The smiley, surreal and slapstick is back, collar and all, with new show Pedigree Fun!
Expect Harry's partner in crime Stouffer the Cat to make an appearance, plus a debut from Ian, The Information Worm and Sarah the elephant.
Though today the only tonic Harry Hill prescribes is a healthy dose of laughter, the comedian originally trained to be a doctor, graduating from the University of London in 1988 and landing a position at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. But not feeling it was the right calling, at 25 Hill quit the profession and began making a name for himself as a stand-up, and in 1992 caught enough attention at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – a rite of passage for any aspiring British performer – to win Best Newcomer in the Perrier Awards. Soon after Harry Hill’s Fruit Corner was commissioned on BBC Radio 4, a surrealist comedy built upon a fictional family that included Al Murray, Phill Jupitus and the late Matt Bradstock-Smith.
With clear charisma and an expressive form of comedy that suited the screen, Hill made his television debut in 1994 with the sketch show Fruit Fancies, and the rest was history. In 1997 Fruit Corner made its way to screens as his eponymous show, which saw the first appearance of the blue rubber puppet Stouffer the Cat.
The new millennium saw the dawn of Harry Hill’s TV Burp on ITV, which would go on to garner multiple BAFTAs for its surreal and side-splitting take on TV clips, stitched together with characters such as an Alan Sugar doll, Heather and The Knitted Character. The show was a family hit, and given his friendly, cheeky and nonsensical style it was no surprise Hill was popular with children; in 2005 the comic released a sketch show just for kids, Harry Hill’s Shark Infested Custard.
It was only a matter of time before Hill made it to the big screen, and in 2013 released his first ever feature film – yes, you guessed it – The Harry Hill Movie, which saw him hit the road to Blackpool with his grandmother, played by Julia Walters. The film also featured Matt Lucas, Sheridan Smith and Johnny Vegas.
In addition to his specials and appearances on panel shows, and a few books in between, Hill’s comedy is of course enjoyed on stage where his story began.