For other people named Ben or Benjamin Miller, see Benjamin Miller (disambiguation).
Bennet Evan "Ben" Miller (born 24 February 1966) is an English comedian, actor, and director. He is best known as one half of comedy double act Armstrong and Miller, with Alexander Armstrong. Miller and Armstrong wrote and starred in the Channel 4 sketch show Armstrong and Miller, as well as the BBC sketch show The Armstrong and Miller Show.
Early life and education:
Miller was born in London, England and grew up in Nantwich, Cheshire. His paternal grandfather was a Lithuanian-born tailor who immigrated to the UK and lived in London's East End. He anglicised the family surname. Ben's father Michael Miller was a lecturer in American Literature at the City of Birmingham Polytechnic; and his mother Marion was from Wales. She taught English at South Cheshire College. He has two younger sisters, Leah and Bronwen.
Miller was educated at Malbank School and Sixth Form College, his local comprehensive school in Nantwich, Cheshire. He studied Natural Sciences at St Catharine's College, Cambridge. As an undergraduate, he participated in theatre with Rachel Weisz, and also dated her. He remained at Cambridge to study for a PhD in solid state physics, with his thesis titled Novel quantum effects in low-temperature quasi-zero-dimensional mesoscopic electron systems.
He abandoned completion of his thesis to pursue a career in comedy. Miller's interest in comedy began when a friend asked him to help ferry around the judges of the National Student Drama Festival, which was being held that year in Cambridge. Having already finished his undergraduate degree, he joined the Footlights in 1989, working with Andy Parsons, David Wolstencroft and Sue Perkins, and went on to direct a revue.
Miller moved to London to pursue a career in comedy. He was introduced to fellow Cambridge graduate Alexander Armstrong in 1992, at the TBA Sketch Comedy Group, a comedy club which ran at the Gate Theatre Studio, Notting Hill throughout the 1990s. They performed their first full-length show together at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1994, and returned in 1996, when they were nominated for the Perrier Comedy Award.
Their success resulted in the commission of the television series Armstrong and Miller, which ran for four series from 1997 to 2001 - one on the Paramount Comedy Channel and three on Channel 4. In 1998, the duo also had their own radio show with the same name on BBC Radio 4, which featured many of the sketches and characters from their TV series. After a six-year break, the show was recommissioned for Hattrick Productions as The Armstrong and Miller Show and is in its third series. In 2008, they also had a second radio show, Children's Hour with Armstrong and Miller.
Miller also started acting in films, starring in Steve Coogan's first feature film, The Parole Officer (2001). In 2003 he played the role of 'Bough', sidekick to Rowan Atkinson's title character, in the film Johnny English. In 2004 he co-starred in The Prince and Me.
In 2004 and 2005, he starred in two series of the BBC television series The Worst Week of My Life, with Sarah Alexander. In 2006 he took part in a three-part Christmas special, The Worst Christmas of My Life. He starred as James Lester in ITV's 2007 sci-fi drama Primeval and as Mr Jonathan in the Australian film Razzle Dazzle: A Journey into Dance.
Miller provided the voice for the ITV Digital and now PG Tips Monkey in a popular series of television advertisements featuring Johnny Vegas. In 2008, he appeared as television producer Jonathan Pope in Tony Jordan's series Moving Wallpaper on ITV1 and starred in Thank God You're Here. In 2010, he made his directorial debut with the film Huge.
In 2011, he reprised his role as James Lester in the TV series Primeval. From November 2011, he played the role of Louis Harvey in The Ladykillers at the Gielgud Theatre.
On 23 July 2012, Miller began touring for his book, It's Not Rocket Science, from The Royal Society in London. He also appeared at the British Comedy Awards with Armstrong on Channel 4. In 2013, Miller took part in an episode of Room 101 and a Comic Relief special of game show Pointless. On 13 December 2014, he appeared in a Christmas edition of The Celebrity Chase.
From 2011 until the series three premiere in 2014, Miller starred in the BBC-French co-produced series Death in Paradise as Detective Inspector (DI) Richard Poole. A third series of Death in Paradise was commissioned for early 2014. On 9 April 2013 it was announced that Miller would be departing the series, to be replaced by actor Kris Marshall. Filming began in March 2013, and Miller left in May after completion of the first episode, in which his character was murdered.
Miller explained he had personal reasons for the change. "It was the job of a lifetime, but logistically I just didn't feel I could continue." He went on to say that "My personal circumstances just made it too complicated, but I will miss it like a lung. I love it here." Miller's wife had discovered she was pregnant after he had begun filming the first series. Their time apart caused strains on their relationship, and with his sons. He wanted to spend more time with his family.
In 2014, Miller appeared in a feature film version of Molly Moon. He also appeared with Billy Connolly and David Tennant in the film What We Did on Our Holiday.
Starring opposite Nancy Carroll and Diana Vickers, Miller played Robert Houston in the play The Duck House by Dan Patterson and Colin Swash. The show is a political satire based on the UK parliamentary expenses scandal.
On 6 September 2014, Miller guest starred in Doctor Who as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the third episode: "Robot of Sherwood".
Miller directed a television pilot, which subsequently became the first episode of Steve Coogan's 2006 British BBC TV series Saxondale. With Armstrong, he has formed a production company named Toff Media.
Miller was awarded a Judges' Commendation for his portrayal of Hamlet at the 1990 National Student Drama Festival. He co-wrote MindGym, winner of the first BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Award for comedy in 1998, with Tim Wright and Adam Gee. He and Armstrong won a BCA Award for The Armstrong and Miller Show. In 2010 they also won a BAFTA for The Armstrong and Miller Show.
Miller's first wife was Belinda Stewart-Wilson, who guest-starred with him in Series 3 of Primeval. The pair divorced in 2011 and have a son Jackson, a.k.a. Sonny, who was born in 2006. Miller has another son, Harrison, born in late 2011, with his partner, production executive Jessica Parker, whom he married in September 2013.
On 20 February 2009, Miller appeared with Rob Brydon in an episode of QI (Series 6. 9). Brydon has often been mistaken for Miller, and as a joke they dressed in similar shirts for the episode and shared an on-screen narcissistic kiss. A talented musician, Miller plays the guitar and drums.
Murder Most Horrid
TV series (1 episode: "He Died a Death")
The Pall Bearer's Revue
TV series (1 episode: "Episode 3")
French and Saunders
TV series (1 episode: "The Silence of the Lambs")
Paul Merton: The Series
TV series (6 episodes)
TV series (1 episode: "Trials and Tribulations")
Look at the State We're In!
The Jack Docherty Show
The Armstrong and Miller Show
TV series (27 episodes: 1997-2001)
Plunkett and Macleane
The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Daredevils of the Desert
You Can't Dance
Tip of My Tongue
The Blind Date
There's Only One Jimmy Grimble
Johnny Two Dogs
The Parole Officer
Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible
TV series (1 episode: "Lesbian Vampire Lovers of Lust")
Surrealissimo: The Trial of Salvador Dalí
The Book Group
TV series (2 episodes)
Jeffrey Archer: The Truth
The Prince and Me
Agatha Christie's Marple
TV series (2 episodes: "The Portwenn Effect" and "Out of the Woods")
The Worst Week of My Life
TV series (17 episodes: 2004-2006)
Dr. Edmund Bickleigh
TV series (1 episode: "Out of the Woods")
TV series (10 episodes)
TV series (1 episode: "Episode #1.6")
Razzle Dazzle: A Journey into Dance
The Armstrong and Miller Show
TV series (19 episodes: 2007-2010)
TV series (30 episodes credited for 36: 2007-2011)
TV series (18 episodes: 2008-2009)
Moving Wallpaper: The Mole
TV series short (2 episodes: uncredited)
Within the Whirlwind
The Catherine Tate Show
Ghost of Christmas Past
TV series (1 episode "Nan's Christmas Carol")
Comedy Panel Show (1 episode "The Future")
Death in Paradise
DI Richard Poole
TV series (1 episode)
Johnny English Reborn
Felix and Murdo
One-off special on Channel 4 on the 28th December with Alexander Armstrong
TV Series (1 episode)
What We Did on Our Holiday
Cinematic Film, with David Tennant
This is Jinsy
Chief Acco / Berpetta
TV series (1 episode)
Sheriff of Nottingham
TV series (1 episode: "Robot of Sherwood")
TV Series (3 episodes)
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license