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Tim Key


Tim is a poet with a disarming delivery, a quarter of an unnervingly odd sketch show, half of a blithely brilliant double act and a founder member of a social performance initiative. He also has his own show on BBC Radio and will appear in Steve Coogan’s new television programme later this year.

Tim wrote his poems last year and now polarises audiences across London. His awkward, ramshackle stage persona is equally at sea in rowdy stand-up clubs and small meetings of published poets as he stands in a lager stained grey suit, single-mindedly offloading verse about scorned lovers and Mr. Men.

Cowards - the four man sketch show of which Tim is a quarter - received lavish praise across the board for their total sell-out Edinburgh show last year. They are now developing a pilot with BBC Radio Entertainment and have a television development deal with Angel Eye and BBC Entertainment. Last year they recorded a one off special for Radio One called “Cowards” and made a serious of 11 sketches for UK Gold (directed by Ben Gregor).

This year Tim embarks on a three month tour of Roman towns with stand-up and former landlord, Alex Horne. Tim and Alex started working together in 2003 and were nominated that summer for the Perrier Best Newcomer Award for their first show “Making Fish Laugh”, which they then performed at The Singapore Comedy Festival. Since then they’ve peddled a unique line in pseudo-scientific mock-lectures underpinned by lavish PowerPoint presentations. In 2004 they performed “Every Body Talks” and in 2005, “When In Rome” receiving critical praise both in Edinburgh and at the Soho Theatre, London. Tim and Alex are developing television and radio ideas and perform together on the stand-up circuit.

Freeze is very difficult to explain. If you can imagine a landlord (Tom Basden) and tennant (Tim) taking their domestic relationship onto a stage, invigorating it with song, theatre, mime, magic, housework, poetry and body art, and then playing 1950s and 60s Soviet Lounge Music underneath, you’re getting there. They performed for the first time on Valentine’s Day 2005 and have since taken their idiosyncratic wares around the clubs of London and Edinburgh. Currently they are supporting Perrier Nominated sketch troupe, The Dutch Elm Conservatoire on their national tour.

Tim’s radio show All Bar Luke (produced by Seb Barwell) - the chronicles of a hapless divboy, condemned to live on the outskirts of a morally bankrupt friendship group - has received impressive reviews. Developed in association with Angel Eye, it is based on Tim’s character, Luke Walsall, who first appeared in 2001 in another sketch show, Far Too Happy, a total Edinburgh sell out which picked up a Perrier Best Newcomer Nomination. In 2004, Tim created Luke & Stella, a tragic play based around Luke, which he took to Edinburgh. Occasionally he performs Luke live and is developing ideas for television based around him.

Tim will appear on Laws Of The Playground on Channel 4 this year and is currently working on projects involving Mark Watson, Dom Joly and Prunella Scales.


On Cowards
"By far the most enjoyable sketch show I've seen so far this year… a feel-good, original blend of the naturalistic and the unnervingly odd" - NICHOLAS BARBER, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY.

“There is some impressively observant writing here coupled with a depth of characterisation - the rapport these guys have with each other is second to none” - NICK AWDE, THE STAGE.

“Cowards is an impressive new quartet that possesses the right combination of acting talent and well-written material. With quick, snappy scenes that occasionally recall early Fry and Laurie in their mix of clever and silly surrealism, they are particularly good on that very special British male awkwardness that hides behind attempts at humour” -

On collaborations with Alex Horne:
"Extremely well-conceived and executed, this makes for a fine hour laughing about laughter" - STEVE JELBERT, THE INDEPENDENT

"Being blinded by science has rarely seemed this fun" - NICK AWDE - THE STAGE

"They blend intriguing intellectual content with a persistent playfulness that keeps you gripped for an hour... a beguiling blend of the smart and the stupid, conveyed by a blithely brilliant double act; straight man and straighter man. A real delight" DOMINIC MAXWELL - THE TIMES

On All-Bar-Luke
"Key puts together a clever and compelling monologue set against a cacophonous backdrop of nightclub socialising" - STEPHANIE BILLEN - THE OBSERVER

“Vivid, closely observed, funny (if you like your comedy with a twist of lemon) and all too lifelike” - GILLIAN REYNOLDS - THE TELEGRAPH

“In a beautifully detailed performance, Key pitiful, engaging and hilarious” - MARTIN HOYLE - THE FINANCIAL TIMES