Paul Merton Biography
Paul Merton (Paul James Martin) is an English actor, writer, comedian, radio and television presenter born on 9th July 1957 in Parsons Green, London, England. He appears as a panellist regularly on Radio 4’s Just a Minute.
He attended St Thomas’s School, Fulham and St Teresa’s, Morden. He then went to Wimbledon College, a Jesuit-run secondary school that was formerly a grammar school and had just become a comprehensive, in a stream for boys who had failed the 11-plus and he received A-levels in English and History.
After leaving school, Merton worked at the Tooting employment office as a clerical officer for seven years. Merton often claims that he was inspired to go into comedy at an early age watching clowns at a circus. He gained his earliest professional credits under his birth name, including an appearance as a yokel in Time, an episode of The Young Ones in 1984.
Paul Merton Age
Paul was born on 9th July 1957 in Parsons Green, London, England (61 years as of 2018)
Paul Merton Height
Paul is 1.89m/ 6 foot 2 inches
Paul Merton Wife
In 1990 he married Caroline Quentin, they announced their separation in April 1997 which was followed by divorce in 1998. They met in 1995 when Paul Merton and Caroline Quentin were doing a three-month run of The Live Bed Show in London, and Sarah was Caroline’s understudy.
In 2000 he unofficially married Sarah Parkinson in a service in the Maldives in 2000. They officially married in 2003 but she died from breast cancer on 23rd September 2003. In 2009 he married fellow improviser Suki Webster.
Paul Merton Net Worth
He has an estimated net worth of $1.7 Million.
Paul Merton Career
His breakthrough as a television performer came in 1988 with Channel 4’s improvised comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, which moved to TV from BBC Radio 4, though he had previously performed on the channel’s Saturday Live and compered its series Comedy Wavelength in 1987. He remained on Whose Line until 1993.
In 1999 he replaced Nick Hancock as host of Room 101, a chat show in which guests are offered the chance to discuss their pet hates and consign them to the oblivion of Room 101. His first guest was Hancock. He hosted 64 editions. In 2007, his final guest was Ian Hislop (who became the first interviewee to appear twice, having also been on an edition with Hancock).
Hislop’s selections purposely included items that Merton was known to like, such as The Beatles and the films of Charlie Chaplin. Hislop’s final choice was Merton himself, done to represent his departure from the show. Merton cast himself in the room to end the show, although on the condition that Hislop would go in with him.
He was give his own one hour South Bank Show special which coincided with his first stand up tour in 10 years, and ‘this is me…Paul Merton’. The show charted his beginnings in the comedy business, to the development of his improvisational skills, his mental breakdown, and the popularity of Have I Got News For You.
In 2007 he represented a four-part travel documentary, Paul Merton in China, which was broadcast on Five from 21 May 2007. His second travel series, Paul Merton in India was transmitted from 8 October 2008 on the same channel. A third series, Paul Merton in Europe began broadcasting on 11 January 2010, again on Five. In 2015 he was commissioned by More4 to present Paul Merton’s Secret Stations, a travel documentary series about some of Britain’s little-used request stop railway stations inspired by travel writer Dixe Wills’ book Tiny Stations.
In 2008 he hosted the British version of ‘Thank God You’re Here’. In 2009, Merton directed and presented a documentary on the British films of Alfred Hitchcock, in a series of star-presented documentaries on BBC Four. In May 2010, Merton temporarily co-presented The One Show for two weeks on Thursday after Adrian Chiles left the show.
Paul Merton TV Shows
- Since 1990: Have I Got News for You
- Since 1994: Rom 101
- 1991 – 1993: Paul Merton: The Series
- 2007: Paul Merton in China
- Since 2008: Paul Merton in India
- Since 2010: Paul Merton in Europe
- 2011: Paul Merton’s Adventures
- Since 2006: The One Show
- Since 2011: Paul Merton’s Birth of Hollywood
- Since 2007: Paul Merton’s Silent Clowns
- 2008: Thank God You’re Here
- 1994: Paul Merton’s Palladium Story
- Since 1996: Paul Merton in Galton & Simpson’s…
- 1992: Terry and Julian
- 1989 – 1990: Sticky Moments
- 1998 – 2001: Rex the Runt
- Since 2009: Morecambe & Wise: The Show What Paul Merton Did
- 1993: If You See God, Tell Him
- 2001 – 2002: The Waiting Game
- 1996 – 1997: Paul Merton in Galton and Simpson’s…
- Paul Merton Book
- 2014: Only When I Laugh: My Autobiography
- 2007: Silent Comedy
- 1995: My Struggle
- 1996: Paul Merton: My Struggle
- 1993: Paul Merton’s History of the Twentieth Century
- 1989: The Joan Collins’ Fan Club: My Life with Fanny the Wonder Dog : the True Story
- Have I Got News for You
- 2015: Just a Minute: Best Of 2015: BBC Radio Comedy
- 2016: Just a Minute: Series 73: All Eight Episodes of the 73rd Radio Series
- 2016: Just a Minute: Series 74: All Eight Episodes of the 74th Radio Series
- 2015: Just a Minute: Series 71: All Eight Episodes of the 71st Radio Series
- 2006: Robert Conybear: Inner Portraits
- 2016: Just a Minute: Series 76: The BBC Radio 4 Comedy Panel Game
Paul Merton Interview
What is your greatest fear?
Heights: I am not very comfortable being six foot two.
What is your earliest memory?
Catching my little finger in a door when I was three. As I describe it I can still feel the pain shooting through my body.
Which living person do you most admire, and why?
People sometimes say their wife to curry favour at home. I do admire my wife greatly.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Shyness. I was in a restaurant next to the director Ridley Scott and I was too shy to say anything. Somebody else would have said, “Here’s my screenplay. When do we start?”
Aside from a property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
An original Charlie Chaplin Keystone film poster from 100 years ago.
What is your most treasured possession?
My father’s football medals. He was a tube driver and an amateur player. He died last year and I got his medals.
What makes you unhappy?
Tottenham Hotspur’s continuing inability to win a major trophy.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Far too masculine.
Which book changed your life?
I can tell you the worst book I ever read: The Lord Of The Rings. There was no humour, and life has humour in it, even if you are an orc.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
What I became, a comedian. At three or four, I saw clowns at the circus and was knocked out by them.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Eating lifesize chocolate figurines of Boris Johnson.
What was the best kiss of your life?
If we don’t count my reflection in the bathroom mirror, it would be my first one with my first girlfriend, Leslie, when I was 22.
What has been your biggest disappointment?
In 1984, a radio producer told me mine wasn’t the sort of voice they were used to on Radio 4.
What do you owe your parents?
Literacy and laughter. I got a sense of humour from my dad, and my mother taught me to read very early on, which was great when I went to school – for the first couple of years, I was actually ahead of other people.
What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
“Hello, are you Ian Hislop?”
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife Suki. And a nice cup of tea.
What does love feel like?
Cosy, secure, warm.
What is your screensaver?
I don’t have a computer or a mobile phone. I don’t have email. I manage because my wife has those things.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
People I admire: Charlie Chaplin, John Lennon, Clement Attlee, Mary Pickford and Helen Mirren.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I am sorry, that’s not my gun.
What is the worst job you’ve done?
Cleaning a pub in Raynes Park for three days, until I got the sack.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
To 1920s Hollywood, working as a gag writer or with Buster Keaton.
When did you last cry, and why?
This morning, as I was trying to get some shampoo out of my eye.
How do you relax?
I watch Four In A Bed.
How often do you have sex?
As often as the sun comes up.
What is the closest you’ve come to death?
In 1987, when I was in Edinburgh and broke my leg playing football. I got hepatitis A from the hospital food and had a pulmonary embolism.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
Not having a bad hip because of my broken leg. But it made a good chapter in the autobiography.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being employed as a comedian.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
The Just A Minute theme tune.
How would you like to be remembered?
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Never buy a secondhand spaceship. There is a reason they’re selling it.
Tell us a joke
I’ll tell you the first joke I remember hearing and then telling to other kids when I was six or seven. Two flies are playing football in a saucer and one says to the other, “Remember, we’ve got to keep practising. We’re in the cup next week.”
Tell us a secret
I had a sex change operation 15 years ago and I’m not prepared to say whether or not it worked.