. The film was acclaimed by critics.
He is a published author as well. Published in 2014, his first book, ‘Ayoade on Ayoade: A Cinematic Odyssey,’ satirizes interviews and biographies of film directors. In 2017, he hosted the Jacques Antoine-created game program The Crystal Maze.
Other comedians such as Jessica Hynes and Adam Buxton appeared on the program. In the 20-episode series, five contestants navigate the Aztec, Medieval, Future, and Industrial zones of the labyrinth before facing off in the recognizable crystal dome.
He also presented and hosted two other programs on Channel 4: the technology series “Gadget Man” and the documentary series “Travel Man.” In 2017, his second book, “The Grip of Film,” was published. It features a “A-Z of films” with detailed footnotes highlighting what makes them excellent or bad.
In 2018, he created a commercial for HSBC. It was about Brexit and the impact of foreign cultures on the United Kingdom. In the 2018 comedy “Early Man,” he supplied the voice for the Stone Age caveman character Treebor. He also provided the voice for Onion in the Cartoon Network-aired animated series Apple & Onion. He was selected for a supporting role in the mystery film The Souvenir, in which Robert Pattinson plays the main character. The movie will be released later in 2018.
Richard’s Major Opera
Critics praised Richard Ayoade’s performance in ‘The IT Crowd’ highly. The British television comedy sitcom was written by Graham Linehan and featured Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson, and Matt Berry.
The plot centered on the IT department of Reynholm Industries and its three employees, played by Maurice Moss (Ayoade), Roy Trenneman (O’Dowd), and Jen Barber (Parkinson).
Several accolades, including the BAFTA, the Emmy, the British Comedy accolades, and the Irish Film and Television Awards, were bestowed upon the program. His first comedy film, “Submarine,” which was based on Joe Dunthorne’s debut novel of the same name, received glowing reviews from the critics. The plot centers around an intelligent adolescent who attempts to resolve his parents’ marital problems. Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige, Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor, and Paddy Considine starred in the film.
In 2010, the film debuted at the 35th Toronto International Film Festival. It also featured five original compositions by Arctic Monkeys and The Last Shadow Puppets’ Alex Turner. The film won the British Independent Film Award for Best Screenplay, the Directors to Watch Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and the Giffoni Film Festival Award for Best Film.
Richard’s Personal Life
In 2007, Richard Ellef Ayoade married actress Lydia Fox. Ida Ayoade and Esmé Bibi Ayoade are two of their three daughters. They reside in the London Borough of Southwark, England, in East Dulwich.
Estimated Net Worth
The English actor, comedian, writer, and director Richard Ayoade has a net worth of $2 million. Richard Ayoade, who was born in Hammersmith, England, in 1977, attended St. Joseph’s College and St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge.