Addison Creswell, agent
Comedy agent Addison Creswell grew up in Brighton, the elder son of Peter Cresswell, a painter who was dean of Goldsmiths College, University of London. Addison graduated in graphic design from, what was then, Brighton Polytechnic and during his time here, was the student entertainments officer. In this role he developed a taste for “wheeling and dealing” which was to become key in his future career.
His first professional client, in 1981, was the performance poet John Hegley and he founded his first production company, Wonderdog, with Julian Clary and Paul Merton, becoming famous for the “ferocity and brilliance” of his bargaining methods. With his penchant for shiny satin suits and big cigars, he was described as the modern equivalent of such showbiz legends as Lew Grade and Bernard Delfont.
He is credited with steering the careers of the stand-up “alternative” comedians who emerged on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the 1980s into the mainstream radio and television and his list of clients and proteges reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of contemporary comedy talent: Lee Evans, Rich Hall, Kevin Bridges, Patrick Kielty, Marcus Brigstocke, Alan Carr, Jo Brand, Michael McIntyre, Jonathan Ross and Jeremy Hardy.
Recalling his friend and colleague, William Burdett-Coutts wrote: “Right from the start he was a star. He may not ever have been the one to go on stage, but life around him was always turned into a drama. Stories of his escapades and sayings abound: to sit in on a business meeting with him was to enjoy a full-on performance, when he could charm executives with his banter and bravado.”*
Addison Cresswell died on 22 December 2013 at the age of 53.
* The Guardian 24 December, 2013.