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I don't have a heart. I have an unbeating onyx cricket ball. And stone-cold marble eyes. And a brain woven from tangled wisps of cynicism. I'm a miserable robot. Pity me.
Charlie Brooker is a "writer, producer, and self-indulgent cry-baby", according to his book The Hell Of It All. In less self-flagellating terms, he's a British comedian, columnist, writer and host of several television shows. One of the best (relatively) new faces on British television and a well known example of a Caustic Critic, he started his career as a reviewer for the magazine PC Zone. In 2000, he went on to pen a column called "Screen Burn" for The Guardian newspaper, which went on until October 2010, where he announced its discontinuation. These columns are collected in (to date) three books: Screen Burn (2004), Dawn of the Dumb (2007) and, as mentioned, The Hell Of It All (2009).
His most well known work however is likely to be his television writing: he wrote on The Eleven O'Clock Show, and was one of the writers on Chris Morris's controversial Brass Eye episode about paedophilia. Brooker also co-wrote Nathan Barley with Chris Morris, after creating the character on TV Go Home.
In 2006 Brooker began a television program on BBC 4 called Screenwipe (and later a spin-off focused on news reporting called Newswipe). This program, which largely skewers bad television programs and deconstructs the nuts and bolts of making them, as well as showing the sour underbelly of the television world, is one of the chief influences for Yahtzee's Zero Punctuation review style. He also released a Poorly-Disguised Pilot special called Gameswipe, which focused on video games. Brooker even mentions on his Twitter that he wanted to get Yahtzee on Gameswipe, but it didn't work out for various reasons.
In 2009 Brooker created a panel show called You Have Been Watching, which discusses television. The show was picked up by Channel 4 and has aired two 8-episode seasons so far, with guests including David Mitchell and Frankie Boyle.
Although mostly known for his comedy, in 2008 he took a departure from that to write his BAFTA-nominated Dead Set, a five-part zombie series, set in the Big Brother house. He's also the writer behind the Black Mirror trilogy, a collection of non-related dark comedies.
He is now Mr Konnie Huq (of Blue Peter fame). A reference to Ugly Guy, Hot Wife on this page was previously edited out because it was too subjective, but any familiarity with his Screen Burn columns tells you that he'd probably be the first to agree. ("Physically, Brooker resembles a cross between a white Laurence Fishburne, a paedophile walrus and a scowling pork knuckle," according to the biography in his books.) They have a baby boy.
Stuff that Charlie Brooker has been involved in:
- TV Go Home
- Brass Eye
- Nathan Barley
- Big Fat Quiz of the Year (2009)
- Dead Set (writer only)
- You Have Been Watching
- So Wrong It's Right
- Ten O Clock Live
- How TV Ruined Your Life
- Have I Got News for You
- Black Mirror