Henry Normal is one of UK’s most successful comedy writers and producers. He is the man behind so many classic, prime time TV shows over the last 25 years. Henry co wrote and script edited every episode of the multi award winning ‘Mrs Merton show’ (1995-1998), and the spin off series Mrs Merton & Malcolm (1999). He also co created and co wrote the first series of ‘The Royle Family’ (1998-2012).
Henry has a long association with the comedy artistes Steve Coogan and Caroline Aherne (1963-2016). Henry co wrote the BAFTA winning ‘Paul and Pauline Calf Video Diaries’, ‘Coogan’s Run’, ‘Tony Ferrino’, ‘Doctor Terrible’ and all three of Steve Coogan’s live tours and he also had a writing hand in the film ‘The Parole Officer’ (2001).
How It Started
Yet Henry Normal started out as a performer, he was intrigued and motivated by poetry. Working along side club bands, he became a central figure in the local music scene, as a performance poet at local gigs.
In 1991 Henry starred in Channel 4’s late night series ‘Packet of Three’. Which blended stand up comedy with a peculiarly solipsistic sitcom, about the staff working at a Variety theatre called the Crumpsall Palladium. As the beleaguered and depressed theatre owner, Henry Normal was assisted by stage manager Frank Skinner and kiosk attendant Jenny Eclair. It was at this point Henry decided to concentrate on his work behind the camera and made a Baby Cow.
In 1999 Henry, along side Coogan, established Baby Cow Productions Ltd. Producing and script editing many classic TV comedy shows and films in the period. While taking on the creative and executive role of managing director, selling his interest in 2016.
Highlights of the Baby Cow output during Henry’s time include:
- ‘Human Remains’ (2000) starring Rob Brydon and Julia Davis.
- ‘The Sketch Show’ (2001-2002) starring Lee Mack, Tim Vine and Jim Tavare (BAFTA Winner).
- ‘I Am Not an Animal’ (2004).
- ‘The Keith Barrett Show’ (2004) starring Rob Brydon.
- ‘Sensitive Skin’ (2005-2007) starring Joanna Lumley and Denis Lawson.
- ‘Ideal’ (TV series)￼￼￼ (2005-2011) starring Johnny Vegas.
- ‘Saxondale’ (2006-2007) starring Steve Coogan.
- ‘Gavin & Stacey’ (2007) starring James Corden and Ruth Jones.
- ‘Red Dwarf XI and XII’ (2016-2017) revival of cult BBC sci-fi sitcom.
- ‘The Mighty Boosh’ (2003 -2007).
- ‘The Trip’ (2010-2014) Steve Coogan & Rob Brydon.
- ‘Camping’ (2016).
- ‘Moone Boy’ (2012-2015).
- ‘Philomena’ (2013) starring Judy Dench & Steve Coogan.
- ‘Alan Partridge’ (2013).
- ‘I believe in Miracles’ (2015) documentary on Notts. Forest Euro cup wins 1979 & 1980.
Where Is He Now?
Born in St Annes – Nottingham, Henry Normal now lives in Brighton with his wife, the screen writer Angela Pell, and their son Johnny. He is also a fine poet, performing his work at literary festivals around the UK. Henry has published three poetry books ‘Staring Directly at the Eclipse’, ’Travelling Second Class Through Hope’ and ‘Raining Upwards’. He was the founder of the Manchester Poetry Festival (now the Literature Festival) and co founder of the Nottingham Poetry Festival.
Since retiring from his role at ‘Baby Cow’ in April 2016, Henry has written and performed two BBC Radio 4 shows “a normal family’ and ‘a normal life’. Combining comedy, poetry and stories about bringing up his autistic son. He is writing a book on Autism for Two Roads Publishers, called ‘a normal family’ drawing on his own family life.
In June 2017 Henry Normal was honoured with a special BAFTA, for his services to TV. He was also given an honorary doctorate of letters, by Nottingham Trent Uni and has had a beer named after him in Nottingham!
So book Henry Normal for an event today!
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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