Danny Baker is an English, journalist, comedy writer, radio DJ and screenwriter. Since the late 1970’s, he has worked for a wide range of publications and broadcasters including NME, LWT, the BBC and Talk Radio.
He was born in Deptford and his intellect, knowledge of his subject and forthright opinions are vocalised in a strong east end accent which endeared him to so many. Danny was working as a journalist at NME, when in 1980 London Weekend Television (LWT), asked him to present Twentieth Century Box – a series of regional documentaries on elements of youth culture in London, produced by Janet Street Porter. The show highlighted new talent bands beginning to emerge from the London scene including Iron Maiden performing at The Marquee Club and interviews with “air guitarists”, Other editions featured early from Spandau Ballet and Depeche Mode.
He followed this with his first mainstream show as roving reporter-presenter on the Michael Aspel’s LWT regional magazine The Six O’Clock Show. He went on to appeared regularly on LWT’s regional output during the 1980’s and early 1990’s – working on such programmes as Six O’Clock Live, Danny Baker’s Londonders, and in 1991, The Game – a six-part series which featured coverage of teams involved in the fourth division of the East London Sunday Football League.
He began writing for television programmes in 1992 after being asked to prepare a piece for one of the first clip shows: TV Hell, which was a collection of the worst TV programmes ever. Since then he has presented television shows such as Win, Lose, or Draw, Pets Win Prizes and TV Heroes.
Danny also began a BBC Saturday night chat show, called Danny Baker After All which borrowed its style from Late Night with David Letterman, but his style and guests (Rick Wakeman of prog rock band Yes was a regular) did not attract the mainstream audience the slot demanded. Later he fronted television adverts for Daz washing powder and Mars bar confectionery. Baker parodied his Daz ads by appearing as himself on the sitcom Me, You and Him.
Danny’s broadcasting career has often reflected his two loves Music and Football. He presented BBC Radio 5’s 6-0-6 football related phone-in programme as well as the job of presenting Match of the Eighties, a six-part BBC series of football during the 1980/81 and 1985/86 seasons.
He also was a writer on Chris Evans’ TFI Friday show, as well as contributing material for presenters such as Angus Deayton and Jonathan Ross. During the late 1990s he made guest appearances on comedy shows including Have I Got News for You, Shooting Stars and Room 101. He hosted a documentary on Paul Gascoigne after the 1990 World Cup, the two becoming good friends and some of their late nights out with Chris Evans were reported in the press. Particularly Gascoigne was under media scrutiny for drinking and socialising while preparing for tournaments. He also appeared on The Terry and Gaby Show (2003-04) End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones, providing an audio commentary.
In 2013, Danny started working and co –presenting with Danny Kelly hosting a Friday evening football show as part of the new BT channel.
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Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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