Craig Charles

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Craig Charles : biography

11 July 1964 –

In 2000, Charles wrote his first autobiography about his experiences growing up in Liverpool, titled No Irish, No Niggers. In 2007, he announced he would release his autobiography, planned for March 2008, published by Hodder Headline and titled On the Rocks, which would cover the recent incidents in his life. The autobiography would be based on much of his journal, which he said he kept while in rehab.

Charles has been involved in journalism and has had a column in Time Out magazine. In 1994, he launched a single issue of Comedy magazine with articles dedicated to the comedy circuit. In 2005 and 2006, Charles was a monthly columnist for the Liverpool Echo newspaper. His television writing credits include Funky Bunker (1997) and Takeshi’s Castle (2002).

Early career

Charles began his career as a contemporary and urban performance poet on the British cabaret circuit. His performances were considered original, with Charles described as having a natural ironic wit which appealed to talent scouts. In 1981, Charles climbed on stage at a Teardrop Explodes concert and recited a humorous, but derogatory, poem about the band’s singer. He was invited to open subsequent gigs for the group, and went on to perform as a support act in pubs and clubs, for the next three years,Q magazine, April 1987, David Housham "Craig Charles: Compulsive Listening", pp. 25–26 and at events such as the Larks in the Park music festival at Sefton Park (1982). He performed poetry at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre (1983), alongside such poets as Roger McGough and Adrian Henri.

Charles was involved in the Liverpool music scene, writing and singing lyrics for a number of local rock bands.Craig Charles, Introduction to No Other Blue, Penguin Books Ltd, London, 1997 In 1980, he played keyboards and provided voice in the rock band Watt 4.Daily Post, 16 September 2003, Chris Brown , Liverpool He performed his political rap lyrics as a ‘Wordsmith’. In 1983, Charles was invited to record a session on the John Peel BBC Radio show, performing six poems with a band. This was his first professional engagement.The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show, BBC Radio 6 Music, 12 May 2012 He recorded further tracks that year which were used as a ‘demo’ to secure a further Peel Session in 1984, where he performed three songs.AL Peters, "Craig Charles The Wordsmith, The John Peel Radio Show, 1984",

Charles realised he was using poetry as a vehicle for his sense of humour, and progressed into stand-up comedy. He was part of the Red Wedge comedy tour in 1986, which aimed to raise awareness of the social problems of the time, in support of the Labour Party. He performed his first one-man show in 1986,, 29 August 1986, Edinburgh Festival Fringe] which premiered in Edinburgh, and then toured internationally.The Glasgow Herald, 13 August 1987, Andrew Young Charles was a guest on programmes including Janice Long’s Radio 1 show,, 22 April 2011, Mr Soulsbury] and was a regular panellist on Ned Sherrin’s chat show Loose Ends (1987-8) on BBC Radio 4.