By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)
You may be forgiven if you only recognize Norman Lovett’s face and not the rest of his body. Lovett spent four series in the British science fiction comedy Red Dwarf delivering his deadpan humor from above the neckline. As Holly, the ship’s computer with an IQ of 6000, the crew of the Dwarf were sometimes left wondering why the other 5994 of it wasn’t used.
Born in Windsor, Berkshire, Lovett got a late start in the light entertainment business after becoming a stand-up comic while still in his thirties. Working with some of the top comic actors of the day (Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson, Lenny Henry) Lovett made early appearances on The Young Ones, Happy Families, Lenny Henry Tonite, Rab C. Nesbitt, and Keeping Up Appearances. Lovett originally auditioned for the role of Rimmer in Red Dwarf (the part went to Chris Barrie) but Producers Rob Grant and Doug Naylor realized Lovett’s unique comic style was perfect for the role of Holly the ship’s compter.
Through Red Dwarf’s eventual success, Lovett went on to co-write and star in his own series called I, Lovett. In it, Lovett played Norman Lovett, an eccentric inventor in a surrealist world. His main companion was his talking dog voiced by Geoffrey Hughes (Keeping Up Appearances). Later Lovett would co-star with Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead), Julian Baratt (The Mighty Boosh), and Jessica Hynes (The Royale Family) in the cast written series, Asylum, directed by Edgar Wright (Antman).
Lovett made further appearances on such shows as The Bill, EastEnders, and the comedy sketch show Is It Bill Bailey?
Lovett continues to tour his stand-up comedy shows making available his stand-up routines on the DVDs Bags & Biscuits (2009) and Outside the Box (2012). Lovett also a published his autobiography “Talking Head: The Autobiography of Norman Lovett.” In it Lovett not only talks about his own life but about what entertainers are really like away from the camera. A brief description of Lovett’s autobiography from Amazon UK:
“But, as Norman points out in this fascinating inside look at the world of comedy, not everyone in the industry is as pleasant as their image would suggest. He is ready to spill the beans about those comedians and actors who he has found to be arrogant and rude. Talking Head is an honest account of one man s life in comedy, the highs and lows of his career and how an unqualified school leaver from Essex went on to become one of the most recognisable faces on TV. Written with wit and wry humour this book will appeal to all Red Dwarf fans and anyone who loves comedy.”
Lovett will be at Anglicon in Seattle, Washington August 5 – 7 before appearing at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe August 16 – 28.
To learn more about how you can attend Anglicon, the Doctor Who and British media convention, click on the following link: http://anglicon.com/
To purchase tickets to Lovett’s stand-up show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, click on the following link: https://www.edfringe.com/