This week’s #FascinatingFactFriday is about Mr Simon Dean, who is one of our Year 2 Teachers at King’s Ely Acremont Pre-Prep!

Did you know that some very funny comedy shows that many of you will have chuckled at over the years have been written by Mr Dean?

Mr Dean’s most well-known credits include BBC One shows, Miranda, Not Going Out, and Armstrong and Miller.

Father-of-two Mr Dean said: “I also wrote for Miranda Hart’s Joke Shop (BBC Radio 4), and a bunch of other shows like Headcases (ITV), Shelfstackers (BBC), Undercover (Dave), Rush Hour (BBC), Swinging (Channel 5), and The Charlotte Church Show (Channel 4), as well as numerous pilots, voiceovers, and links. I was mainly a jobbing writer, working as part of a much larger writing team.”

Mr Dean first started writing when he was a Sixth Form student in Cambridge and then when he was at the University of Birmingham studying Geography and American Studies.

He said: “With some friends, I took a really, really bad show to the Edinburgh Fringe in 1998, where it sank without trace, but it was a good learning experience. It is a great laboratory to see loads of stuff, take some criticism on the chin, and work out what you need to do to get better.

“In 2002, I won the BBC New Comedy Award for Sketch Writing (sketch shows do not really exist anymore on TV – thanks TikTok!), and one for animation writing in the same year. These were competitions for new talent and gave me a first proper foot in the door in the industry, allowing me to have my work read by agents and producers.

“You tend to think of people getting a “big break”, but actually most of the time it is more a slow process of chipping away, getting people to see your stuff, and then moving forward by word of mouth.”

Mr Dean completed his PGCE at Goldsmiths, University of London and taught in South East London before joining King’s in 2019.

He said: “I was lucky to work with some amazing and very funny people – performers, writers, agents, and producers. When you are in a room, making your friends laugh and getting paid for the privilege, it can be the best job in the world. However, it is not always the most stable or reliable job in the world and it can be incredibly frustrating a lot of the time. There is a LOT of waiting and a LOT of rejection, so you need a huge amount of patience, talent, and commitment to see it through in the long term.

“That said, it is certainly something that I am glad to have done and it is hard to match the buzz of sitting down in front of the TV to watch something with your name on, knowing that millions of other people are watching it too!”

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