Born: 10th December, 1952 in Middlesex, England.

Better known as an award-winning writer, television and radio host than his original career as a barrister, Clive acquired a love for comedy performance as a student at Cambridge University between 1972 and 1975. During that time he forged friendships with the likes of Mel Smith, Griff Rhys Jones and Douglas Adams and joined the Footlights Dramatic Club, becoming the society's president in 1975 as well as writing and performing in several revues.

Having qualified as a lawyer in 1975 he went on to practise law whilst writing scripts in his spare time, joining the comedy revue 'An Evening Without' in the late seventies and touring around the UK and Australia. He continued to write for various shows including Not The Nine O'Clock News, The Frankie Howerd Variety Show and Alas Smith And Jones.

After two years of hosting a radio alternative comedy show called The Cabaret Upstairs, he became the host of Whose Line Is It Anyway? on BBC Radio 4 in 1988 and it was developed for television in the same year, running for nine seasons on Channel 4. From 1989, he divided his time between 'Whose Line...' and his chat show Clive Anderson Talks Back (also on Channel 4) before transferring to BBC1 in 1996 with the new name Clive Anderson All Talk, which featured the infamously short Bee Gees interview. It happened like this: When it was revealed that one of the band's earlier names was Les Tosseurs, Clive remarked in jest that they would always be always be Tosseurs to him, forcing Barry Gibb to unclip his microphone and storm off-stage saying "You're the tosser, pal". His departure was quickly followed by the other two members, leaving Clive looking more surprised than anyone in the studio at the time.

"It was a shock and a surprise to me. I wasn't trying to give them a hard time. Sometimes if you're dealing with someone who has been up to no good and you have to ask them about it, then if they walk off because you've touched a nerve, you understand it - never enjoy it, but you do understand. With the Bee Gees I thought we were having merry banter but two or three of my lines weren't taken well and they left. As I say, it was a shock: I didn't want to lose top line guests. And I'm annoyed with myself for not reading the situation. I think big rock stars are probably used to people acquiescing more but I'd thought the Bee Gees were on for it."
Interview source: BBC Online (

The same quick-witted teasing style of interviewing guests also led to him having a glass of water poured over his head by the Virgin boss Richard Branson. Clive replied: "I'm used to that. I've flown Virgin."

He was awarded the television industry's Comedy Presenter Of The Year Award in 1991 and the title of top Channel 4 Presenter at the 1992 British Comedy Awards and has also written regular columns for The Times, The Observer, The Listener and The Sunday Correspondent. Depending on exactly how much you like pointless trivia, he's also a keen supporter of Arsenal.

thanks to the many, many sites around internetland, all of which allowed me to piece together clive's life on top of what I already knew. cheers. although the biggest hugs go, as always, to

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