Frank Skinner fact file

Name: Frank Skinner Real name: Christopher Graham Collins.Took stage name from member of father's dominoes team as Equity already had a Chris Collins, a dog act.

Born: January 28 1957, Sandwell General Hospital, West Bromwich, Staffordshire. Youngest of four children brought up in Oldbury, Worcestershire. Father played semi-professional football for Spennymoor United.

Lives in: London, since 1991.

Occupation: Laddish comedian; television writer, presenter, chat-show host and sitcom performer; West End actor; West Brom fan; author; newspaper columnist; football pundit and songwriter; World Cup Podcast broadcaster; Elvis memorabilia collector.

Where, when and why in York this weekend: Grand Opera House, Sunday, performing sold-out show as part of first stand-up tour in ten years, now stretched to 64 dates.

Education: Initially de-railed at 16 by expulsion for school lunch-ticket scam and minor offences, Skinner later turned two O-levels into Masters degree in Eng Lit at University of Warwick.

First career: Lecturer in English at Halesowen College for four years.

First stand-up gig: 1987, Hare & Hounds, High Street, Kings Heath, Birmingham. Turned full-time comedian in 1989; won 1991 Perrier Award at Edinburgh Fringe, beating Eddie Izzard and Jack Dee; played to 6,000 crowd at Battersea Power Station in final gig before long break.

First TV series: Co wrote and appeared in Channel 4 sitcom Packet Of Three, 1990. Further Skinner-written sitcom roles followed in Blue Heaven, 1994, and Rose d'Or-nominated Shane, 2004.

TV series: Fantasy Football League, BBC2, 1994; Fantasy World Cup Live, ITV; Fantasy Football: Euro 2004, ITV, with exflatmate David Baddiel; chat show on BBC1, 1995 to 1998; nine series of The Frank Skinner Show chat show on ITV, 1999 to 2005; Baddiel And Skinner Unplanned, improvisational show, 2000 to 2005.

TV one-offs: Frank Skinner On Frank Skinner, ITV profile of Frank, family and friends, 2001; Play It Again, learning to play banjo in three months, BBC, 2007; Tough Gig, visit to Osho commune in Dorset, ITV, 2007.

Songwriting: Co-wrote and performed England's Euro 96 anthem, Three Lions, with Baddiel and Lightning Seeds' Ian Broudie. Reissued for 1998 World Cup; again topped charts.

West End roles: Yvan in Yasmina Rexa's Parisian philosophical comedy Art at Wyndham Theatre, 1999; dim lodger in Lee Hall's Geordie farce Cooking With Elvis, Whitehall Theatre, 2000.

Autobiography: Frank Skinner by Frank Skinner, 2001.

Honorary degree: University of Central England, February 2006.

Stand-up comeback: Returned to live comedy on May 1 2007 at Swindon Arts Centre after decade-long hiatus. Autumn tour opened at Leeds City Varieties on September 9 and ends at Harrogate International Centre on December 2.

Coming next: His novel, Thunderman And Jeff Phillips.

  • Frank Skinner, Grand Opera House, York, Sunday, 8pm. SOLD OUT