Paul Whitehouse (born 17 May 1958) is a British comedian and actor. He became known for his work with Harry Enfield and as one of the stars of the popular BBC sketch show, The Fast Show. In a 2005 poll to find The Comedian’s Comedian, he was voted amongst the top 50 comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders. Due to his array of comedy characters, Johnny Depp has been cited saying Paul Whitehouse is one of, if not, the best actor he has ever seen. So much so that Depp is a huge fan of the The Fast Show and has made one or two appearances.
Whitehouse was born in Caerphilly, Glamorgan, Wales. His father worked for the National Coal Board and his mother was a singer with the Welsh National Opera. The family moved to London when he was four years old. Paul is an avid Tottenham Hotspur FC supporter and recently guested on fellow comedian Phil Cornwell’s Spurs Show podcast to discuss it.
Whitehouse was co-creator with Enfield of the character ‘Loadsamoney’ and appeared as his sidekick Lance on Channel 4’s Saturday Live. Whitehouse has worked extensively for the BBC, firstly as a writer and then a performer on shows such as Harry Enfield’s Television Programme, where he developed numerous characters including DJ ‘Mike Smash’ of Smashie and Nicey alongside Harry Enfield as Nicey.
In 1994 he found wider fame as part of the cast of The Fast Show with former friend from the University of East Anglia, Charlie Higson. His Fast Show characters included:
In 2001 and 2002 Whitehouse wrote and performed in two series of the BBC comedy drama Happiness, in which he played a voice-over actor with a mid-life crisis.
Whitehouse wrote, produced and appeared (with Chris Langham) in the 2005 comedy drama Help, also for the BBC. In this show he takes 25 different roles, all patients of Langham’s psychotherapist (except one, who is Langham’s psychotherapist’s psychotherapist).
The pair’s collaboration on this project later resulted in Whitehouse taking the witness stand on 24 July 2007 in the trial of Langham, specifically in regard to the charge of holding explicit images and videos of minors. Langham had claimed he downloaded this material as research for a character included in the second series of Help, but Whitehouse’s testimony did not corroborate this explanation.
Whitehouse is appearing in the BBC sketch show Ruddy Hell! It’s Harry and Paul, starring alongside Harry Enfield once again.
Whitehouse and Charlie Higson produced and appeared in a spoof phone-in show, Down the Line, on BBC Radio 4. The first series was broadcast May-June 2006. A second series was broadcast 16 January – 20 February 2007.
Whitehouse has recently (Summer 2007) followed Victoria Wood in the latest ASDA advertising campaign.
It has been confirmed that he is work again with Higson on a television project, designed to be a spoof of celebrity travel programmes.