Addison Cresswell, the UK's top comedy agent, has died

Monday 23rd December 2013 @ 5:27pm by Aaron

Addison Cresswell. One of the most influential people in British comedy, agent Addison Cresswell, has died.

A hugely powerful and successful promoter, Cresswell set up talent management company Off The Kerb, and was the mastermind behind the careers of many of British comedy's best known stand-up comedians, including Lee Evans, Michael McIntyre, Alan Carr and Jack Dee.

A statement released by his company confirmed the news: "Agent, producer and charity fundraiser Addison Cresswell passed away in his sleep at home last night at the age of 53.

"Widely considered to be one of the most influential figures in the entertainment industry, his clients included Jack Dee, Lee Evans, Jonathan Ross, Alan Carr, Michael McIntyre, Dara O Briain and Sean Lock.

"He leaves behind a proud legacy in his tireless charity work, initiating and organising the annual Channel 4 Comedy Gala in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. It was his dearest wish to raise enough to fund the opening of a brand new wing of the hospital, a goal that is now in sight.

"Addison will be fondly remembered by all whose lives he touched as a devoted mentor, a dear friend and an unforgettable character. He will be sorely missed. He is survived by his beloved wife, Shelley, his dogs Bonnie and Nessie and many, many pet fish."

It is understood that Cresswell suffered a heart attack in his sleep last night, Sunday 22nd/Monday 23rd December 2013.

Addison Cresswell began representing comedians in 1981, initially working from his kitchen table. However, Off The Kerb has now grown into one of the biggest comedy agencies in the country, with a TV production arm - Open Mike - behind many hit TV formats.

Cresswell has acted as an executive producer for many of the company's titles, including Live At The Apollo, Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, Stand Up For The Week, Alan Carr: Chatty Man, Edinburgh Comedy Fest Live and The Last Leg, as well as scripted formats such as Jack Dee's Lead Balloon.

In summer 2012, comedy website Such Small Portions named Cresswell the single most influential person in British comedy.

Friday Night With Jonathan Ross. Jonathan Ross. Image credit: Hot Sauce.Cresswell was widely regarded as a shrewd businessman, and was the man who, in 2006, negotiated the controversial £18m golden handcuffs deal between Jonathan Ross (pictured) and the BBC.

In a 2008 Guardian profile, the then head of Channel 4 said of Cresswell: "You can judge how effective and how good agents are by the long-term relationships they have with their clients. In other words, is their client base always changing or not? Addison has managed to keep his clients for a very long time, which is an indication how good he is for them.

"With broadcasters, he can be volatile - but my experience with him is that he is straight, and you always have the feeling that he has his client's best interests at heart. He has an understanding of television, and is a hard negotiator but also fair."

Whilst being very well known within the comedy industry, and often described as a "larger than life character", Cresswell was also a private individual who shunned the spotlight. Few press photographs of him exist.

Many leading names have taken to Twitter this evening to express their shock and dismay at news of his death.

Simon Evans, one of Cresswell's acts, posted: "Very hard to accept that Addison Cresswell is gone. Very hard indeed. To say RIP seems almost disrespectful to his whole approach to life."

Shappi Khorsandi ‏said: "I adored my manager Addison Cresswell. Am so shocked and saddened by his sudden death. He'd fight tigers for his acts. Irreplaceable."

Adam Hills posted: "Devastated by the loss of my manager, friend and champion Addison Cresswell. He can never be replaced. Love you loads. Ad x"

Jack Whitehall added: "Sad news about Addison Cresswell last time I saw him was last week giving me a bear hug as I came off stage. An amazing character we've lost."

Stephen Fry said: "Oh goodness, I've just heard about Addison Cresswell a larger than life impresario manager. My deepest sympathy to all his family & friends."

Kenton Allen, boss of production company Big Talk, said: "Please can someone tell me the Addison Cresswell news is nonsense? He's been a beacon of light in my life for over 30 years." He later added: "So it's true. You truly knew you were alive if you were lucky enough to spend time with Addison. Going for a walk now..."

Agent Vivienne Clore commented: "Truely tragic news. Addison Cresswell RIP... He will leave a huge gap in comedy and always have a place in comedians' hearts."

Horrible Histories producer Caroline Norris tweeted: "Terribly sad news about Addison Cresswell. A huge loss to the world of comedy."

Jenny Eclair added: "Stunned and shocked by news of Addison Cresswell's death, he was there at the beginning for so many of us, love to his family and friends."

 

Latest News

UKTV Gold orders studio audience sitcom Bull

UKTV Gold orders studio audience sitcom Bull

Gold is to film Bull, a studio audience sitcom about a man who runs an antiques shop.

UKTV Gold orders new sitcom Marley's Ghosts

UKTV Gold orders new sitcom Marley's Ghosts

Gold has ordered Marley's Ghosts, a three-part sitcom about a woman who can speak to the dead.

Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais to make Henry IX for Gold

Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais to make Henry IX for Gold

Porridge writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais have written Henry IX, a new sitcom for UKTV Gold.

BBC Two axes Never Mind The Buzzcocks

BBC Two axes Never Mind The Buzzcocks

BBC Two has decided to end Never Mind The Buzzcocks after 18 years and 28 series on air.

Channel 4 in talks with Dom Joly to bring back Trigger Happy TV

Channel 4 in talks with Dom Joly to bring back Trigger Happy TV

Channel 4 has confirmed it is in talks to bring back Dom Joly's hidden camera comedy format Trigger Happy TV.

BBC One orders 3rd series of Count Arthur Strong

BBC One orders 3rd series of Count Arthur Strong

BBC One has announced the commission of a third series of Count Arthur Strong. The seven new episodes will be on TV in 2016.

Get More News

In The Press

In The Press

The latest press clippings from the newspapers and various internet blogs.

Newsletter

Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list to get news and more in your inbox every Monday.

Twitter

Twitter Feed

You can follow us on Twitter too. We post the latest news and gossip every evening.

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Subscribe to our RSS feed to get our headlines in your news reader software.

Del Boy's autobiography

Del Boy's autobiography

Ebury will publish the autobiography of Peckham businessman Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter in October. Read

Vicious 2 interviews

Vicious 2 interviews

The cast of Vicious talk about the return of the sitcom, and how the topic of gay marriage crops up in the show. Read

Omid Djalili interview

Omid Djalili interview

Omid Djalili discusses his acclaimed war documentary, plus Oliver Reed, tricky Joe Orton plays, bad TV recordings... Read

BBC Radio Contract Writers

BBC Radio Contract Writers

BBC Radio Comedy has announced the appointment of two new Contract Writers, Sarah Campbell and Liam Beirne. Read

Hadrian's Wall charity gigs

Hadrian's Wall charity gigs

A 15-strong collective of comedians are hoping to raise more than laughs when they tackle Hadrian's Wall. Read

Knight & Gotobed interview

Knight & Gotobed interview

An interview with double act Rob Gotobed and Tony Knight. They provide lots of punchline filled answers. Read

Room To Write interview

Room To Write interview

Laura Marks, the producer and director behind the BBC's Room To Write video sketches, shares some advice: Read

Frog and Bucket plaque

Frog and Bucket plaque

The Frog and Bucket club has celebrated its 21st birthday with a blue plaque for those that 'died' on its stage. Read

John Moloney interview

John Moloney interview

John Moloney introduces his new Radio 4 series and talks about how the comedy circuit is different nowadays. Read

Williams & Hancock show

Williams & Hancock show

A preview of Seriously Funny, a play at The Museum Of Comedy about Tony Hancock and Kenneth Williams. Read

Why We Need Ethnic Comedy

Why We Need Ethnic Comedy

In this article, comedy performer Inder Manocha discusses how ethnic comedy relates to the mainstream. Read