David Mitchell is British actor, writer and comedian best-known as one half of the comedy duo Mitchell and Webb, whose comedy TV series Peep Show and That Mitchell and Webb Look garnered acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Mitchell made his West End debut in the stage adaptation of his Shakespeare-themed TV series Upstart Crow at the Gielgud Theatre.
Born in Wiltshire, Mitchell knew pretty early on that he was destined to be an entertainer, telling The Independent in 2006 that he ‘either wanted to be a comedian-stroke-actor or prime minister’. Having studied at a public school in Oxfordshire, it was possibly the latter of these ambitions which pushed him to study modern history at the University of Cambridge. However, his passion for acting led him to join the prestigious and renowned Cambridge Footlights, of which he became President for the 1995 academic year.
It was here that Mitchell would meet fellow student Robert Webb who would both go on to become cult comedy figures. After a stint working as an usher at the Lyric Hammersmith, Mitchell and Webb performed at the Edinburgh Fringe before being given opportunities to write for other TV shows such as Big Train and Bruiser.
Peep Show was born in 2003. The sitcom, which centred on the capers of two polar opposite flatmates, stood out, not least for its down-to-earth humour, but also its unique, inimitable first-camera approach to shooting comedy. The show, in which Mitchell starred as blue collar worker Mark Corrigan, ran for 13 years ending in 2015 and earning numerous awards.
Mitchell and Webb also scored their own sketch show, That Mitchell and Webb Look, which gave the pair the mainstream prominence a Friday night BBC comedy gives you, but also the free rein to tell whatever jokes they wanted. Running for five years, the pair won a BAFTA for Best Comedy Programme or Series.
More recently, Mitchell is known as a team captain on the TV panel show Would I Lie to You? alongside Lee Mack, but also as William Shakespeare in the comedy series Upstart Crow. Playing the Bard as he prepares to stage Romeo & Juliet, the show ran for three series and received a West End run.