Interview: Richard Allen
We caught up in Bristol with the 'Things on Fire' writer, director and angry young man...

Griff Rhys Jones

Griff's relaunch - May 04
Griff Rhys Jones will be back to launch this years Restoration.

The Northern Ireland based BBC series which challenges teams to restore ancient buildings returns to our screens soon with last years presenter Griff Rhys Jones at the helm. This year a lock keepers cottage is up against Northern Ireland's oldest prison and Derry's Playhouse.

Griff's Restoration! - 15/09/03

Welsh comedian Griff Rhys Jones hosted the live television programme that pledged to give £3.4m to restore a listed heritage building.

When you think of a celebrity that really cares for National Heritage the first name to spring to mind is Griff, as he spends a lot of time campaigning to save buildings of historical and national importance. London's Hackney Empire - one of the oldest music halls in the city, has benefited greatly by Griff lending his support. So it was of no surprise to find that he was at the helm of the BBC2 series called Restoration.

The many listed buildings in need of help were whittled down to just ten - one being the oldest town house in Wales - Llanelly House. But it was The Victoria Baths in Manchester that won the vote, gaining £3.4m to be spent on its restoration to splendour. Griff said the Restoration programme had been a huge success. "It has put conservation concerns on the agenda, and, I hope, entertained a lot of people on the way."

Save from ruin - 01/04/03
Islington based comedian and conservationist Griff Rhys Jones will be giving the public the chance to save one of 30 historic buildings across the UK - when he presents Restoration this summer...

The new BBC2 programme is based on the UK's architectural treasures. Each of the 30 buildings will have a celebrity advocate who will highlight the reasons their particular structure should be rescued from ruin. The winner, to be chosen from 10 finalists, will be chosen during a live show in September, with the prize a multi-million-pound restoration project.

Griff 'Bridges the Gap' - 12/11/02
Islington resident Griff Rhys Jones was one of the celebrities that joined over 1,200 people on the Bridge the Gap Charity Walk in Cambridge.

The 4.5 mile walk was to raise money for the Arthur Rank House cancer hospice and East Anglia's Children's Hospices. So far the charity walk has pulled in an amazing £25,000 for the charities. Griff was part of the walk along with comedian Rory McGrath as they were both former students at Emmanuel College, which is on the walk route.

They both took their friends and families on the walk, which they enjoyed although Rory has said that he 'since he was last seen entering the Clarendon Arms on route - he is still technically on the walk!''

25/10/02 Cardiff born comedian, actor and broadcaster, Griff Rhys Jones received an Honorary Graduate from the University of East Anglia and had the packed Grand Hall of the Suffolk College in stitches.

The 49 year-old is currently writing a book called, To the Baltic with Bob, describing his adventures on the high seas with his sailing friend Bob, as they make their way to St Petersburg, port by port. This year they reached Copenhagen where the boat is now stored and hope to complete the journey next summer. In the meantime, there is a new series of the BBC Radio 2 comedy series, The Griff Rhys Jones Show to write and record, and a new televison series called Restoration, where Griff helps the nation choose its favourite old building, in the way he gently cajoled us into choosing our favourite poem and artist.

Griff was born on the 6th November, 1953, in Cardiff. A bit of a clever lad, he got into Cambridge University and that's where his interest in performing really began and flourished. He belonged to the famous thespian Cambridge Footlights Club, even becoming it's Vice-President.

He has gone on to achieve huge success with his own unique style and brand of comedy. He's one of Britains best loved comedians, and made his name in first-class, ground-breaking shows such as Smith and Jones and Not The Nine O'Clock News. Also a 'serious' actor, he's kept up his love for treading the boards and has appeared in countless stage productions including The Alchemist and CharlieÕs Aunt at The Lyric, Hammersmith; The Resistable Rise Of Arturo Ui at the Queens Theatre; Trumpets And Raspberries at The Pheonix Theatre, too mention but a few. Also a shrewd businessman he set up his own production company, TalkBack, back in 1981 with Mel Smith. Talkback is now one of the UK's leading independent production companies and has made many award-winning shows, including The Day Today and They Think It's all Over.

Griff works as an actor, director, writer and producer. He is married to graphic designer June, and they divide their time bewtween their London home in Islington and their country pad in Sussex.

Despite the fame, the power, the money and glory he remains a thouroughly decent bloke and every year he raises huge sums of money for comic relief, as well as working for other charities. For example, Griff chairs the £15 million Appeal Campaign for the renovation of the beautiful London building The Hackney Empire. He probably has some bad points but we can't seem to find any!


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