David Quantick – In Conversation

To say David Quantick has had a varied career in entertainment is to miss the point. Starting out as a music journalist for the heavyweight music magazine NME around the time of the Punk revolution, Quantick quickly learned the fast paced world of music alongside seminal writers of his generation: Paul Morely, Danny Baker and Julie Birchill. Having such a focused youth demographic, David was quick to realise that his position at NME wouldn’t last forever and recognised the need to spread his wings. The 1980’s was a very rich thing for political satire and David began writing sketches for the seminal Spitting Image. It was here that Quantick met Steve Coogan; a man who would be a dominant figure within Quantick’s career.

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The 1990 BBC Radio 4 series On The Hour gave David his first writing success followed by The Day Today on BBC2 with the same cast including Steve Coogan, Chris Morris, Rebecca Front and David Schneider. This would be the start of a working relationship between all four actors together with writer Armando Ianucci which would last for the next twenty years and beyond. Merely doing one series of The Day Today in 1994, Quantick followed Chris Morris to Channel Four three years later for the controversial Brass Eye. This mostly involved enticing high profile celebrities to appear in promotional campaigns for made up charities including paedophilia and the war against drugs. Who can forget Dr Fox claiming that paedophiles had more in common with crab DNA than humans? Or Claire Rayner telling Chris Morris that she could take more than one man?


In 2002 David Quantick swapped political satire for the glamourised world of Light entertainment in Harry Hill’s TV Burp. This was different to anything that he had ever done before and suddenly he found himself watching and arguing over twelve hours of television every day. Dissecting and analysing TV in fine detail was something extremely alien to David. Yet once Harry Hill had sprinkled his surreal, madcap humour over it, David could see that it would be a successful formula.


Now into his fourth decade in entertainment, David Quantick shows no sign of slowing down. In fact he’s adamant that writers should be able to enjoy the same level as fame as the performers who they write for. His appearances on documentaries surrounding popular culture help to raise his profile but they don’t bridge the obvious gap between writers and performers. Maybe this is something which will be improved due to the rise of online content?


It was a great pleasure to meet the lovely David Quantick and look forward to the next chapter in his remarkable career.