Then And Now: Celebrity Comedians

Mar 5, 2011 2 comments

Remember the fantastic photo series by Irina Werning where old photographs of kids were faithfully recreated with the same person, now grown up? Well, the Guardian has turned up with a series of it’s own. While Irina Werning took pictures of common people, the Guardian photo series is based on celebrity comedians. Let’s looks at them.


Alan Carr. I’m about a year old, and my mum had the picture done in a department store in Weymouth.


Dom Joly. This was taken in about 1975, in the courtyard of our house in Lebanon, in the hills above Beirut. I was about seven and I’m holding my ill-tempered cat, Camille, who was named after Camille Chamoun – the former Lebanese president and a Christian Phalangist warlord.


Jason Byrne. I first got glasses when I was two. They were free National Health glasses and I had to go through hell because of them. Kids are cruel, but I was a good speaker. If someone said something to me, I would say something better back. That’s probably why I’m good with hecklers. This picture is a school photo taken when I was five.


Greg Davies. When I asked my mother how old I was here, she said: “About two weeks, love. I know I was glad to get you out of me.” The photographer was my grandad, and my mum is holding me.


Chris Addison at the age of four or five and now.


Jessica Hynes at eight and now.


Jimmy Carr at five and now.


Jon Holmes This was a photograph taken by my dad when I was about three, outside our house at the time, in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. I think I was “helping” him change a tyre. Presumably my dad thought by dressing me in his cap, giving me a toy pipe and making me hold a car jack, I would somehow be inspired to grow up to be a useful and practical man, like him. He was wrong. I can no more change a tyre than I could change that stupid hat into a rabbit.


Miranda Hart This was me aged 12 in my parents’ village in Hampshire. It might make you think I was terribly gung ho and horsey, which I wasn’t at all. In fact, if you study the picture carefully, you can see I was slightly terrified. It was my neighbour’s horse and we were to get acquainted before I had a riding lesson on it. It didn’t work – it chucked me off within 20 minutes.


Russell Howard I’m four here. We’re in the playground in Weymouth, where we used to live. I remember our dad saying, “Who can hang on here for the longest?” in a desperate attempt to get me and my brother to be still. You can see the pain etched on my face.


Shappi Khorsandi My brother Peyv and I have a real attachment to this photo. It’s our favourite. I look scared and so does he, but he has a brave little smile that says: “I’ll protect you. I might wet my pants in the process, but I’ll protect you.”

This is one of the last times our lives were carefree. We’re about four and five. We didn’t know England existed, had no idea what Wombles were; we were Iranian.

Shortly after, we were uprooted to England and never went back. Then family life was chaotic. My parents were getting to grips with a new culture and language, and we never knew if members of our family had survived another carpet bombing in Iran.

After this photo was taken, our destiny catapulted us into another life. But it’s how Peyv and I see one another: side by side, holding hands. Me and my brother against the world.


Sarah Millican In this photo I’m 11, in my older sister’s bedroom, in our house in South Shields.


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