Speakers Profile - Ben Elton

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Ben Elton is a hugely successful and influential stand-up comedian, script-writer, playwright, librettist and novelist whose work includes some of the funniest and most successful comedy of our time.
Ben's many 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 a Jury Awards at Reims.

He has written four 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). His most recent, a collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Webber entitled The Beautiful Game premiered in London's West End in 2000, winning the London Critics Circle Award for best new musical and praise from reviewers as 'boldly different', 'brave, engaging and heartfelt'. The show's choreography was applauded as 'superb' and 'refreshingly inventive' and was premiered in conjunction with WAAPA in Australia.

Ben's extensive writing credits also include an impressive fifteen novels, five of which were Number One sellers while a further seven made the Top Five. They include the 2002 WH Smiths People's Choice Fiction Award, winner High Society and 1996 Crime Writers Association of Great Britain Gold Dagger Award for fiction winner Popcorn.

In 2000 Ben wrote and directed the romantic comedy Maybe Baby starring Hugh Laurie and Joely Richardson. His second musical, We Will Rock You won the 2003 Theatregoers Choice Award for Best New Musical, as well as an Olivier Award. It is still running in London. Recently, Ben collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber again, to create the storyline for the Phantom of the Opera sequel; Love Never Dies.

In 2017 Ben has returned to directing with his ensemble comedy Three Summers; a film embracing the diversity of modern Australia. Starring Australian comedy royalty Magda Szubanski and Michael Caton alongside acclaimed actors Deb Mailman, John Waters, Peter Rowsthorn and The Bondi Hipsters, Ben's trademark style shines through lending the romantic comedy an opportunity to shed light on the darker side of Australian politics without losing its humour. The film has been warmly received by critics since its debut.