8th June 1971

Comedian Will Smith is born

Winchester-born William James Smith was raised in Jersey and attended Victoria College before making his name as both a writer and performer of comedy.

One of his earliest comedy jobs was on Channel 4’s The 11 O’Clock Show, where he appeared with Ricky Gervais. He supported Gervais on tour, later doing the same for comedians Ardal O’Hanlon and Johnny Vegas. At the same time as supporting Gervais’, he had a four-episode BBC Radio 4 series, The Tao of Bergerac, chronicling his obsession with the Jersey-set police drama. Actor John Nettles, who played Bergerac, appeared in each episode.

Transatlantic success

His career has taken him to America, where he wrote episodes for HBO sitcom Veep (of which he is also one of the executive producers). Veep is an adaptation of the British political comedy, The Thick of It, in which Smith appeared for two series as Phil Smith, special advisor to the secretary of state for DoSAC. 

Naturally, this Will Smith is not the same as the one who played the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and appeared in films including Independence Day and I, Robot.


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