Ben Willbond

Benjamin Thomas Willbond (born 18 January 1973)[1] is an English actor and screenwriter with numerous credits in television, radio and film best known as a member of the British Horrible Histories troupe in which he starred in the TV series Horrible Histories, Yonderland and Ghosts. He is best known for his numerous roles in the CBBC children’s program “Horrible Histories”, running from 2009 to 2013. As well as starring as various characters throughout the shows run, he also wrote many episodes, along with the other 5 main actors. He also stars as “Captain” in the 2019 TV series, “Ghosts”, with the other 5 actors he played alongside in “Horrible Histories”.

Ben Willbond
Birth nameBenjamin Thomas Willbond
Born (1973-01-18) 18 January 1973[1]
MediumTelevision, Radio, Film
NationalityEnglish
Years active1995 – present
GenresSatire
SpouseCharlotte Willbond
Children2
Notable works and rolesHorrible Histories (2009), The Thick of It, Rev., Ghosts (2019 TV series)
Websitebenwillbond.com

Early life

Willbond was educated at Stamford School in Lincolnshire and read Russian and French at St Catherine's College, Oxford

Career

Along with Arnold Widdowson, Willbond was part of the comedy duo "Ben & Arn", who won Perrier Award for "Best Newcomer" in 1999,[2] and formed the self-proclaimed "thinking man's French pop duo"[3] Priorité à Gauche.[4] He then went on to perform his solo character shows at several Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, the last being in 2005 which also starred Katy Brand and Jim Field Smith.[4][5]

He is perhaps best known for his regular role in CBBC's Horrible Histories, in which he played a wide variety of historical figures, most memorably recurring roles as Henry VIII and Alexander the Great. Along with the five other members of the Horrible Histories starring cast, Willbond is also the co-creator, -writer and -star of Yonderland, a family fantasy comedy series that premiered on SkyOne on 10 November 2013.[6] In addition he is the co-writer of Bill, a BBC-produced comedy film based loosely around the early life of William Shakespeare, which involved the same starring troupe.[7]

Previously, Willbond had starred in a short-lived sketch show for ITV2 called Laura, Ben & Him[2] with Marek Larwood and sometime writing partner Laura Solon. He also appeared in Solon's BBC Radio 4 sketch show, Laura Solon: Talking and Not Talking. Other notable television work includes the recurring roles of Steve Warwick in the BBC comedy Rev,[8] Adam Kenyon in BBC Four's The Thick of It[2] and as a television director in the movie-length final episode of the Ricky Gervais comedy Extras (BBC Two).[2] He has also appeared in Katy Brand's Big Ass Show[2] for ITV2 and Mayo[9] for BBC One.

Willbond's other radio credits include BBC Radio 4 series Deep Trouble, Double Science (co-written with Justin Edwards), Recorded for Training Purposes and the first series of Electric Ink. He also starred in the YouTube romantic comedy "Nigel and Victoria."

His 2010 short film Tooty's Wedding, which he co-wrote with Solon, won numerous international comedy awards and was screened as part of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.[10] Other notable film work includes the movie Starter for 10 (UK 2006).[11] In 2007 he had a short appearance in St Trinian's,[9] as a nervous school inspector.

Personal life

Willbond is a keen cricketer and plays for the Thunderers.[12] He has a degree in French and Russian from Oxford University and he can play the violin. He and wife Charlotte have two sons.

Awards

YearProjectAwardEventNotes
2011Tooty's WeddingBest Comedy ShortRhode Island International Film Festival
2011Tooty's WeddingBest Foreign Short & Best Direction (Short)LA Comedy Festival
2011Tooty's WeddingJury Prize Best Short FilmFriars Club Comedy Film Festival
2011Tooty's WeddingBest ComedyAesthetica Short Film Festival
2011Tooty's WeddingAward of MeritAccolade Competition
2011Horrible HistoriesBest ActingKidscreen AwardsEntire Cast
2012Horrible HistoriesBest ActingKidscreen AwardsEntire Cast

Filmography

YearProjectRoleNotes and references
1999Ben & Arn's Big TopBenEdinburgh Fringe Festival performance[2]
1999The Now ShowBBC Radio 4[9]
2001Le Hip ParadeFrançoisPlay UK television series[13]
2004–07Deep TroubleWriter / performer ('Lieutenant Jack Trainor')BBC Radio 4[14]
2005MayoSimon JohnstonBBC One[15]
2005The Catherine Tate ShowGym TrainerBBC Two[16]
2006Starter for 10JulianFilm[9]
2006My HeroDexterBBC One[17]
2006–08Recorded for Training PurposesWriter / performerBBC Radio 4[9][18]
2007, 2012The Thick of ItAdam KenyonBBC Two[19]
2007St Trinian'sAlistairFilm[9]
2007, 2008Double ScienceDoctor Colin JacksonBBC Radio 4
2008Exit StrategyHusbandShort film[20]
2008Lead BalloonJamieBBC Two[21]
2008Laura, Ben & HimWriter, performer, co-creatorITV 2[9]
2009–13Horrible HistoriesPrincipal sketch performerCBBC[9]
2010–11Rev.Stephen WarwickBBC Two[9]
2011Tooty's WeddingPeterFilm short
2013–16YonderlandVarious
2014Inside No. 9JeremyEpisode: "Sardines"
2015BillVariousFilm
2015Acoustic KittyAgent CooperFilm short[22]
2015Shush!SimonBBC Radio 4
2016Power MonkeysOlegChannel 4. Utilises Russian degree.
2016Bridget Jones's BabyGilesFilm
2017Playing HouseDr. Clive Ericson5 episodes
2017QuacksPatrice Dupont1 Episode
2017Danger MouseHam Hands1 episode
2017–presentTracey Breaks the NewsEmmanuel Macron, VariousBBC One
2018 Damned Marcus Bowles
2018 There She Goes (TV series)Chris, the neighbour4 episodes, BBC Four
2019 GhostsThe CaptainBBC One
2019 Good Omens (TV series)Nigel Tomkins1 episode

References

  1. {England and Wales Birth Index 1916–2005}
  2. "Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2011". Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  3. "Biography". Priorité à Gauche. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  4. Daoust, Phil (17 August 2005). "Ben Willbond". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  5. Dominic, Maxwell. "Laura Solon, Ben Willbond." Times, The (United Kingdom) 22 August 2005: Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 8 December 2011.
  6. "Sky1 to visit Yonderland". Sky1 website. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  7. "Stars of Horrible Histories to make Shakespeare film". BBC Media Centre. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  8. "BBC Two – Rev., Series 2, Episode 4". BBC. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  9. "Ben Willbond" (PDF). Avalon Management Group Ltd. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  10. Mann, Andrea (15 December 2011). "British Comedy Short 'Tooty's Wedding' Is Sundance-Bound (EXCLUSIVE CLIP)". HuffPost. Aol (UK). Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  11. Lawrenson, Edward. "Starter For Ten." Sight & Sound 16.11 (2006): 82. Associates Programs Source Plus. Web. 8 December 2011.
  12. "We catch up with actor Ben Willbond, star of Horrible Histories, Rev". Henry Arlington.
  13. "Le Hip Parade". Tiger Aspect Productions. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  14. "BBC Radio 4 – Comedy – Deep Trouble". BBC. August 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  15. "Mayo". Channel Ten. 11 March 2006. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  16. http://www.avalon-usa.com/assets/files/BEN_WILLBOND(5).pdf%5B%5D
  17. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0836318/
  18. Wolf, Ian. "Recorded for Training Purposes". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  19. "BBC Four – The Thick of It – Adam Kenyon". BBC. October 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  20. "Exit Strategy". IMDb. 4 March 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  21. "Two – Lead Balloon, Series 3, Karma". BBC. 4 December 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  22. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3852668/
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