Ben Elton began his career in the beginning of 1980s and first appeared onscreen as a stand-up performer on the BBC1 youth and music programme ‘Oxford Road Show’ (1982). Simultaneously, he also started working as a writer and wrote for TV series like ‘Three of a Kind’ (1981) and ‘There's Nothing to Worry About!’ (1982). His big breakthrough as a writer came when he co-wrote, along with Rik Mayall and Lise Mayer, the sitcom ‘The Young Ones’. The show ran for two series from 1982 to 1984 and helped bring alternative comedy to prominence on British television. It made him a household name too. He also wrote other shows like the comedy special ‘An Evening for Nicaragua’ (1983), the sketch show ‘Alfresco’ (1983-1984), the comedy-drama series ‘Happy Families’ (1985) as well as few episodes of another comedy series ‘Spitting Image’ (1984). Apart from writing, he played various characters in ‘There's Nothing to Worry About!’ ‘The Young Ones’, ‘Alfresco’ and Happy Families too.
Ben Elton then collaborated with Richard Curtis and the two co-wrote the second series of the BBC period sitcom ‘Blackadder’ titled ‘Blackadder II’ (1986). Together they wrote the subsequent two series – ‘Blackadder the Third’ (1987) and ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ (1989) – and three specials – ‘Blackadder: The Cavalier Years’ (1988), ‘Blackadder's Christmas Carol’ (1988) and ‘Blackadder Back & Forth’ (1999) – of the show as well. The show, starring the British comedy icon Rowan Atkinson, was a huge success and ranked 2nd in the BBC poll to find Britain's Best Sitcom (in 2004). In ‘Blackadder the Third’, Ben Elton played the role of Anarchist in an episode.
From 1986 to 1988, Ben Elton gained more fame with Channel 4's alternative comedy variety show ‘Saturday Live’ (renamed ‘Friday Night Live’ for the 1988 series). He initially had a regular slot on the show and thereafter became its regular host. For the show, he wrote a few episodes too. In 1987 he wrote the comedy series ‘Filthy Rich & Catflap’ (additional material written by Rik Mayall) and appeared in the role of Art Exhibition Guest in one of its episodes. In 1989, he hosted few episodes of Terry Wogan's talk-show 'Wogan'.
In 1990, Ben Elton wrote and performed in his own television comedy series ‘Ben Elton: The Man from Auntie’. Its success gave way to the second season which was broadcasted in 1994. Along the same lines, as the above show, was ‘The Ben Elton Show’ which was aired in the year 1998. He once again wrote and performed in this series. In between, in 1993, he played the part of Colin Dobson in the three-episode British-Australian television serial ‘Stark’. He wrote the script of the series as well which was adapted from his commercially and critically successful first novel of the same name. The same year, he was seen in the role of Verges in Kenneth Branagh directed hit romantic comedy film 'Much Ado About Nothing'. Also, in 1995-1996, he created, wrote and co-produced 2 seasons of the sitcom ‘The Thin Blue Line’. Set in a fictional town police station, it once again starred Rowan Atkinson and became a huge success. Ben Elton appeared in the role of a homeless man in one of the episodes.
In the year 2000, Ben Elton made his directorial debut with the comedy feature film ‘Maybe Baby’. He wrote the script of the film which was adapted from his own 1999 novel ‘Inconceivable’. His next work as a writer and director came in the year 2005 with the eight-part sitcom ‘Blessed’. Following this, he wrote and hosted the TV series ‘Get a Grip’ (2007) and ‘Ben Elton Live from Planet Earth’ (2011).
Afterwards he wrote and co-produced the 6 episodes of the sitcom ‘The Wright Way’ (2013). It failed to impress critics and audience and was cancelled after one season. He then wrote yet another sitcom – ‘Upstart Crow’ – which was based on the life of William Shakespeare. This show received positive reviews from critics and ran for 3 series from 2016 till 2018. His second feature film as a director was the romantic comedy ‘Three Summers’ which released in 2017. He wrote this movie as well as the fictional historical film ‘All Is True’ which came out the following year. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the latter movie received critical acclaim.
Some of his other work as a writer include two episodes of TV series ‘Mr. Bean’ (1990, 1995); the short film ‘Mr. Bean Takes an Exam’ (1991); the TV special documentary ‘Rowan Atkinson Live’ (1992); the video documentaries ‘Ben Elton: Very Live’ (1993) and ‘Ben Elton: Ben Elton Live’ (1997) as well as the TV movie ‘The One Ronnie’ (2010).
Ben Elton also hosted/presented ‘The Brit Awards’ in 1997, 1998 and 2003; ‘The Royal Variety Performance’ in 2000 and ‘The Evening Standard Theatre Awards’ in 2000.
A nobleman, living with his daughter, niece and brother in Messina, an Italian town, is hosting a bunch of friends returning from war. The party play cupid to a couple in love for a long time. The British-American romantic comedy is based on a Shakespearean play of the same name.
Sam and Lucy are a married couple who seem to have everything that they want in their lives, with both of them having successful careers and an enthusiastic love life. However, they lack one thing that they need the most, which is a baby. They try several things such as new age chanting, acupuncture, creative lovemaking, but over some time, all this hectic schedule does is create an improvement in their cardiovascular systems. Eventually, their love for each other is put to the test.