David Quantick

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David Quantick
David Quantick.jpg
David Quantick at a BCA event in May 2018
Born (1961-05-14) 14 May 1961 (age 57)
Occupation screenwriter
Years active1983–present

David Quantick (born 14 May 1961, Wortley, South Yorkshire, England) [1] is an Emmy Award winning [2] English journalist, radio and screen writer and critic who specialises in music and comedy. He has collaborated with comics and writers such as Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci (as co-writer for On the Hour, Blue Jam and Veep) and Harry Hill as a writer for TV Burp.

Wortley, South Yorkshire village in South Yorkshire, England

Wortley is a village and civil parish in the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England. At the 2001 census it had a population of 579, increasing to 626 at the 2011 Census. Wortley is mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book as Wirtleie.

An Emmy Award, or simply Emmy, is an American award that recognizes excellence in the television industry, and is the equivalent of an Academy Award, the Tony Award, and the Grammy Award.

Chris Morris (satirist) English satirist, writer, director, actor, voice actor and producer

Christopher J Morris is an English comedian, writer, director, actor, voice actor, and producer. He is known for his black humour, surrealism, and controversial subject matter, and has been hailed for his "uncompromising, moralistic drive" by the British Film Institute.


Quantick is a former staff writer for NME , for whom he wrote in the late 1980s and early 1990s, before publishing books such as "How To Write Everything" (2014) and "How to be A Writer" (2016).

<i>NME</i> British weekly music journalism magazine

New Musical Express (NME) is a British music journalism website and former magazine that has been published since 1952. It was the first British paper to include a singles chart, in the edition of 14 November 1952. In the 1970s it became the best-selling British music newspaper. During the period 1972 to 1976, it was particularly associated with gonzo journalism, then became closely associated with punk rock through the writings of Julie Burchill, Paul Morley and Tony Parsons. It started as a music newspaper, and gradually moved toward a magazine format during the 1980s and 1990s, changing from newsprint in 1998.

Early life

He was born in Sheffield, adopted, and moved at an early age with his family to Plymouth. Quantick went to Woodford Junior School in Plymouth, then Exmouth Comprehensive School.

Sheffield City and Metropolitan borough in England

Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. With some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base. The population of the City of Sheffield is 577,800 (mid-2017 est.) and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the Core Cities Group. Sheffield is the third-largest English district by population. The metropolitan population of Sheffield is 1,569,000.

Plymouth City and Unitary authority in England

Plymouth is a port city situated on the south coast of Devon, England, approximately 37 miles (60 km) south-west of Exeter and 190 miles (310 km) west-south-west of London. Enclosing the city are the mouths of the river Plym and river Tamar, which are naturally incorporated into Plymouth Sound to form a boundary with Cornwall.

Exmouth Community College

Exmouth Community College is an academy in Exmouth, Devon, England. The college provides secondary education for 2000 plus students aged 11 to 18. The principal is Andrew Davis.


Early years

David Quantick began writing for the music publication NME in 1983, alongside Danny Baker and Paul Morley. Together with Steven Wells, he contributed to many of the humorous snippet sections in the paper. In addition to rock journalism, he was also submitting jokes and sketches to British comedy shows such as Spitting Image .

Danny Baker television presenter

Danny Baker is an English comedy writer, journalist, radio DJ and screenwriter. Since the late 1970s, he has worked for a wide range of publications and broadcasters including NME, LWT, the BBC and Talk Radio.

Paul Morley English journalist

Paul Robert Morley is an English music journalist. He wrote for the New Musical Express from 1977 to 1983 and has since written for a wide range of publications. He was a co-founder of the record label ZTT Records and was a member of the synthpop group Art of Noise. He has also been a band manager, promoter and television presenter.

Steven Wells was a British journalist, author, comedian and punk poet born in Swindon, Wiltshire. He was best known for ranting poetry and his provocative, unapologetic music journalism. In June 2006, he wrote in the Philadelphia Weekly about his treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma. After being in remission for a short time, he was diagnosed with enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma in January 2009 and died on 24 June 2009 in Philadelphia.

Quantick built his profile steadily and his name began to appear increasingly often in print, radio and television. In 1992, Armando Iannucci asked him to join the writing team for the Radio 4 spoof news programme On the Hour , after which he made the natural progression to the television follow-up The Day Today (BBC2, 1994). He ceased submitting copy to the NME in 1995, and around this time, he was appearing regularly on Collins and Maconie's Hit Parade (Radio 1, 1994–1997), commenting astringently upon music's stars. This developed into his own named slot in the show, named Quantick's World. His connection with Maconie continued in parallel on the weekly show, The Treatment on BBC Radio Five Live, which was an hour-long satirical news round-up.

Armando Iannucci British comedian, film director and producer

Armando Giovanni Iannucci is a Scottish satirist, writer, director, and radio producer. Born in Glasgow to Italian parents, Iannucci studied at the University of Glasgow followed by the University of Oxford, leaving graduate work on a D.Phil about John Milton to pursue a career in comedy. Starting on BBC Scotland and BBC Radio 4, his early work with Chris Morris on the radio series On the Hour transferred to television as The Day Today. A character from this series, Alan Partridge, co-created by Iannucci, went on to feature in a number of Iannucci's television and radio programmes, including Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge and I'm Alan Partridge. Iannucci also fronted the satirical Armistice review shows and in 2001 created his most personal work, The Armando Iannucci Shows, for Channel 4.

BBC Radio 4 British domestic radio station, owned and operated by the BBC

BBC Radio 4 is a radio station owned and operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is Gwyneth Williams, and the station is part of BBC Radio and the BBC Radio department. The station is broadcast from the BBC's headquarters at Broadcasting House, London. On 21 January 2019 Williams announced she was quitting the role. There are no details of when or who will be her replacement.

<i>On the Hour</i> British radio programme

On the Hour was a British radio programme that parodied current affairs broadcasting, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 between 1991 and 1992.

In 1995, Carlton Television broadcast a set of six pilot television shows, one of which was Now What? The series was not picked up for development but Quantick found a writing partner through these proceedings in Jane Bussmann. The two went on to write and perform Bussmann & Quantick Kingsize (1998), a series of sketches and monologues for BBC Radio 4.

Carlton Television ITV franchise holder

Carlton Television was the ITV franchise holder for London and the surrounding counties from 9.25am every Monday to 5.15pm every Friday. The company is now managed with London Weekend Television as a single entity, but the two companies are still separately licensed. The station is owned and operated by ITV plc under the licensee of ITV Broadcasting Limited. Carlton has been branded on air as 'ITV1' since 28 October 2002, and as 'ITV' since 14 January 2013. Carlton legally exists as Carlton Television Ltd. This company is, along with most other regional companies owned by ITV plc, listed on www.companieshouse.gov.uk as a "Dormant company". As Carlton's name has no relation to its region, its on-screen identity has been completely removed. Other regions have kept their original company name as a region name and in their local news name.

Jane Bussmann is an English comedian and author, who has written for television and radio. Her credits include: The Fast Show, Smack the Pony, Brass Eye, Jam, South Park and Crackanory; as well as the radio series Bussmann and Quantick Kingsize with David Quantick.

Quantick rejoined Chris Morris to write for Brass Eye in 1996 (broadcast in 1997). He also wrote for Morris's radio series Blue Jam (Radio 1, 1997) and the subsequent television version Jam (Channel 4, 2000). The 2001 Brass Eye Special attracted so much protest that Government ministers promptly condemned the programme without having seen it. [3]

Throughout this period, he also contributed to less provocative fare such as Smack the Pony (Channel 4, 1999–2001), Harry Enfield's Brand Spanking New Show (Sky One, 2000) and could be heard on Radio 4's The 99p Challenge .

The 2000s

In 2000, Quantick and Bussmann created the world's first internet sitcom Junkies about three heroin addicts. [1] Quantick also claimed it as the first docusitcom (documentary/sitcom). It starred long-time Morris collaborator Peter Baynham, with Sally Phillips (Smack the Pony) and Peter Serafinowicz ( Look Around You ). The project grew out of the writing pair's frustration with the commissioning process. The average sitcom, they said, costs £200,000 to make and finding funds is too difficult. So they secured the services of cast and crew on a voluntary basis and made a show for less than £4,000. The site received over a million visits in its first eight months of existence. [1] The following year, he collaborated with Collins and Maconie again on Lloyd Cole Knew My Father, a live show where the three recounted humorous tales of working as rock journalists. Stories were mainly concerned with the deflating aspects of the job, such as the boredom, missing assignments, and the idiosyncrasies of fan letters. A performance was later broadcast on Radio 2 as a six-episode series.

In 2003 and 2005, Quantick contributed material to sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Sound , and co-wrote five series of 15 Minute Musical (2004–08) with Richie Webb, whom he also wrote with on several series of Parsons and Naylor's Pull-Out Sections . He also made several appearances on Clive Anderson's radio panel show We've Been Here Before in 2003 and 2004. 2005 also saw him take part in Channel 4's Come Dine with Me , with four other celebrities. Throughout, Quantick worked on biographies of musicians and comedians (The Clash, Beck, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and Bill Hicks).

Quantick continues to write, and co-presents a weekly programme One Way Single Parent Family Favourites on art radio station Resonance FM. He was also part of the writing team of Harry Hill's TV Burp , and writes and presents series 3 of 'The Blagger's Guide', a six-part comedy series on BBC Radio 2 with writer and producer Simon Poole. He also appears as Doctor Dave Radio on another Radio 2 comedy programme, Radio Rivron.

Recent work

In 2012, having worked on the final series of TV Burp , Quantick contributed material to The Thick of It , continued to write for Rob Brydon, and recorded further editions of The Blagger's Guide for Radio 2. In September of that year, he published an e-book novel, Sparks, described by Neil Gaiman as "excellent" [4] He produced a four-episode comedy series 52 First Impressions with David Quantick for Radio 4 in 2014 in which he recounted stories about 52 individuals he had encountered in his life/career. [5]

He received an Emmy in 2015 for his work on the HBO Series, Veep . [6] That year he crowd-funded a novel The Mule via the Unbound company which was released on 25 February 2016. [7] In addition, he has written two writing manuals for Oberon Books: How To Write Everything in 2015, then How to Be a Writer: Conversations With Writers About Writing the following year. [8]


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  1. 1 2 3 "David Quantick Biography". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  2. "Veep: Outstanding Comedy Series 2015". Television Academy, CA. Retrieved 15 July 2018
  3. Tate, Gabriel. "The 10 most politically controversial TV shows of all time". The Guardian , 3 September 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2018
  4. Quantick, David. "Sparks" via Amazon.
  5. "52 First Impressions with David Quantick". BBC Radio 4. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  6. http://www.emmys.com/sites/default/files/Downloads/67th-emmy-winners-v1.pdf
  7. "The Mule by David Quantick". Unbound. 4 December 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  8. https://www.oberonbooks.com/david-quantick.html
  9. "That's Because You're A Robot". Image Comics. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  10. "Our First Book – 'Memoirs Of A Shoegazing Gentleman'". Sonic Cathedral. Retrieved 28 September 2015.