Nigel Planer was a member of the Comic Strip, a loose collective of actors and comedians who changed British comedy forever in the early 1980s. Having studied drama at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Planer formed a double act with a comic named Peter Richardson. They performed as The Outer Limits, just one of the acts that appeared at the Raymond Revue Bar in Soho in the early '80s, alongside Adrian Edmondson, Rik Mayall, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Alexi Sayle. The venue was a strip club the rest of the time, so the group took on the name The Comic Strip. They helped smash down the barriers of old-fashioned, staid comedians, helping create the alternative comedy scene. The buzz surrounding the club unsurprisingly attached TV interest and soon the Comic Strip was being courted by fledging TV network Channel 4, first appearing on TV in a documentary about the club in 1981. Planer appeared in almost 30 episodes of the long running anthology series "Comic Strip Presents" (Channel 4 1983-2012) most notably as Den Dennis in the 1984 heavy metal spoof "Bad News." A sort of British version of the concurrent "This Is Spinal Tap" (1984), the fake band even released an album produced by Queen's Brian May. At the same time, the BBC wanted a piece of the action and "The Young Ones" (1982-84) was developed. In this anarchic sitcom about four students who shared a dilapidated house, Planer played depressed hippie Neil Pye across 12 hugely popular and massively influential episodes. "The Young Ones" was so popular that Planer released an LP in character as Neil; the single, a cover of Traffic's 1968 hit "Hole in My Shoe," climbed to number two on the U.K. pop charts. A book, <i>Neil's Book of the Dead</i>, written in character by Planer with co-author Terence Blacker, followed. After "The Young Ones," Planer, Mayall and Edmondson reconvened for the Ben Elton-penned series "Filthy, Rich & Catflap" (BBC 1987), but it never reached the same popularity and folded after just one series. Meanwhile Planer was gaining a reputation as a character actor, regularly appearing on UK TV in both comedic and dramatic roles. One of his greatest creations was the pompous actor Nicholas Craig in the sitcom "The Nicholas Craig Masterclass" (BBC 1990-92), a character who resurfaced in various guises through the years. A man of many talents, Planer continued to write; a collection of poetry, <i>Unlike the Buddha</i>, was published in 1996, followed by his debut novel, <i>The Right Man</i>, in 1997. On stage, Planer featured in several huge West End hits in London as an original cast member of Queen musical "We Will Rock You" (2002), as well as "The Rocky Horror Show" (2006 and 2010), "Hairspray" (2009), and "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory" (2013).