The Malcolm Hardee Awards

The Hardees

The Malcolm Hardee Awards

Malcolm Hardee

Malcolm Hardee was a near-legendary comedian, agent, manager, club-owner and anarchic prankster.

Malcolm Hardee (5 January 1950 – 31 January 2005) was one of the founding fathers of British alternative comedy.

His mythic reputation in the comedy industry was built on his outrageous publicity stunts and on the help and advice he gave to successful British alternative comedians early in their careers, acting as "godfather to a generation of comic talent" (Daily Telegraph).

He drowned in his beloved River Thames in 2005. In its obituary, The Independent wrote he was "the greatest influence on British comedy over the last 25 years". The Times said that "throughout his life he maintained a fearlessness and an indifference to consequences".

Others simply called him "anarchic".

Always fond of duping journalists, he once reviewed his own Edinburgh Fringe show and filed adulatory copy to The Scotsman in the name of their own comedy critic. It was duly published.

His 1996 autobiography, I Stole Freddie Mercury's Birthday Cake, recalled his escapades, including the time he pilfered the Queen frontman's 40th birthday cake and handed out slices at an old people's home.

Malcolm's funeral took place on Thursday 17th February 2005 at St Alfege's, Greenwich, with his wake at the nearby Trafalgar Tavern.

As well as autobiography I Stole Freddie Mercury's Birthday Cake, Malcolm also edited the written comedy collection Sit-Down Comedy.


One of the great characters in the comedy business...his scams, scrapes and escapades will be talked about for years to come
Time Out
The greatest influence on British comedy over the last 25 years
The Independent
Godfather to a generation of comic talent
The Daily Telegraph
One of the most anarchic figures of his era
London Evening Standard
Notoriously outrageous and a prize prankster...a genuine original
The Scotsman
A larger than life character whose ribald behaviour and risque pranks were legendary.
The Stage
Patron sinner of alternative comedy, renowned for his outrageous stunts
The Guardian
Throughout his life he maintained a fearlessness and an indifference to consequences
Obituary in The Times