Ben Elton

Ben Elton

Comedian, Author, Playwright, Director

Ben Elton is a hugely successful and influential stand-up comedian, scriptwriter, playwright, librettist and novelist whose work includes some of the funniest and most successful comedy of our time.

Ben’s sitcom credits include The Young Ones, Happy Families, Thin Blue Line and The Blackadder, collectively winning five BAFTAs, an EMMY, a British Comedy Award and Jury Awards at Reims.

His own hit television shows include Saturday Live, The Man From Auntie (winner of the 1991 ‘Royal Television Society Writers Award’) and The Ben Elton Show. In 2007 Ben Elton was awarded the Special Golden Rose D’Or at The International Television festival in Lucerne Switzerland for his lifetime contribution to the Television Arts.

In 1988 Ben completed his first novel Stark. He has subsequently written a further 13 novels, five of which were number 1 sellers while a further seven made the top 5. They include 1996 ‘Crime Writers Association of Great Britain Gold Dagger Award’ for fiction winner Popcorn and the 2002 ‘WH Smiths People’s Choice Fiction Award’ winner High Society.

Having studied Drama at Manchester University, Ben’s original ambitions were theatrical. He has written three hit West End plays: Gasping (1990), Silly Cow (1991) and Popcorn (1996, winner of ‘TMA Barclays Theatre Award’ for best new play, the Olivier Award for best comedy and nominated for seven Moliere Awards).

In 2000 Ben wrote and directed the romantic comedy Maybe Baby starring Hugh Laurie and Joely Richardson. Also in 2000, Ben collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the musical The Beautiful Game, which won the London Critics Circle Award for best new musical. His second musical, We Will Rock You won the 2003 Theatregoers Choice Award for Best New Musical and an Olivier Award. It is still running in London. Recently Ben collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the story for the Phantom of the Opera sequel Love Never Dies.

In 2017 Ben returned to directing with his ensemble comedy Three Summers – a film embracing the diversity of modern Australia. Starring Australian comedy royalty Michael Caton and Magda Szubanski along with acclaimed actors Deb Mailman, John Waters, Peter Rowsthorn and ‘The Bondi Hipsters’, in Ben’s trademark style the romantic comedy manages to shed a light on the darker side of Australian politics without losing its’ humour. Due for a full release later this year the film has been warmly received in early screenings.



Grand Finale Lunch: Incorrigible creativity
Friday 1 December
, 12.00pm – 2.00pm
Grand Ballroom (Level 5)