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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 May 2006, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Chris Langham's years in comedy
Chris Langham in The Thick of It
Langham won acclaim for his role in The Thick of It
Comic Chris Langham, who has been charged in connection with an investigation into internet child pornography, has worked in TV since 1969.

His career hit a recent high with a prize for best television comedy actor at the British Comedy Awards on Wednesday, for his roles in BBC TV series The Thick of It and Help.

He beat Extras' Ricky Gervais and Little Britain's David Walliams and Matt Lucas to the title.

The Thick of It, created and directed by Armando Iannucci, is currently being shown on BBC Four and is expected to transfer to BBC Two shortly.

It sees Langham playing harassed government minister Hugh Abbot, who wrangles with a pushy policy enforcer and has a team of often unreliable civil servants.

In Help, he played a psychoanalyst alongside Paul Whitehouse

In BBC Two's Help, Langham, 56, starred as therapist Peter who treated an array of characters played by Fast Show star Paul Whitehouse.

The pair also co-wrote the series.

Langham's other recent appearances also include BBC One's My Family and he will also appear in the channel's drama My Family and Other Animals as Theodore Stephanides, a biologist and raconteur.

Early struggles

But his early career included struggles such as being dropped from hit BBC comedy Not The Nine O'Clock News in 1979, when he was replaced by Griff Rhys-Jones.

[L-R] Griff Rhys Jones, Rowan Atkinson, Pamela Stephenson, and Mel Smith
He recently said he was dropped from Not The Nine O'Clock News

He spoke recently to the Sunday Telegraph about the incident, saying: "I felt a terrible sense of shame. I couldn't open a newspaper for two years for fear of seeing a picture of Rowan [Atkinson], Pam [Stephenson] or Mel [Smith].

"If I did see one I would burst into tears."

But he added that when he met them this year for BBC Radio 4's show The Reunion, he "realised then that the only difference between them and me was that I'm the only one who isn't a millionaire".

He also told the paper that he had battled successfully against drink and drug addictions, saying: "I stopped drinking and taking drugs because they were taking over my life."

He has worked as an actor, writer, director and producer, starting with Spike Milligan's Q in 1969, as well as Milligan In... three years later.

Docu-soap spoof

Other appearances include Channel 4's The Last Laugh Before TV-am in 1985, the BBC's Smith And Jones in 1989 and The Secret Policeman's Biggest Ball in the same year.

Posh Nosh
Langham directed Posh Nosh

He also enjoyed great success with the acclaimed People Like Us, a BBC Two docu-soap spoof which began life on Radio 4.

The actor's film credits include The Life of Brian, Carry On Columbus, My Napoleon and Room To Rent.

And as a writer, his name appears on the credits for programmes including 1976's The Muppet Show, Smith and Jones and Channel 4's Bremner, Bird and Fortune.

Behind the camera, Langham's directing work includes the award-winning Posh Nosh, BBC Two's comedy cookery series starring Richard E Grant and Arabella Weir.

And as a producer, he worked on ITV's Tales From The Poop Deck, a children's show about a 17th Century female pirate and Help.

Langham also appeared on stage in Crazy For You in 1993, and a year earlier in The Way of the World.

He is married to his second wife, with whom he has two children.


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