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Arthur Smith

Arthur Smith is an English comedian known for his work in the alternative comedy scene in the early 1980s. He is best known for his own music and comedy show Arthur Smith's Balham Bash, in which he would invite a range of guests into his own Balham home in South London for a night of varied entertainment and laughs. He is also the voice of Arthur Dustcart on TV's Rex The Runt, and has acted in radio sitcoms such as BBC Radio 4's Married.


A regular at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe since 1977, he has compered almost every year of the long-running Hackney Empire New Act of the Year competition final.


Alongside his work in stand-up, Smith has performed a range of musical comedy shows such as Arthur Smith Sings Leonard Cohen, which was later broadcast on BBC Radio 4. In 2013 he would take a reworked edition of this show to the Edinburgh Fringe, entitled Arthur Smith Sings Leonard Cohen (Volume Too).
From 1998 to 2001 he starred in the BBC Two[/z] sitcom Rex The Runt, an Aardman Animations production about the lives of four dogs. Here he gave his voice to the character of Arthur Dustcart.


Around the same time, from 1999 to 2001, he starred in the BBC Radio 4 sitcom Married, which followed Robin Lightfoot, a bachelor who wakes up one day to find that he is married - with two children!


One of Smith's comic routines has been set to music by Mark Beazley, aka Rothko, for a CD that was curated by fellow comic Stewart Lee. In 2005, Smith rejected a lifetime achievement award from the Perrier Award, claiming that his ego was already too bloated.


A longtime resident of Balham in south London, he has even jokily self-appointed as the "Night Mayor of Balham" (he doesn't do days), and in 2009 made and hosted a comedy series for BBC Radio 4 about his love for the place, entitled Arthur Smith's Balham Bash. Running for three series from 2009 to 2011, the show consisted of Smith throwing open the doors of his actual house to a live audience, promising music, comedy, and laughter.


Smith has also starred in the episode "Backwards" of the much-loved sitcom Red Dwarf. Here he played a bar manager on backwards Earth who had hired Kryten and Rimmer as a forward novelty act. In 2016 he also made an appearance as mr Harman in the BBC revival of sitcom Are You Being Served.


A regular contributor to books on stand-up comedy and the craft of writing humour, he has also contributed to shows on the history of British comedy, from Britain's Best Sitcom to How The Young Ones Changed Comedy and The Young Ones' 20 Greatest Moments.

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