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Big Howard & Little Howard

Howard Read is an award-winning writer, animator, song-writer and comedy performer.  He has written and illustrated two children’s books and toured his unique theatre Big Howard Little Howard shows all over the country and all over the world, effortlessly flitting between adult, family and corporate audiences, and almost never saying the wrong word at any of them.

Howard started out as a stand-up comic after leaving university in 1996.  He soon established himself one of the circuit’s most original voices mixing left-field rambling with bombastic comic songs.  His epic, and frankly revolting Mrs Grimshaw show-stopper won him a Fringe Choice Award and got a rapturous response on Spanking New (Radio 7).

Once established as a comedy circuit regular Howard’s started dabbling with animation.  He created and wrote two series of comic shorts called Bird On A Wire with the production company Ha Ha Bonk, which were bought by UK Play and Paramount Comedy.  Then, with his writing partner Chris Chantler he created The Two Posh Old Men which he animated himself, and were bought by UK Play, and later UKG2.  In 2001 his comic animated short Polar Bears In A Snowstorm won a BBC New Comedy Award For Animation.

2002 saw the arrival of Howard’s best-known character, Little Howard. Created as an experiment for his debut Edinburgh Fringe show Words and Pictures in 2002 Little Howard was an instant success, selling out, garnering five-star reviews and winning them a development deal with Tiger Aspect Productions.

Their second show, The Big Howard Little Howard Show was the only British nomination for the 2003 Perrier Award and was snapped up by comedy festivals in New York, Aspen and Melbourne.  They appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno in the US and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala in Australia.

They started creating bespoke interactive animated shows for corporate events, performing for The Association Of Investment Trust Companies, The Police Super Intendants Of England And Wales, Head Teachers conferences, breweries and hosting awards ceremonies for digital media awards and marketeers.

Family entertainment seemed to be beckoning and in 2006 Howard experimented with adapting his The Big Howard Little Howard Show for a family theatre audience, and it was an instant hit on tour.  So he created Little Howard And The Magic Pencil Of Life And Death for the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe.  By the end of the year Howard was in talks with CBBC about making a series for them, and was asked to perform on The Royal Variety Performance, along side Bon Jovi, Enrique Iglesias, Russell Brand, Joan Rivers and Al Murray.

Also in 2007 Big Howard and Little Howard were nominated for Best Children’s Show at the Brighton Fringe, and won the Best Family Show award at the Buxton Fringe. Howard’s hugely popular Unpleasant Lullaby was turned into Little Howard’s Unpleasant Lullaby and published by The Friday Project imprint of Harper Collins, which Howard also illustrated.

2008 saw Big Howard and Little Howard’s first appearance live on the sofa of ITV’s flagship daytime show This Morning.  They also toured Magic Pencil, and and took it to The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and the New Zealand International Comedy Festival where they repeated the sofa-appearing trick on New Zealand’s top current affairs show Campbell Live and STV’s flagship magazine program The Hour.

Big Howard and Little Howard then created a brand new theatre piece Little Howard’s Big Show, made a second appearance on This Morning (possibly inducing labour in Holly Willoughby) and with Chris Chantler wrote and illustrated Little Howard’s Big Book (Friday Project/Harper Collins), and released Wait Kate! It’s Not Too Late! a download single trying to convince Kate Middleton to marry him instead of Prince Philip.  2011 also saw Big Howard and Little Howard’s first appearance in Panto and Little Howard became the first fully animated cartoon character ever to appear on a panto stage (we think).

Howard is currently touring Little Howard’s Big Show around the theatres of Britain, gigging as a stand-up, writing comic songs and developing various TV and radio ideas.  These include Little Howard projects and a potential animated series with the producers of the CBBC’s smash-hit Horrible Histories.  Howard is writing for the new CBBC sketch show Fit.

In 2012 Little Howard will celebrate his 10th, 6th birthday, and to mark this slightly confusing milestone, he has evolved.  He can now be voiced and animated in real-time allowing him to lead a sing-along in panto, perform topical and bespoke stand-up sets at corporate events, compere comedy gigs, present live TV programmes, and interview, and be interviewed in real time, reacting audiences and interviewers live.  Watch this space.

PRICE BAND: Silver Up to £5,000

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