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 acting, stand-up and audio books through to playwriting, panto and motion capture performance - plus a time as a university lecturer on Greek Drama, Restoration Theatre and the American Musical.
Steve began as a performer in 1976 on the Northern Working Men's Club circuit in his home county of Yorkshire in northern England. After gaining a degree in Drama and English at the University of Birmingham, he went on in 1984 to became a foundering 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 well over a decade. And when in 2015 SPITTING IMAGE created a puppet of the then Prime Minister David Cameron for the show NHS IN STICHES at the Hackney Empire it was Steve who was invited to provide the voice. Steve was invited to be a special guest at the Thirtieth Anniversary Celebration of SPITTING IMAGE at the BFI (British Film Institute) and the interview with Steve featured in the BBC Arena documentary WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SPITTING IMAGE?
Steve continues to work as an impressionist on television, often guesting on such programmes as POINTLESS CELEBRITIES and THE ONE SHOW. He has made appearances on ALISTAIR MCGOWAN'S BIG IMPRESSION (as Dame Maggie Smith), THE IMPRESSIONABLE JON CULSHAW (as Ann Widdecombe) and RORY BREMNER... WHO ELSE? (as Patricia Routledge). Steve has been heard on countless radio comedies and panel shows, notably FIRST IMPRESSIONS and AND THIS IS THEM, and his impression based stand-up act was featured on the cult comedy TV series DAN AND DUSTY SHOW (ITV1) to great acclaim. Among his other television credits as a celebrity guest are THE COMEDY YEARS (ITV), CALL MY BLUFF (BBC), NOEL'S TELLY YEARS (BBC), WHEN TV GUESTS GO HORRIBLY WRONG (C5, PULL THE OTHER ONE, LOOSE LIPS and DON'T DRINK THE WATER.
Over the years Steve has contributed to various TV shows and documentaries celebrating the art and craft of the impressionist including NIGHT OF A THOUSAND FACES (BBC) in a sketch with Dame Edna Everage and WHO DID YOU DO? (BBC) presented by the actor Ricky Gervais. In SIXTY YEARS OF SWING, a documentary for BBC Parliament on the history of General Election night broadcasts, Steve discussed the contributions of anchor men and political pundits such as Robin Day and Bob MCKenzie, giving illustrations of their individual styles and vocal techniques along the way.
Steve's work as a voice actor covers audio books, animation, film dubbing, video games, children's television, 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 this hugely popular video game), BULLSEYE! (the comedy movie directed by Michael Winner) and CHARLIE (the RTÉ 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 2019, Steve played David Cameron, Jeremy Hunt, Dominic Cummings, David Davis, Kenneth Clarke, David Dimbleby, Sammy Wilson, Donald Tusk, Sir Graham Brady and Lord Buckethead in the audio book version of Boris Starling's satire WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S BREXIT.
Steve's one man show 'A Guided Tour Round the World of the Impressionist' remains in constant demand all over the UK and abroad. In the show Steve takes his audience on the journey of his own history of doing voices, from characters on radio and television that intrigued him as a child through to the modern world of celebrity, sport and culture. Along the way, he illustrates a few tricks of the trade as to how voices are created, offers some theories as to why we find mimicry so funny and what it's like taking on the personas of other. As Steve says himself, "Impressionists, we're the only people in the world who want to be accepted for who we're not!"
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 throughout 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 Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher alongside comedian Billy Connolly, plus he made special appearances in the stage shows THE SECRET POLICEMAN'S THIRD BALL and THE SECRET POLICEMAN'S BIGGEST BALL. 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 Dutch Public Broadcaster's VPRO documentary series SPEECHES and in the short film THATCHER FROM HELL! directed by Roger Law which was shown at the BFI to great acclaim. He has also 'guested' as Lady Thatcher on THE WEAKEST LINK (BBC) and THE ALAN TITCHMARSH SHOW (ITV).
Steve is often called upon to voice the former Prime Minister when it is not possible to access original archive. Use of Parliamentary recordings is strictly limited and so when the producers of 6 DAYS, the Mark Strong movie telling the story of the SAS raid on the Iranian Embassy, needed a speech that Mrs Thatcher had given in Parliament, they turned to Steve. And he also voiced some well known quotations of the former Prime Minster in the cult comedy horror movie EAT LOCALS. For many years, Steve recreated Thatcher for the BBC's UK CONFIDENTIAL series, an annual radio documentary featuring dramatic reconstructions of the British Cabinet papers released under the thirty (now twenty) year rule. Steve has also played the former Prime Minister opposite Toby Jones in the BBC radio political series THE CORRUPTED adapted from the GF Newman novels and stage performances as Margaret Thatcher include the political drama DEAD SHEEP (Park Theatre and national UK tour) and the satirical comedy THE LAST TEMPTATION OF BORIS JOHNSON (Park Theatre). Steve is often asked to contribute to TV programmes and documentaries 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 appeared in the sci-fi movie 51 DEGREES NORTH as astro-physicist Professor Richards which was directed by the German born film director Grigorij Richters and had 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 has also appeared in the award winning short film NUMBER THIRTEEN as Mrs McCrory, a possessive demonic mother figure.
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). At the Greenwich Theatre in 2017 Steve played the Irish journalist John Bland in the play CHINESE WHISPER, a comedy about the Victorian fraudster Sir Edmund Backhouse. The production proved to be timely in a world of 'fake news' and the play had a successful run and was well received ("entertaining and engaging", The London Theatre). In the stage production of IN THE LIFE, a history of the gay language of polari mixing documentary, comedy sketches and dramatic recreations, Steve played a variety of characters including Field Marshall Lord Montgomery, Quentin Crisp and Sir John Gielgud among others. IN THE LIFE has been performed in several London venues, including the St James Theatre (now The Other Palace) and the South London Theatre.
In 2013, Steve 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 the audience at the Lowry in Manchester was the daughter of Les Dawson who afterwards thanked the cast for giving her "two more hours in the company of my father." CISSIE AND ADA also toured to the Buxton Opera House which led to Steve being offered Dame for their pantomime season fulfilling a life-long ambition. Steve's performance as Dame Trott in the Buxton Opera House production of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK garnered universally good reviews and the show broke all box office records.
As an actor Steve has worked extensively in BBC radio drama. Lead roles include Bobby in PROPS, Barry, Bradley Walsh's side-kick, in the highly popular BBC sit-com KING OF THE ROAD, and Attenborough in the comedy series PEOPLEWATCH. Playing opposite the legendary Leslie Phillips in MACLEAN - THE MEMOREX YEARS, Steve took on the roles of several former Prime Ministers, including Harold Wilson and James Callaghan and in EDEN'S END, written by and featuring Shaun Williamson, Steve played Gerald Fleming, Mr Gresham and Bob Gilbert. In the cult radio comedy series BELIEVE IT!, which took place inside the head of its star Richard Wilson, Steve took on the role of Jorgen Riise, the Scandinavian incarnation of 'Victor Meldrew'. 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 every character voice, 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 successful 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 proved a popular show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2004.
Steve's produced a fourth show, I'M NO ANGEL, for The Jermyn Street Theatre, featuring his comic 'ghost' character Lottie Wainwright. Miss Lottie toured the UK as part of a variety bill, appearing at the Komedia Brighton, the Civic Theatre Doncaster, the Northcott Theatre Exeter and the Komedia in Bath. She also made many 'visitations' to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in London.
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 an 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 and the cult Netflix series DARK CRYSTAL. 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, plus numerous 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 the stage, Steve wrote the book for LIKE LOVE, a new musical commissioned by The Jermyn Street Theatre. 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, FIFTY YEARS OF ITV and COMEDY CONNECTIONS (BBC). For several years Steve was a member of the directing team for David Edgar's Masters Degree Playwriting course at the University of Birmingham. In the final term, extracts from a dozen or so plays by the MA playwrights were produced and preformed in front of an invited audience. Steve directed two plays a year, working closely with the new writers and student actors, many of whom went on to have successful writing and performing careers.
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 his academic work, Steve has contributed articles and reviews for periodicals such as MUSICAL STAGES and NEW THEATRE QUARTERLY. He 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 and artistry of popular music. Steve was invited to take part in the television programme BRITAIN'S BEST LOVED DOUBLE ACTS (C5), discussing and analysing among others the comedy of Laurel and Hardy, Hinge and Bracket, Cissie and Ada, and Little and Large. Steve is often called upon to talk about the human voice and its capabilities on documentary series 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!, WORD OF MOUTH plus WOMAN'S HOURS and MANS' HOUR.