First gaining mainstream exposure on the quiz show "Shooting Stars" (BBC, 1993-2002), British comic Matt Lucas endeared millions of viewers as a giant baby who delivered gags behind a drum set before giving out the scores. Alongside his longtime onscreen partner, David Walliams, Lucas hosted "Rock Profile" (BBC, 1999-2000), an MTV-like spoof talk show where he impersonated some of music's biggest acts. But it was the duo's comedy sketch series "Little Britain" (BBC, 2003-06) that thrust his career to meteoric heights. On the hit series, Lucas transformed into some of the most outrageous and memorable fictional characters ever seen on British television. His uncanny ability to alter his appearance propelled him to feature films like "Shaun of the Dead" (2003), which granted him entrée to Hollywood. Eventually, he landed the plum role of the egg-shaped twin brothers Tweedledee and Tweedledum in "Alice in Wonderland" (2010), opposite Johnny Depp, which introduced Lucas to a worldwide audience and cemented his reputation as a consummate comedian who did whatever was necessary to get a laugh.
Born on March 5, 1974 in Paddington, London, England, Lucas was raised in a Jewish household in Stanmore, Middlesex. Lucas suffered from alopecia universalis since childhood, which caused him to lose his hair when he was only six years old. He went to Haberdashers' Aske's School for Boys in Hertfordshire and studied drama at Bristol University. When he was 18, Lucas began making the rounds on London's comedy club circuit, portraying the aging actor and raconteur Sir Bernard Chumley. During one of his performances, Lucas met the British comedy duo Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, who cast the young actor on their series "The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer" (BBC, 1993-95). Lucas also collaborated with the duo on the surreal quiz show "Shooting Stars," where he gained mainstream success as George Dawes, a giant drumming baby who hurls a string of insults and bitingly funny gags before delivering the score.
Lucas became a regular fixture on British television, starring in numerous BBC comedies such as "Sir Bernard's Stately Homes" (1999) and "Rock Profile," a music talk show spoof that he co-hosted with David Walliams, a comedian he had met in 1990 while both studied at Britain's National Youth Theatre. The show was an instant hit among television viewers who could not get enough of the pair's bizarre interviews, off-the-wall music videos, outlandish costumes and wacky impersonations of musical celebrities like Bono, Prince, Paul McCartney and Barry Gibb. The versatile comic also dabbled in drama, taking on a supporting role as a Venetian duke in the historical miniseries, "Casanova" (BBC, 2005). Following a cameo appearance as a man struggling to deal with his relatives and a zombie uprising in the horror film spoof, "Shaun of the Dead" (2004), Lucas was perfectly cast in the comedic sorcery series, "Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire" (BBC/Comedy Central; 2008-09), playing a cowardly yet wicked chancellor who kills those who give him bad news, thwart his plans or otherwise annoy him.
Lucas joined forces with Walliams again in the award-winning comedy series "Little Britain," a move that made him one of the UK's most popular and beloved comics. Originally aired on BBC Radio 4, "Little Britain" was presented as a guide to travelers of the British Isles that featured gross-out sketches and inflated parodies of quirky local characters with raging regional accents from various walks of life. Lucas delivered one belly laugh after another with his cheeky and often crude portrayals of eccentric characters like Daffyd Thomas, the only gay man in a Welsh town who likes to don rubber outfits; Marjorie Dawes, a too-cheerful "Fat Fighter" who mercilessly humiliates members of her weight loss support group while remaining oblivious to her own size; or Vicky Pollard, a menacing teenaged delinquent who wears her bleached hair up with a scrunchie and dons a pink track suit three sizes too small. "Little Britain" nabbed numerous awards in England during its long run and made international stars out of the comedy duo, which led to the American version of the series, "Little Britain USA" (BBC/ HBO, 2008).
Produced by media mogul Simon Fuller, "Little Britain USA" featured some of the pair's most popular characters from the original series, as they navigated their way through typically American predicaments. The show also introduced new characters that showcased Lucas' unabashed comedic genius, including an extreme bodybuilder with an equally miniature anatomy, or Bing Gordyn, a fictional astronaut bitter over being the eighth man who landed on the moon. Meanwhile, in 2006, Lucas suffered a devastating personal loss when his former civil partner, Kevin McGee, hanged himself in his Edinburgh home. McGee, a television producer, sent a chilling Facebook message to friends that foreshadowed his impending suicide. Lucas and McGee were one of Britain's most talked about same-sex couples after their civil marriage in 2006. Their partnership was dissolved after 18 months, with Lucas claiming McGee's cocaine use and jealousy over his (Lucas') career as the causes for the split. When news of McGee's death broke, Lucas was preparing for his debut stage appearance in the West End production of "Prick Up Your Ears." He cancelled his stage appearance indefinitely.
Lucas scored the biggest break in his career when he joined the cast of Tim Burton's trippy 3-D remake of "Alice in Wonderland," in which he played Tweedledee and Tweedledum, fat twin brothers who never contradict each other, even when one of them agrees to engage in a battle. The film was based on Lewis Carroll's classic story of Alice (Mia Wasikowska), a girl who escapes a snooty tea party and follows a white rabbit down a hole back to Wonderland. Burton's adaptation of the epic adventure centered on a teenaged Alice who returns to Wonderland a decade after her initial visit, only to discover that it is up to her and the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) to save the magical land from the evil Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter). Already adept at changing his appearance with prosthetics to portray various characters, Lucas was almost unrecognizable as the egg-shaped brothers who first greet Alice during her second visit to Wonderland.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Began association with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer
Appeared in the British sketch show, "The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer," written by and starring Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer
Re-teamed with Reeves and Mortimer for the British comedy series, "Shooting Stars"
First collaboration with David Walliams, "Mash and Peas"
Co-wrote and co-starred with Williams in the British comedy series, "Sir Bernard's Stately Homes"
Joined Reeves and Mortimer for the British television series, "Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)"
Wrote episodes of Sacha Baron Cohen's British series, "Da Ali G Show"
Co-created and co-starred (with David Walliams) in the BBC sketch comedy show, "Little Britain"
Played a variety of roles, opposite Reeves and Mortimer, in "Catterick"
Made a cameo appearance in the horror comedy, "Shaun of the Dead," as the cousin of Shaun's friend Yvonne
Played a supporting part as a Venetian Duke in the BBC historical serial, "Casanova"
Starred as Mr. Toad in the British television adaptation of "The Wind in the Willows"
Released "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" with Peter Kay as a charity single for Comic Relief
Co-created, co-wrote and co-starred (with David Walliams) in the American version of his hit show "Little Britain USA" for HBO
Cast as Chancellor Donold David Dongalor on the series, "Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire" (aird in the US on Comedy Central and the UK on BBC2)
Cast as Tweedledee and Tweedledum in Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland"