written by Bukunmi Akinshipe

At some point in your life, you might have wondered how some people can so confidently pull off shyness and awkwardness, brand it and make it cool. Meet Richard Ellef Ayoade, one of the grandmasters at the game.

Multi-talented and good at what he does, he has directed music videos and films, done voice-overs for animations, written scripts, authored books, and featured in comedy shows.

His feature in comedy shows cover Mighty Boosh (2004–2007) and Nathan Barley(2005). He also acted as director for music videos for Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Kasabian. 

He wrote and directed the comedy-drama film “Submarine” (2010), co-starred in the American science fiction comedy film “The Watch” (2012).

He has also worked as a voice over artist to a number of animated projects: The Boxtrolls (2014), Early Man (2018), and Soul (2020),  Strange Hill High (2013/2014) and Apple & Onion (since 2018).

He is an author of three comedic books centering on film: Ayoade on Ayoade: A Cinematic Odyssey (2014), The Grip of Film (2017), and Ayoade on Top (2019).

He is however best known for his role as the socially awkward IT technician ‘Maurice Moss’ in the sitcom “The IT Crowd” (2006–2013). His performance in this role won him the 2014 BAFTA for Best Male Comedy Performance.

Some people are in fact of the opinion that he often doesn’t act a role but simply acts as himself. Hilarious!

From 2011 till present, he has been actively involved in mainstream cinema, satirical writing, and television presenting.

It might surprise you to know that this Nigerian-Norwegian born talent, graduated with a law degree from the St.Catherine’s College, University of  Cambridge before proceeding to follow his film passion. He also claims his degree is not a fallback option for him anymore.

Recently, Richard hosted 2020’s online British Academy of Film And Television Arts awards which was held behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Skilled for making shyness and awkwardness an art and famous for his fuzzy hair, thick-rimmed glasses, and high pitched voice, his quick wits seem to have greatly endeared him to the heart of his fans. We’d love to continue to follow him on this journey of his and see the next big things he does.

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