From his birth in 1957 to his arrival at Queens’ College, Cambridge, 20 years later, Stephen Fry has enjoyed brushes with authority and being the centre of attention in almost equal measure.

From an education including – but not limited to – Stouts Hill prep, Uppingham School, The Paston School, Norfolk College of Arts and Technology, Pucklechurch Prison, Norwich City College and Queens’ College, Cambridge, Stephen Fry has honed his skills as a consummate performer, both on and off stage.

Halcyon Days

At Cambridge he met Hugh Laurie, so beginning an enduring creative partnership. He also trod the boards with the likes of Emma Thompson and Tony Slattery in the Footlights, performing in over 30 plays and even finding time to write his own – “Latin!” – which toured the country and won an award.

Pleasingly for an actor, critical acclaim was followed by popular appeal with the move to television. Memorable outings for the Fry comic juggernaut included Blackadder, A Bit of Fry & Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster. Add to this a few big screen outings such as Wilde, Gosford Park, Peter’s Friends and (errm) Spiceworld and you’ve got the makings of a well rounded career.

Hitting the shelves

“The Liar” fired the first fusillade as an original novelist. Followed by “Paperweight”, “The Hippopotamus” and “Making History”, Stephen’s autobiography “Moab is My Washpot” hit the shelves in 1997, the same year as what many people assumed to be his quasi-autobiography, “Wilde”. His latest work “The Stars’ Tennis Balls” was published in 2000. Stephen’s next book “A Peruvian Diary”, detailing his endeavours to save the ‘spectacled bear’ from extinction, is due for launch in October of this year.

A resumé that every day grows into Stephen’s angst-ridden statement made at the age of 17: “My whole life stretched out gloriously behind me.”