Tag Archives: Cambridge

John Lloyd … a career in comedy … seriously!

John Lloyd … a career in comedy … seriously!

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John Lloyd was born on 30 September 1951. He is an English television producer and writer best known for his work on such comedy television programmes as Not the Nine O’Clock News, Spitting Image, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Blackadder and QI.

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He was born in Dover in 1951. As a child he lived in several different places, owing to his father’s job as a captain in the Royal Navy. He attended schools in Titchfield and Canterbury before eventually reading Law at Trinity College, Cambridge and was a member of the Cambridge Footlights. There he befriended, and later shared a flat with the author Douglas Adams. 

Lloyd said: I graduated in ’73 with a very poor third-class law degree. I’d realised very early on that I wasn’t going to make a good lawyer; I spent my whole time doing plays, writing sketches and the gossip column for the university paper, that kind of stuff. 

He worked as a radio producer at the BBC between 1974 and 1978 and created The News Quiz and The News Huddlines.
He also went on to co-write the fifth and sixth episodes of the first radio series of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with Douglas Adams subsequent episodes and was involved in the TV series as associate producer.

Douglas Adams & John Lloyd

Douglas Adams & John Lloyd

Lloyd then worked as a TV producer at both the BBC and ITV from 1979–1989, where he jointly created Not the Nine O’Clock News and Spitting Image. He also produced all four Blackadder series. 

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Pictured with two rubbery friends

In 2003 he created QI, the wonderful comedy panel game television quiz show starring Stephen Fry and Alan Davies.

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With Stephen Fry

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire(CBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to broadcasting.

Producer John Lloyd outside Windsor Castle after receiving his Commander of the British Empire (CBE) medal from Queen Elizabeth II following an Investiture ceremony. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 8, 2011. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Producer John Lloyd outside Windsor Castle after receiving his Commander of the British Empire (CBE) medal from Queen Elizabeth II following an Investiture ceremony. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday April 8, 2011. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

See below for links to articles about John Lloyd which give somr really interesting background information about this amazingly successful comedy broker.

  1. A Life in Comedy: John Lloyd (The Guardian 2009)
  2. The Brain Behind QI (New Statesman 2013)
  3. Spitting Image interview from 1984 (The Guardian 2016)
  4. Mid-Life-Crisis: John Lloyd (Daily Mail)
  5. The Mustard Interview: John Lloyd

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Got Those Sinking Blues …

The world famous Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge universities is rowed between competing eights each spring on the River Thames in London. It takes place generally on the last Saturday of March or the first Saurday of April. On 24th March, 1951 the race was, for the first and only time, re-rowed because one of the crews, on this occasion Oxford, sank.


Each crew has gone under before, Cambridge most recently in 1978, and in 1912 the race was rescheduled because both crews failed to finish.
But in 1951, it happened before the end of the Fulham Wall, and by the rules of the event any equipment failure before that point means that the race has to start again. Two days later Cambridge won by 12 lengths.

1951 Cambridge Crew

1951 Oxford Crew

Why did Oxford sink ?  On the Saturday ( March 24th)  Oxford won the toss and chose Surrey. The conditions were appalling with a strong west wind against the tide. Oxford had waves breaking over their washboard even on their stake boat. Oxford sank within a minute and the umpire stopped the race and a re-row was arranged for the following Monday. IF YOU CLICK ON THIS LINK YOU CAN SEE THE ACTUAL SINKING IN GLORIOUS … BLACK & WHITE!!

Oxford and that sinking feeling 1951.

UPDATE :  April 7th 2012 …. JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO GO BACK INTO THE WATER …
This year’s Boat Race most certainly did not pass without incident …  a swimming protester caused the race to be stopped. It was eventually re-started but there was a clash of oars during which one of Oxford’s broke. Cambridge went on to win and a crippled Oxford limped over the finishing line with only seven oars working.