Griff was born in Cardiff in 1953, to Elwyn (a doctor) and Gwyneth Margaret.
He grew up in Brentwood, and studied English at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Schoolfriend, Douglas Adams
, the late writer, drew him into the Cambridge Footlights, of which he spent time as President.
Griff went into Light Entertainment, and met long-time comedy partner Mel Smith
when they worked together on Not the Nine O'Clock News
. Griff went on to work in comedy dramas, as well as become the face of Restoration
on the BBC.
Griff, along with Lenny Henry
, Richard Curtis
and Jonathan Ross
, was one of the instigators of Red Nose Day
, the telethon for charity Comic Relief
, starting back in 1988.
Griff has been married to Joanna Frances Harris since 1981, and they have two children, a son (George), who studied Architecture at Cambridge and a daughter (Catherine), who studied at Chelsea College of Art.