Seen on the Green - Alan Davies

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is an area centric biography on Alan Davies, one of many famous people to come from Chingford, North-East London. This article was originally published in The Chingford Directory in May 2012.

Submitted: October 23, 2015

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 23, 2015




Seen on the Green

Famous Faces From Chingford

by Thom Goddard


This Month: Alan Davies


“Never judge a book by its cover” is a more succinct way of saying “don’t judge someone by a single television show”. Old Chingfordian Alan Davies may star as ‘the stupid one’ in the BBC Two programme ‘QI’ but that masks the award-winning success he’s had as a comedian, author, radio host, and film and television actor.


Alan Davies was born in Chingford on 6th March 1966. He became an Arsenal fan from a young age as his father and brother are Tottenham supporters and he “didn’t want to be the same”1. One of his early memories is his mother sewing his name on an Arsenal shirt, particularly poignant as Alan’s mother died when he was 6 years old. Alan has fond memories of growing up in Chingford and has mentioned the area many times in the media. On one episode of the television show ‘QI’ he told the panel about the World War Two V2 bomb that landed on Chingford plain. And on ‘BBC London’ when asked his opinion on the best view in London, Alan decided on Pole Hill, Chingford, from his childhood2


Alan Davies attended Bancroft’s School and went on to the University of Kent. However, he wanted to be a comedian and his first, professional gig was at the Whitstable Labour Club in 1988. Success quickly followed, by the time Alan was 27 years old he had won the Time Out Best Young Comic Award and Edinburgh Fringe Festival Critics Award for Comedy. He has toured all over the world with his stand-up comedy and has released two DVDs that have each sold over a million copies. 


In 1997, Alan Davies’ career changed dramatically when he took the lead role in the murder mystery series ‘Jonathan Creek’. The programme became a massive hit with each episode being watched by over 8 million people. In 1999 ‘Jonathan Creek’ won the BAFTA Award for Best Drama. This cemented Alan’s reputation as an actor and he has gone on to appear in successful BBC and ITV dramas, and three feature films.


Since 2003, Alan Davies has been a crucial part in the highly successful television show ‘QI’, starring in every episode. In 2006, when Arsenal’s appearance in the Champions League Final clashed with the date of filming, the show was put on hold so that Alan could attend the match. And it’s not easy being ‘the dumb one’ - as Stephen Fry said in Series 5: “I have these cards to tell me the answers, Alan just has to get by on talent”. So do keep a look out for any quite interesting people you meet in the Mount or have seen on the Green!


If you spot anyone contact:

1. ‘QI’ Series 3, Episode 3, 2004.

2. Broadcast on BBC London on 12 January 2010. 


© Copyright 2019 Thom Goddard. All rights reserved.

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