Steve Nallon is one of Britain’s most versatile and prolific writers and performers working in all aspects of the media from film and television to radio and theatre as actor, writer, broadcaster, academic and voice artist. His eclectic body of work ranges from film and television acting through to stand-up comedy via Computer Motion Capture performance and even a time as a university lecturer on ancient Greek drama and Restoration theatre.
Steve began work as a performer in 1976 on the Northern Working Men’s Club circuit in Yorkshire in northern England. After gaining a degree in Drama and English at the University of Birmingham he went on to became a founder team member of the ITV television series SPITTING IMAGE, providing voices for The Queen Mother, Roy Hattersley, Denis Healey, Malcolm Rifkind, Margaret Thatcher, David Attenborough, Enoch Powell, Bruce Forsyth, David Frost, Ted Heath, Leonard Rossiter, Harold Wilson, Alan Bennett and many more for the next ten years. In 2014 Steve took part in the British Film Institute thirtieth anniversary celebration of SPITTING IMAGE at the BFI and which was included in the BBC Arena special WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO SPITTING IMAGE?
Steve continues to work as an impressionist on BBC television series such as ALISTAIR MCGOWAN’S BIG IMPRESSION (appearing as ‘Dame Maggie Smith’) and THE IMPRESSIONABLE JON CULSHAW (guesting as ‘Ann Widdecombe’) plus the BBC radio comedies FIRST IMPRESSIONS and AND THIS IS THEM. His stand-up comedy act was featured on the cult comedy series DAN AND DUSTY SHOW (ITV1). Steve has also appeared in various television programmes celebrating the art of the impressionist including NIGHT OF A THOUSAND FACES (BBC) in a sketch with Dame Edna Everage and in WHO DID YOU DO? (BBC) presented by Ricky Gervais. As a celebrity guest, Steve has made numerous television appearances on such television shows as CALL MY BLUFF (BBC), NOEL’S TELLY YEARS (BBC), PULL THE OTHER ONE, LOOSE LIPS and DON’T DRINK THE WATER. Steve’s stand-up act, cabaret work and after dinner speaking remains in constant demand all over the UK and abroad.
Steve’s work as a voice artist covers ADR, animations, film dubbing, video games, commercials and dramatic readings. Television and film credits include HANDS OF A MURDERER (US TV movie with Edward Woodward), ANIMAL MADNESS, PALLAS, HARRY HILL’S TV BURP (ITV providing the voices of David Cameron, Mikhail Gorbachev and The Queen among others), IN SEARCH OF LA CHE, WIRE IN THE BLOOD (providing the voice of the serial killer in the ITV crime series), CROSSING THE FLOOR, OVERLORD (numerous voices for the video game), BULLSEYE! (the comedy movie directed by Michael Winner) and CHARLIE (the RTÉ 2015 television drama series concerning the life and politics of former Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey). Steve has also featured on various records including NO CLAUSE 28 with Boy George and the comedy CD release FUNNY TIMES with Harry Hill plus the Mobile App HEADCASTER.
In the 1980s Steve Nallon became known, as The London Times put it, “the industry standard” for his famous impersonation of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Steve appeared as Margaret Thatcher in numerous popular TV series in the 80s and beyond including THE NEW STATESMAN (ITV) with Rik Mayall, THE MIKE YARWOOD SHOW (ITV), HARTY GOES TO EDINBURGH (BBC), NOW SOMETHING ELSE (BBC), GET FRESH (ITV), THE ROLAND RAT SHOW (BBC), SATURDAY LIVE (C4), THE TOM O’CONNOR ROADSHOW (BBC), THE LITTLE AND LARGE SHOW (BBC), THE TROUBLE WITH JOAN COLLINS (ITV), I’VE GOT A SECRET (BBC), BULLSEYE (ITV), KNOWHOW (BBC), THE RORY BREMNER SHOW (BBC), THE BIG BREAKFAST (C4), TELETHON (ITV), NEWSNIGHT (BBC), DECIBELS OF THE DECADE (SKY), FACE TO FACE (NHK Japan), MOTORMOUTH (ITV), CINDERELLA – THE SHOE MUST GO ON (ITV), THIS MORNING (ITV), WOGAN (BBC), TEN GLORIOUS YEARS (BBC), POSH FROCKS AND NEW TROUSERS (C4), THE JAMES WHALE SHOW (YTV), BEN ELTON – THE MAN FROM AUNTIE (BBC), JAMESON TONIGHT (SKY), CALENDAR (YTV), JUKE BOX JURY (BBC), ELINOR (HTV), KELLY, THE BOBBY DAVRO SHOW (ITV), THE HIPPODROME SHOW (SKY), THE KRYPTON FACTOR (ITV), SCOTCHING THE MYTH (STV), RING MY BELL (C4), THAT’S LIFE! (BBC), PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE (BBC), THE HAPPENING (SKY), COMIC RELIEF (BBC), CHILDREN IN NEED (BBC), BETTER LATE (ITV) and the US series BAD GIRLS: REBELS WITH A CAUSE. Steve was featured in the film DREAMING (BBC Screen One) as Margaret Thatcher alongside comedian Billy Connolly, plus made special appearances in the stage shows THE SECRET POLICEMAN’S THIRD BALL and THE SECRET POLICEMAN’S BIGGEST BALL and also ‘guested’ as Lady Thatcher on THE WEAKEST LINK (BBC) and THE ALAN TITCHMARSH SHOW (ITV). Steve sang MY FAVOURITE THINGS as Margaret Thatcher and performed Prokofiev’s PETER AND THE WOLF as ‘MAGGIE’ AND THE WOLF with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Carl Davis. He also appeared at a special Charity Gala at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, again conducted by Carl Davis.
Steve’s more recent appearances as Lady Thatcher have been in the 2014 Dutch Public Broadcaster’s VPRO series SPEECHES and in the short film THATCHER FROM HELL! directed by Roger Law which was shown at the BFI in 2014 to great acclaim. Each year since 2010 Steve has provided the voice of Margaret Thatcher for the BBC’s UK CONFIDENTIAL, the political history radio series which features dramatic reconstructions of the British Cabinet papers released under the thirty (now twenty) year rule. In 2015 he voiced the young Margaret Thatcher in the BBC radio political drama series THE CORRUPTED opposite Toby Jones. Steve is also often asked to contribute to TV shows analysing the style, voice and politics of Margaret Thatcher and these have included WORLD IN ACTION (ITV), THE SOUTH BANK SHOW (ITV), THE DAY SHE WENT (BBC) and the HBO series THE SECRETS OF BODY LANGUAGE.
As an actor Steve appears in 2015 in the Sci-fi movie 51 DEGREES NORTH as astro-physicist Professor Richards directed by the German born film director Grigorij Richters and with a new and original score by Queen’s Brian May. In the short film THE GANZFELD PROCEDURE produced by the BBC and directed by Keith McCarthy Steve played the experimental scientist Professor Edmund Spencer. In the cult TV series JONATHAN CREEK (BBC) Steve featured as Rupert, Caroline Quentin’s ‘hot date’. Steve’s other film roles include the family doctor in THE GIRL WITH BRAINS IN HER FEET, the investigating immigration officer in THE REFUGE and the journalist Dave in FRANKIE AND JOHNNY. He also appeared in the award winning short film NUMBER THIRTEEN as Mrs McCrory, a possessive demonic mother figure, and on television as a Patricia Routledge style character in the comedy series RORY BREMNER… WHO ELSE? (C4).
On stage Steve Nallon has performed in several musicals, including the role of Jacque in CARNIVAL (The ‘Lost Musicals Season’ at the Barbican Theatre in London), the Narrator in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW (Leicester Haymarket), and Ted the Cloggie in THE CLOGGIES (Theatr Clwyd). In 2013 he toured the UK in the highly praised production of CISSIE AND ADA playing Roy Barraclough/Cissie, a drama centred around the friendship of the actor Roy Barraclough and the comedian Les Dawson and the creation of the comic duo ‘Cissie and Ada’. In 2014 Steve fulfilled a life-long ambition and played Dame in panto. The pantomime production of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK at the Buxton Opera House, in which Steve starred as Dame Trott, garnered universally good reviews and broke box office records.
Steve has worked extensively in BBC radio drama including the lead role of Bobby in PROPS, the part of Barry, Bradley Walsh’s side-kick in the popular BBC sit-com KING OF THE ROAD, playing former Prime Ministers Harold Wilson and James Callaghan opposite Leslie Phillips in the BBC series MACLEAN – THE MEMOREX YEARS, as Jorgen Riise in BELIEVE IT! with Richard Wilson and as Attenborough in the comedy series PEOPLEWATCH. Other acting roles in radio include the dramas PRIZEGIVING, A LOVESONG FOR ALFRED J HITCHCOCK, BEDSPRINGS, REMEMBERING LIVE AID and the series THE MUSIC MACHINE. In the biographical series MAD COMPOSERS Steve played all the character voices, including Beethoven, Satie, Grainger, Gesualdo, Gurney and Ives.
Steve has written and performed three one-man theatre shows which combine his story telling skills with acting and comedy and in which he appears as over forty different characters. The first of these was THE BIG ODYSSEY which was a critical and box office hit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2002 and which subsequently had a nationwide tour in 2003. His one-man version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL had a critically acclaimed sell-out run at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre for the Christmas season 2003/4 and STEVE NALLON’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, loosely based on Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’ tale, won Best Comedy at the Buxton Fringe Festival and was a popular success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2004.
Perhaps two unexpected sides to Steve’s professional work have been as a film and television puppeteer and as a Computer Motion Capture performer. Steve is accomplished and much sought after artist in both these fields. His puppeteering and vocal work creating numerous and diverse characters covers over a hundred shows and titles, including CATS’ EYES (BBC), THE SPOOKS OF BOTTLE BAY (ITV), THE HOUSE OF GRISTLE (BBC), THE WILD BUNCH (C4), THE PIG ATTRACTION (ITV), THE DAN AND DUSTY SHOW (ITV), WHAT’S UP DOC? (ITV) and CRAZY COTTAGE (ITV) plus puppet work on the film MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND. As a Computer Motion Capture performer Steve has worked for the company Centroid and Headcaster on video games and Apps. As early as 1988 Steve appeared on the BBC science series TOMORROW’S WORLD as a performer in a feature looking at the first experimental work in this area that later was to become known as Mo-Cap (Motion Capture).
Steve Nallon has a considerable body of wide-ranging writing work to his credit, from plays and series to articles and columns and contributions to books and periodicals. With Turan Ali Steve co-wrote THE GHOST OF NUMBER TEN and THE NALLON TAPES, two BBC comedy series. He also wrote the highly acclaimed radio drama PROPS with Mark Eden, a BBC Saturday Playhouse. Other writing includes the radio play PRIZEGIVING (written with the novelist Tom Holt) plus two radio documentaries FAME and OH YES, I’M THE GREAT PRETENDER, both of which Steve also presented. Between 1994 and 1997 Steve was a regular columnist and feature maker for BBC series THE AFTERNOON SHIFT. In 1989 Steve wrote the comic novel I, MARGARET with Tom Holt, the spoof autobiography of Baroness Thatcher published by Macmillan. For stage, Steve wrote the book for LIKE LOVE, a new musical commissioned by The Jermyn Street Theatre. As a theatre director he has worked on numerous new plays as part of David Edgar’s Masters Degree in Playwriting.
Steve has worked as a freelance script editor on both film and theatre development projects. He has worked with new writers in association with the UK’s Screen West Midlands and other film development companies. Steve has also written on the subject of film for the magazine THE NEW STATESMAN and on film theory and genre for the movie trade publication SCRIPTWRITER. He is now often asked to contribute to TV shows looking back and discussing television history and culture, and these have included THE STORY OF LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT (BBC), FORTY YEARS OF ITV, COMEDY CONNECTIONS (BBC), FIFTY YEARS OF ITV , GREATEST ALMOST FAMOUS TV MOMENTS (C5) and in 2015 SIXTY YEARS OF SWING for the BBC.
From 1995 to 2003 Steve was a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Birmingham Drama Department lecturing on film and directing courses in Stand-up Comedy, Greek Theatre, Broadway Musicals, Comedy of Manners and Story Structures. In addition to this work Steve has contributed articles and reviews for periodicals such as MUSICAL STAGES and NEW THEATRE QUARTERLY. He also wrote the chapter on musical theatre in THE ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MUSIC published by Flame Tree Publishing and has regularly appeared on the BBC radio series SOUL MUSIC discussing the power of popular music. In 2014 Steve was invited to take part in the television programme BRITAIN’S BEST LOVED DOUBLE ACTS (C5) and discussed and analysed among others the work of Laurel and Hardy, Hinge and Bracket, Cissie and Ada, and Little and Large. Steve is often called upon to appear on series discussing the voice and these have included BBC radio programmes for Open University such as IN OTHER WORDS and ACCENTS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS as well as SPEAK OUT! and WORD OF MOUTH plus WOMAN’S HOURS and in 2015 MANS’ HOUR.
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