Clive Anderson

Full Name

Clive Anderson


10 December 1952 (1952-12-10) (age 67)
Middlesex, England, UK

№ of episodes

1 regular show
1 clips show
0 Christmas shows
(List of appearances)

Clive Anderson is a British former barrister, best known for being a comedy writer as well as a radio and television presenter in the United Kingdom. Winner of a British Comedy Award in 1991, Anderson began his success during his 15-year law career with stand-up comedy and comedic script writing, before starring in Whose Line Is It Anyway? on BBC Radio 4, then later, Channel 4. He was also successful with a number of radio programmes, television interviews and guest appearances on Have I Got News For You, Mock the Week , QI and The Bubble.

Early life Edit

Anderson was educated at Stanburn Primary School and Harrow County School for Boys in London, where his group of friends included Michael Portillo. His Scottish father was manager of the Midland Bank's Wembley branch. Anderson attended Selwyn College, Cambridge where, from 1974 to 1975, he was President of Footlights He was called to the bar at the Middle Temple in 1976 and became a practising barrister, specialising in criminal law.

List of appearancesEdit



Anderson was involved in the fledgling alternative comedy scene in the early 1980s and was the first act to come on stage at The Comedy Store when it opened in 1979. He made his name as host of the improvised television comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, which was full of his rapid-fire wit such as his show-ending catchphrase "This is me, Clive Anderson, saying good night. Good night."

Anderson hosted his own chat-show, Clive Anderson Talks Back, on Channel 4, which ran for 10 series. Anderson moved to the BBC in 1996 and the show's name changed to Clive Anderson All Talk and was aired on BBC One. In one famous incident in 1997, Anderson interviewed the Bee Gees, and throughout the interview he repeatedly joked about their life and career, ultimately prompting them to walk out. Anderson once had a glass of water poured over his head by a perturbed Richard Branson. He also famously asked Jeffrey Archer, "Is there no beginning to your talents?" Archer retorted that "The old jokes are always the best," for Anderson to reply "Yes, I've read your books!" The last series of Clive Anderson All Talk aired in 2001.

He has been a frequent participant on Have I Got News for You, notching up nine appearances in total. He has also frequently appeared on QI. In 2007, he featured as a regular panelist on the ITV comedy show News Knight. One of his most memorable exchanges on HIGNFY occurred when he scathingly joked to fellow guest Piers Morgan that the Daily Mirror was now, thanks to Morgan (then its editor), almost as good as The Sun. When asked by Morgan, "What do you know about editing newspapers?", he swiftly replied, "About as much as you do."

As a journalist for the BBC, he travelled around the world looking at problems "in out-of-the-way places," though mostly arguing about whether they could film there. Our Man in... featured episodes on monkeywrenching in American logging and 419 scams in Nigeria.

In 2005 he presented the short-lived Celador panel game, Back in the Day for Channel 4.

In January 2008, he appeared on the second episode of Thank God You're Here and won.

On 25 February 2008, he started presenting Brainbox Challenge, a new game show, for BBC Two.

In 2008, he presented a reality TV talent show-themed television series produced by the BBC entitled Maestro, starring eight celebrities who are "famous amateurs with a passion for classical music."

In 2009, Anderson was the television host of the BBC's Last Night of the Proms.

TV presentingEdit

Shows he has presented include:

  • Clive Anderson Talks Back
  • Our Man in…
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?
  • Discovery Mastermind
  • Back in the Day
  • Clive Anderson All Talk
  • Brainbox Challenge
  • Maestro
  • The Funny Side of...


In recent years, Clive Anderson has combined his continuing interest in the law with his role as a radio presenter in the regular series Unreliable Evidence on Radio 4. He also covered the Sunday morning 11 AM-1 PM show on BBC Radio 2 through the end of January 2008.

He presented a Radio 4 programme, The Wikipedia Story, about Wikipedia and other encyclopedias, which featured Anderson making this correcting edit to Wikipedia's article on the UK politician Michael Portillo. It was announced in April 2008 that Anderson, who had previously filled in for host Ned Sherrin from 2006 until his death from throat cancer in 2007, would be taking over as permanent host of Loose Ends. He also hosts Clive Anderson's Chat Room on BBC Radio 2. Clive Anderson has appeared on BBC Radio 4's The Unbelievable Truth hosted by David Mitchell. He currently is presenting the 6th series of Clive Anderson's Chatroom.

Comedy and newspaper writingEdit

Anderson is a comedy sketch writer who has written for Frankie Howerd, Not the Nine O'Clock News, and Griff Rhys Jones/Mel Smith. One of his early comedy writing projects was Black Cinderella Two Goes East with Rory McGrath for BBC Radio 4 in 1978. He is famous for his fast, nervous delivery and close-to-the-knuckle witticisms.

As well as writing comedy, Anderson is also a frequent contributor to newspapers, and was a regular columnist in the Sunday Correspondent.

Personal lifeEdit

Anderson lives in Highbury, north London, with his wife and three children; Isabella, Flora and Edmund. He supports Rangers and Arsenal, and is President of the Woodland Trust.


The show Whose Line is it Anyway? won a BAFTA award in 1990. Later, Clive Anderson won both the "Top Entertainment Presenter" and "Top Radio Comedy Personality" at the British Comedy Awards in 1991.

External linksEdit

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