Tom Basden

Last updated

Tom Basden
Thomas William Basden

(1980-11-30) 30 November 1980 (age 42)
Sutton, Greater London, England
Occupation(s)Actor, comedian, writer
Years active2006present

Thomas William Basden (born 30 November 1980) is an English actor, comedy writer, and a member of the British four-man sketch group Cowards. He has written and performed extensively for comedy shows on the BBC and Channel 4 and often collaborates in two-man shows with fellow Cowards member Tim Key.



Tom Basden was born in Sutton, Greater London. He was educated at King's College School, a private school for boys in Wimbledon in South-West London, where he was in the same year as fellow actors Khalid Abdalla and Ben Barnes; followed by Pembroke College, Cambridge. He was vice-president of Cambridge Footlights and his contemporaries included Stefan Golaszewski, Sarah Solemani, Tim Key (who pretended to be studying for a Ph.D at Cambridge to be part of a Footlights production) and Dan Stevens. [1]



Basden's one-man show at the 2007 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Tom Basden Won't Say Anything, won the "if.comedy award" for Best Newcomer. [2] He starred with Tim Key in the 2007 short film The One and Only Herb McGwyer Plays Wallis Island , which won the UK Film Council Kodak Award for Best British Short Film. [3]

In 2008 Basden appeared as the resident musician for the second series of the BBC Radio 4 comedy show Mark Watson Makes the World Substantially Better , replacing Tim Minchin. [4]

He was a guest panellist on the BBC Two comedy show Never Mind the Buzzcocks in November 2009. [5]

In 2012 he appeared as Key's musical sidekick in the Radio 4 programme Tim Key's Late-Night Poetry. [6]

Since 2013, Basden has co-written and appeared in the ITV ancient-Rome sitcom Plebs . [7] He played a lead role the 2013 BBC Two comedy thriller The Wrong Mans . [8] He co-wrote the third and fifth episodes of series one, and wrote both episodes of series two which aired the following year.

He played Dan the sound engineer in the 2016 film David Brent: Life on the Road , and Jeremy Corbyn in the 2018 Royal Wedding special of The Windsors . [9] He had a main role as Matt in the Netflix comedy series After Life . [10] He wrote and appeared in the 2022 BBC sitcom Here We Go. [11] He starred as Mr Short in the 2022 Netflix young adult sci-fi series The Last Bus . [12]


Basden's 2010 play Party, about a group of university students holding a meeting to found their own political party, was performed at the Arts Theatre in London. Brian Logan, writing for The Guardian , gave it a four out of a possible five stars and describing it "an idiosyncratic and highly enjoyable piece performed beautifully by a crack cast of upcoming comics", [13] while Dominic Cavendish for The Daily Telegraph called it "astute (and) stingingly amusing". [14] A radio adaptation of the play produced by Julia McKenzie was broadcast on Radio 4 for three series and a Christmas special from 2010 to 2018. In addition to writing the adaptation, Basden appeared, alongside Tim Key, Jonny Sweet, Anna Crilly and Katy Wix. [15]

His play Joseph K, based on Franz Kafka's novel The Trial and starring Tim Key, was longlisted for the 2011 Evening Standard Theatre Awards Most Promising Playwright: it also received positive reviews from The Guardian [16] and The Daily Telegraph. [17]

In 2011 he wrote There Is a War, starring himself and Phoebe Fox, for the National Theatre's Double Feature. [18]

Basden co-wrote the Channel 4 sitcom Fresh Meat , which earned him a nomination for the 2012 BAFTA Craft Awards Break-Through Talent Award. [19]


2007 Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer [20] "Won't Say Anything"Won
2008 British Academy Film Awards Best Short FilmThe One and Only Herb McGwyer Plays Wallis IslandNominated
Chortle Awards Best Full Show"Won't Say Anything"Won
Breakthrough ActNominated
2011 Evening Standard Award Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising PlaywrightJoseph KWon
2012 BAFTA Craft Awards Break-Through Talent Award [21] Fresh MeatNominated

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">David Mitchell (comedian)</span> British comedian, actor, writer and television personality (born 1974)

David James Stuart Mitchell is a British comedian, actor, writer and television personality. He is part of the comedy duo Mitchell and Webb, alongside Robert Webb.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Catherine Tate</span> English actress, comedian and writer (born 1969)

Catherine Jane Ford, known professionally as Catherine Tate, is an English actress, comedian and writer. She has won numerous awards for her work on the BBC sketch comedy series The Catherine Tate Show (2004–2007), as well as being nominated for an International Emmy Award and seven BAFTAs. Tate played Donna Noble in the 2006 Christmas special of Doctor Who, and later reprised her role, becoming the Tenth Doctor's regular companion for the fourth series in 2008.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tom Hollander</span> British actor (born 1967)

Thomas Anthony Hollander is a British actor. As a child Hollander trained with the National Youth Theatre and was later involved in stage productions as a member of the Footlights and was president of the Marlowe Society. He later gained success for his roles on stage and screen, winning a BAFTA Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, as well as nominations for a Tony Award and Olivier Award.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Richard Ayoade</span> British comedian and actor (born 1977)

Richard Ellef Ayoade is a British comedian, actor, broadcaster, and filmmaker. He played the role of socially awkward IT technician Maurice Moss in Channel 4 sitcom The IT Crowd (2006–2013), for which he won the 2014 BAFTA for Best Male Comedy Performance.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ruth Jones</span> Welsh actress, writer and producer (born 1966)

Ruth Alexandra Elisabeth Jones is a Welsh actress, comedian, writer and producer. She co-wrote and co-starred in the award-winning BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey. She later created, wrote for and starred in the Sky One comedy-drama Stella (2012-2017), for which she was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Female Comedy Performance and won the BAFTA Cymru Award for Best Screenwriter.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dan Stevens</span> English actor

Daniel Jonathan Stevens is an English actor. He first drew international attention for his role as Matthew Crawley in the ITV acclaimed period drama series Downton Abbey (2010–2012). He also starred as David in the thriller film The Guest (2014), Sir Lancelot in the adventure film Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014), The Beast/Prince in Disney's live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast (2017), Lorin Willis in the biographical legal drama Marshall (2017), Charles Dickens in the biographical drama The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) and Russian Eurovision singer Alexander Lemtov in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020). From 2017 to 2019, he starred as David Haller in the FX series Legion. In 2018, he starred in the Netflix horror-thriller Apostle.

Cowards are a British four-man comedy act, composed of Tim Key, Stefan Golaszewski, Tom Basden and Lloyd Woolf. The group has created eponymous radio and TV series of their sketch comedy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nicola Walker</span> British actress (born 1970)

Nicola Jane Walker is an English actress, known for her starring roles in various British television programmes from the 1990s onwards, including that of Ruth Evershed in the spy drama Spooks and DCI Cassie Stuart in Unforgotten (2015–2021). She has also worked in theatre, radio and film. She won the 2013 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress for the play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and was twice nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress for the BBC drama Last Tango in Halifax.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stephen Mangan</span> English film and stage actor (born 1968)

Stephen James Mangan is an English actor, comedian, presenter and writer. He has played Guy Secretan in Green Wing, Dan Moody in I'm Alan Partridge, Seán Lincoln in Episodes, Bigwig in Watership Down, Postman Pat in Postman Pat: The Movie, Richard Pitt in Hang Ups, Andrew in Bliss (2018), and Nathan Stern in The Split (2018–2022).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tim Key</span> English comedian and poet

Timothy David Key is an English poet, comedian, actor, screenwriter and radio personality. He is best known for playing Alan Partridge's sidekick Simon in Mid Morning Matters, Alpha Papa, and This Time, as well as his work as a member of the comedy group Cowards and his extensive list of performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In 2009, he won the Edinburgh Comedy Award and was nominated for the Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mark Watson</span> British comedian and writer

Mark Andrew Watson is an English comedian and novelist.

Dennis Kelly is a British writer and producer. He has worked for theatre, television and film.

Stefan Golaszewski is a British writer, performer and director. He is part of the comedy troupe Cowards and is the writer and creator of BAFTA winning sitcoms Him & Her and Mum.

Lloyd Woolf is a British comedy actor and writer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Simon Bird</span> English actor and comedian

Simon Antony Bird is an English comedian, actor, director and producer. He is best known for playing Will McKenzie in the multi-award-winning E4 comedy series The Inbetweeners (2008–2010), as well as its two films, and Adam Goodman in the Channel 4 comedy series Friday Night Dinner (2011–2020).

Steven Canny is an Executive Producer for BBC Studios Comedy and has written a number of plays.

Jonny Sweet is a British comedian and the recipient of the 2009 Edinburgh Comedy Award for best newcomer.

Adeel Akhtar is a British actor. In 2017, he won the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor for his role in Murdered by My Father. He was also nominated for a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor for his role on Channel 4's Utopia, as well as a British Academy Film Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Ali & Ava.

Daniel Rigby is an English actor and comedian. He received a BAFTA TV Award for his leading role as Eric Morecambe in the 2011 BBC television film Eric and Ernie.

Susan Indiaba Wokoma is a British actress, writer and director. She is best known for her roles as Edith in Enola Holmes and Raquel in the E4/Netflix show Crazyhead. Wokoma was listed as one of Europe's Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2017 and named a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit by an international jury the same year.


  1. "Alumni 2000–2009". Cambridge Footlights. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012.
  2. "The winners". if.comedy. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
  3. "Awards History". Edinburgh International Film Festival . Archived from the original on 1 October 2009.
  4. "Mark Watson Makes the World Substantially Better | 13 August - 17 September 2008". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  5. "Never Mind The Buzzcocks | Series 23". British Comedy Guide . Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  6. "Tim Key's Late Night Poetry". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  7. "ITV2 orders ancient Roman sitcom Plebs". British Comedy Guide. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  8. "Cast announced for The Wrong Mans on BBC Two". BBC Media Centre. Archived from the original on 23 February 2013.
  9. Wollaston, Sam (15 May 2018). "The Windsors Royal Wedding Special review – gloriously brazen satire". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  10. Sanusi, Victoria (8 March 2019). "After Life cast: who stars with Ricky Gervais in new Netflix series – and where else you've seen them". i . Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  11. "Here We Go: Meet the cast of the new BBC comedy series". BBC Media Centre (Press release). 19 April 2022. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  12. "The Last Bus". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  13. Logan, Brian (11 March 2010). "Party (review)". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  14. Cavendish, Dominic (4 March 2010). "Party at the Arts Theatre, review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 May 2022.(subscription required)
  15. "Party". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  16. Gardner, Lyn (17 November 2010). "Joseph K – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  17. Cavendish, Dominic (23 November 2010). "Joseph K, Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 May 2022.(subscription required)
  18. "There Is A War, Double Feature". National Theatre. Archived from the original on 1 September 2011.
  19. "Kwadjo Dajan Wins the Break-Through Talent Award in 2012". BAFTA. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  20. "2007 Best Newcomers Winner - Tom Basden Won't Say Anything". British Comedy Guide. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  21. "Television Craft Awards Winners in 2012". BAFTA. 13 April 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
Preceded by Edinburgh Fringe Best Comedy Newcomer
Succeeded by