Press clippings

Samuel Barnett on his new one-man show

Making his fringe debut with a show about a troubled stand-up, the actor explains why he loves solo performance, his issues with The History Boys, and why this government's days are numbered.

Natasha Tripney, The Guardian, 16th August 2022

Samuel Barnett named first winner of The Stage Edinburgh Awards 2022

Samuel Barnett was recognised for his performance in Feeling Afraid As If Something Terrible Is Going to Happen, a dark comedy about a 36-year-old comedian.

Giverny Masso, The Stage, 12th August 2022

Samuel Barnett gets title role in Dirk Gently USA

Samuel Barnett has been cast as the lead opposite Elijah Wood in Dirk Gently, BBC America's eight-episode series based on the cult novels by Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy author Douglas Adams.

Nellie Andreeva, Deadline, 30th March 2016

More quick-fire comedy from the incompetent members of the Olympic Deliverance Commission. And with ODC head Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville) in hospital after being shot in the foot with a starting pistol, there's evenmore chaos than usual. Not least when it emerges that Lord Coe has poached Fletcher's PA Daniel (Samuel Barnett) with just three weeks to go before the Opening Ceremony. A replacement is quickly found - a welcome return to the series for Olivia Colman as obsessively devoted Sally.

Gerard O'Donovan, The Telegraph, 16th July 2012

Fashion designer Simon Doonan (Samuel Barnett) remembers an early trip to see the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest as this slightly silly and surreal comedy drama based on Doonan's real-life memoirs continues. Along with best friend Kylie he dreams of making a success of their boyband Emale and the pair leap at the chance to see Europe's campest pop stars in the flesh. Olivia Colman is also great fun as Simon's common mother who invites the new gay neighbours round for dinner only for the visit to end when one of the pair makes a pass at Simon's father.

The Telegraph, 20th November 2009

If The Office made Slough look dismal then Beautiful People makes suburban Reading look similarly gloomy, especially from the viewpoint of an effeminate 13-year-old schoolboy desperate for the glitz, glamour and excitement of London. Written by Jonathan Harvey (Gimme Gimme Gimme) and based upon the childhood memoirs of Simon Doonan, creative director of Barney's department store in New York, the camp comedy drama is back for a second six-part series. Using flashbacks, narration and fantasy sequences, each episode centres upon how Simon (played by Luke Ward-Wilkinson and, in his older years, Samuel Barnett) came to own some of his most treasured possessions. In this first episode Simon recalls a school genealogy project that led him to find out that his parents never actually married.

The Telegraph, 13th November 2009

This new comedy from Jonathan Harvey (Gimme, Gimme, Gimme) is adapted from the novel by Simon Doonan (now creative director of New York's famous store Barneys), based on his childhood.

The enjoyably cheeky series, starring Luke Ward-Wilkinson and Samuel Barnett (who play the young and old Simon), explores Simon's recollections of his teenage life in Reading.

The Daily Express, 2nd October 2008

In case you don't know (and unless you spotted him offering style tips on America's Next Top Model - why should you?) Simon Doonan is the British-born window-dresser and creative director of the glamorous New York department store, Barneys. This new sitcom is inspired by his autobiography about growing up gay and working class in un-glamorous Reading.

Not having read it, I can't tell you how faithfully Jonathan Harvey's screenplay is to the book, but as Doonan is now in his mid-50s, it's a safe bet he wasn't a schoolboy in 1997 as he's depicted here (although his household did include a live-in blind auntie, played by Meera Syal).

Luke Ward-Wilkinson and Samuel Barnett play Simon, then and now, in the first instalment which works its socks off trying to be wacky. Describing his mum's attempts to entertain, Simon now tells us: Never, ever trust the word 'zany'. Advice the director might have done well to heed.

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 2nd October 2008

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