Paul Merton

Paul Merton


1/27/1957, Parsons Green, London, England

Birth Name

Paul Martin



Also Known As

Paul Martin
  • Paul Merton publicity image.
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Paul Merton is a British comedian, actor and writer, best known for his appearances on Have I Got News For You, Room 101 and the original TV series of Whose Line Is It Anyway?. He was born in London as Paul Martin, the first and only son of…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Paul is dating comedian Suki Webster, as of June 2008.

    • In 2006, Paul bought a flat in Edinburgh, as a Scottish base.

    • Paul wrote a fictional autobiography called My Struggle.

    • Paul received treatment in the Maudsley psychiatric hospital for hallucinations in 1990. Paul explained that he had an adverse reaction to anti malarial drugs, taken for a trip to Kenya. The drugs were later taken off the market.

    • In 2003, Paul won the BAFTA award for Best Entertainment Performance, after having been nominated seven times in the same category, in previous years. In 2008, his series Paul Merton in China was nominated in the Factual Series category but lost out to The Tower: A Tale of Two Cities.

    • Paul's second wife Sarah died 23rd September, 2003, of breast cancer. They had been married for three months. In 2000, they had an unofficial wedding in the Maldives.

    • Paul met his first wife Caroline Quentin when they both starred in The Live Bed Show, a play written by comedian Arthur Smith. His second wife, Sarah Parkinson, was her understudy.

    • Paul is one of the regular Comedy Store Players in The Comedy Store in London.

    • Paul changed his name from Martin to Merton when he joined Equity.

    • Paul was married to actress and comedienne Caroline Quentin from 1991 until their divorce in 1998.

    • Took a break from Have I Got News For You for one series in 1996. He returned in the next series.

  • Quotes

    • Paul: My hair's got a life of its own. Last week I found it in the kitchen, making an omelette.

    • Paul: I think Iran and Iraq had a war simply because their names are so similar that they keep getting each other's post.

    • Paul: My favourite riposte to a heckle is to say, 'Excuse me, I'm trying to work here. How would you like it if I stood yelling down the alley while you're giving blow jobs to transsexuals?'

    • Paul: If you stay in a house and you go to the bathroom and there is no toilet paper, you can always slide down the banisters. Don't tell me you haven't done it.

    • Paul: For me deadpan is a very useful technique. You can say something funny but if you look as if you don't know it's funny yourself, you get an extra laugh.

    • Paul: (About playing at the Comedy Store after the death of his wife) There was no better place for me to be but with a group of friends in an atmosphere of laughter. Laughter is such a healing thing. For somebody watching, entertainment takes their cares away for a minute, but it also works for those who are in it.

    • Paul: We can be too harsh on ourselves. If we're mentally ill it's not our fault, it's just a chemical imbalance, or the pressure of how life has treated us recently, or whatever.

    • Paul: On my first day in New York a guy asked me if I knew where Central Park was. When I told him I didn't he said, "Do you mind if I mug you here?".

    • Paul: My school days were the happiest days of my life; which should give you some indication of the misery I've endured over the past twenty-five years.

    • Paul: I'm always amazed to hear of air crash victims so badly mutilated that they have to be identified by their dental records. What I can't understand is, if they don't know who you are, how do they know who your dentist is?

  • Paul Merton is one of the team captains on Have I Got News For You? He is famed for his deadpan delivery.

    Paul Merton is one of the regular team captains on popular satirical programme, Have I Got News For You (the other being Ian Hislop). He specialises in off-the-cuff wit, particularly with his ability to stretch any situation to the breaking point of credibility. He delivers jokes with a mournful looking face, similar to the approach of Jack Dee. This is ideal for shows such as Paul Merton’s Improv Chums, but has not always been successful in his sketch shows. Although his sketch shows are highly amusing, they have not given him the recognition that his appearances on Whose Line Is It Anyway and Have I Got News For You have.

    During Angus Deayton’s reign on Have I Got News For You, I rarely saw a smile on Paul’s face. Of course, that was always part of his charm, but it was also perhaps due to the fact that the two never really got on. Since Angus Deayton’s “departure”, he seems to enjoy the presence of some of the guest presenters, most notably Boris Johnson, Bruce Forsythe, Kirsty Young and Nicholas Parsons.