Nigel Planer

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Name Nigel Planer
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Nigel Planer was born in London and educated at the prestigious Westminster School. He then went to Sussex University to study African and Asian Studies. However, he left after a year and decided to pursue his love of theatre. He trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Planer performed at The Comedy Store in a double-act with Peter Richardson, which led to him becoming known to television audiences as Neil in The Young Ones (1982), the dim, unclean but lovable hippie with a fondness for Hawkwind, Marillion and Steve Hillage. The role’s popularity even led to Planer releasing a cover of Traffic’s 1967 single “Hole In My Shoe” in character as Neil. His cover, released in July 1984, reached number two on the UK singles chart and led to Planer making appearances on Top of the Pops (1964) and Australia’s Countdown (1974). Planer also recorded an album called “Neil’s Heavy Concept Album”, although this failed to chart. In November 1984, Planer even made an appearance as Neil at the recording of Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, where he was able to perform an impromptu acoustic version of “Rocking All Over The World” with Rick Parfitt and address Phil Collins as “Joan”, which was captured by cameras recording behind-the-scenes footage for a documentary.

Since the 1980s, Planer has established himself as one of Britain’s most sought-after comedy and character actors. In 1985, he appeared in Terry Gilliam’s acclaimed and influential science-fiction film Brazil (1985). His other appearances have included Shine on Harvey Moon (1982), various roles in The Comic Strip Presents… (1982), Filthy Rich & Catflap (1987), Blackadder the Third (1987) and starring as the title role of Nicholas Craig, the Naked Actor (1990). Planer has also been a successful theatre actor. He has been nominated for Olivier, Theatrical Management Association, What’s On Stage and BAFTA awards.


  • Birthname: Nigel George Planer
  • Born: February 22, 1953
  • Born Place: Westminster, London, England, UK
  • Height: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
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