Birthplace: London, England
Bennet Evan "Ben" Miller (born 24 February 1966) is an English comedian, actor and director. He is best known as one half of comedy double act Armstrong and Miller, with Alexander Armstrong. Miller and Armstrong wrote and starred in the Channel 4 sketch show Armstrong and Miller, as well as the BBC sketch show The Armstrong & Miller Show. Miller is also known for playing the lead role of DI Richard Poole in the first two series of the BBC Crime Drama Death in Paradise.
Miller was born in London, England and grew up in Nantwich, Cheshire. His paternal grandfather was a Lithuanian Jewish tailor who emigrated to the UK and lived in London's East End. He anglicised the family surname. Ben's father Michael Miller was a lecturer in American Literature at the City of Birmingham Polytechnic; and his mother Marion was from Wales, grand-daughter of Rose Elizabeth Lincoln, the eighth-great-grandaughter of Samuel Lincoln, and taught English at South Cheshire College. He has two younger sisters, Leah and Bronwen.
Miller was educated at Malbank School and Sixth Form College, his local comprehensive school in Nantwich, Cheshire. He read Natural Sciences at St Catharine's College, Cambridge. As an undergraduate, he participated in theatre with Rachel Weisz, and also dated her. He remained at Cambridge to read for a PhD in solid state physics, with his thesis titled Novel quantum effects in low-temperature quasi-zero-dimensional mesoscopic electron systems.
He abandoned completion of his thesis to pursue a career in comedy. Miller's interest in comedy began when a friend asked him to help ferry around the judges of the National Student Drama Festival, which was being held that year in Cambridge. Having already finished his undergraduate degree, he joined the Footlights in 1989, working with Andy Parsons, David Wolstencroft and Sue Perkins, and went on to direct a revue.
Miller moved to London to pursue a career in comedy. He was introduced to fellow Cambridge graduate Alexander Armstrong in 1992, at the TBA Sketch Comedy Group, a comedy club which ran at the Gate Theatre Studio, Notting Hill throughout the 1990s. They performed their first full-length show together at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1994 and returned in 1996, when they were nominated for the Perrier Comedy Award.
Their success resulted in the commission of the television series Armstrong and Miller, which ran for four series from 1997 to 2001 - one on the Paramount Comedy Channel and three on Channel 4. In 1998, the duo also had their own radio show with the same name on BBC Radio 4, which featured many of the sketches and characters from their TV series. After a six-year break, the show was recommissioned for Hat Trick Productions as The Armstrong and Miller Show and is in its third series. In 2008, they also had a second radio show, Children's Hour with Armstrong and Miller.
Miller also started acting in films, starring in Steve Coogan's first feature film, The Parole Officer (2001). In 2003 he played the role of 'Bough', sidekick to Rowan Atkinson's title character, in the film Johnny English. In 2004 he co-starred in The Prince and Me.
In 2004 and 2005, he starred in two series of the BBC television series The Worst Week of My Life, with Sarah Alexander. In 2006 he took part in a three-part Christmas special, The Worst Christmas of My Life. He starred as James Lester in ITV's 2007 sci-fi drama Primeval and as Mr Jonathan in the Australian film Razzle Dazzle: A Journey into Dance.
Miller provided the voice for the ITV Digital and now PG Tips Monkey in a popular series of television advertisements featuring Johnny Vegas. In 2008, he appeared as television producer Jonathan Pope in Tony Jordan's series Moving Wallpaper on ITV1 and starred in Thank God You're Here. In 2010, he made his directorial debut with the film Huge.
In January 2011, he presented an episode of the BBC science series Horizon titled "What is One Degree?"
In 2011, he reprised his role as James Lester in the TV series Primeval. From November 2011, he played the role of Louis Harvey in The Ladykillers at the Gielgud Theatre.
On 23 July 2012, Miller began touring for his book, It's Not Rocket Science, from the Royal Society in London. He also appeared at the British Comedy Awards with Armstrong on Channel 4. In 2013, Miller took part in an episode of Room 101 and a Comic Relief special of game show Pointless. On 13 December 2014, he appeared in a Christmas edition of The Celebrity Chase.
From 2011 until the series three premiere in 2014, Miller starred in the BBC-French co-produced series Death in Paradise as Detective Inspector (DI) Richard Poole. A third series of Death in Paradise was commissioned for early 2014. On 9 April 2013 it was announced that Miller would be departing the series, to be replaced by actor Kris Marshall. Filming began in March 2013, and Miller left in May after completion of the first episode, in which his character was murdered.
Miller explained he had personal reasons for the change. "It was the job of a lifetime, but logistically I just didn't feel I could continue." He went on to say that "My personal circumstances just made it too complicated, but I will miss it like a lung. I love it here." Miller's wife had discovered she was pregnant after he had begun filming the first series. Their time apart caused strains on their relationship, and with his sons. He wanted to spend more time with his family.
Starring opposite Nancy Carroll and Diana Vickers, Miller played Robert Houston in the play The Duck House by Dan Patterson and Colin Swash. The show is a political satire based on the UK parliamentary expenses scandal.
On 6 September 2014, Miller guest starred in Doctor Who as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the third episode: "Robot of Sherwood".
In 2015, following the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, Miller starred as King John in Series 6 of Horrible Histories.
Since October 2015, Miller along with Ruth Jones and Will Close, appears in adverts for British supermarket Tesco as Roger with Jones as his wife Jo and Close as their son Freddie. In 2016, Miller co-presented the ITV entertainment series It's Not Rocket Science alongside Rachel Riley and Romesh Ranganathan.
In February 2016 Miller issued a book, accompanied by a lecture tour, entitled The Aliens are Coming!, examining the question "are we alone in the universe?"
Miller played the role of Murray in the six-part BBC sitcom I Want My Wife Back, starring alongside Caroline Catz. In 2016 he appeared in the Channel 4 comedy Power Monkeys.
Miller directed a television pilot that subsequently became the first episode of Steve Coogan's 2006 British BBC TV series Saxondale. He and Alexander Armstrong have formed a production company named Toff Media.
Miller was awarded a Judges' Commendation for his portrayal of Hamlet at the 1990 National Student Drama Festival. He co-wrote MindGym, winner of the first BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Award for comedy in 1998, with Tim Wright and Adam Gee. He and Armstrong won a BCA Award for The Armstrong and Miller Show. In 2010 they also won a BAFTA for The Armstrong and Miller Show.
Miller's first wife was Belinda Stewart-Wilson, who guest-starred with him in Series 3 of Primeval. The pair, who have a son Jackson, known as Sonny (born in 2006), divorced in 2011. Miller has another son, Harrison, born in late 2011 and a daughter born in June 2015, with his second wife, production executive Jessica Parker, daughter of British musician Alan Parker, whom he married in September 2013.
On 20 February 2009, Miller appeared with Rob Brydon in an episode of QI (Series 6. 9). Brydon has often been mistaken for Miller, and as a joke they dressed in similar shirts for the episode and shared an on-screen narcissistic kiss. A talented musician, Miller plays the guitar and drums.
|1991||Murder Most Horrid||P.C. Watkins||TV series (1 episode: "He Died a Death")|
|1992||The Pall Bearer's Revue||TV series (1 episode: "Episode 3")|
|1993||French and Saunders||TV series (1 episode: "The Silence of the Lambs")|
|Paul Merton: The Series||Various||TV series (6 episodes)|
|1995||You Bet!||Himself / various||TV series (series 8, show 6)|
|Casualty||Daniel Murdoch||TV series (1 episode: "Trials and Tribulations")|
|Look at the State We're In!||Marty||TV mini-series|
|1997||The Jack Docherty Show||Various||TV series|
|1997-2001||Armstrong and Miller||Various Roles||TV series (27 episodes)|
|1999||Plunkett and Macleane||Dixon|
|Hunting Venus||Gavin||TV film|
|Passion Killers||Nick||TV film|
|Coming Soon||Ben||TV film|
|The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Daredevils of the Desert||French Officer||Video|
|2000||You Can't Dance||Short|
|Tip of My Tongue||Dave||Short|
|The Blind Date||Joe Maxwell|
|There's Only One Jimmy Grimble||Johnny Two Dogs|
|2001||The Parole Officer||Colin|
|Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible||Rebenor||TV series (1 episode: "Lesbian Vampire Lovers of Lust")|
|2002||Surrealissimo: The Trial of Salvador Dalí||Yoyotte||TV film|
|The Book Group||Martin Logan||TV series (2 episodes)|
|Jeffrey Archer: The Truth||Roland Moxley-Nemesis||TV film|
|2003||Johnny English||Angus Bough|
|2004||The Prince and Me||Søren|
|Agatha Christie's Marple||Basil Blake||TV film|
|Doc Martin||Stewart James||TV series (2 episodes: "The Portwenn Effect" and "Out of the Woods")|
|2004-06||The Worst Week of My Life||Howard Steel||TV series (17 episodes)|
|2005||Malice Aforethought||Dr. Edmund Bickleigh||TV film|
|Doc Martin||Stewart James||TV series (1 episode: "Out of the Woods")|
|2006||Popetown||The Priest||TV series (10 episodes)|
|Saxondale||Bernard Langley||TV series (1 episode: "Episode No. 1.6")|
|2007||Razzle Dazzle: A Journey into Dance||Mr Jonathon|
|2007-11||Primeval||James Lester||TV series (30 episodes )|
|2007-10||The Armstrong & Miller Show||Various Roles||TV series (19 episodes)|
|2008-09||Moving Wallpaper||Jonathan Pope||TV series (18 episodes)|
|2008||Moving Wallpaper: The Mole||Jonathan Pope||TV series short (2 episodes: uncredited)|
|2009||Within the Whirlwind||Krasny|
|The Catherine Tate Show||Ghost of Christmas Past||TV series (1 episode "Nan's Christmas Carol")|
|QI||Himself||Comedy Panel Show (1 episode "The Future")|
|2011-14||Death in Paradise||DI Richard Poole||17 episodes|
|2011||Episodes||Himself||TV series (1 episode)|
|Johnny English Reborn||Angus Bough||Scenes deleted|
|Felix and Murdo||Various||One-off special on Channel 4 on 28 December with Alexander Armstrong|
|2013||Room 101||Himself||TV series (1 episode)|
|2014||What We Did on Our Holiday||Gavin McLeod||Cinematic Film, with David Tennant|
|This is Jinsy||Chief Acco / Berpetta||TV series (1 episode)|
|Doctor Who||Sheriff of Nottingham||TV series (1 episode: "Robot of Sherwood")|
|2015||Horrible Science||Professor McTaggart (voice)/various||10 episodes|
|Asylum||Dan Hern||TV series (3 episodes)|
|Ballot Monkeys||Kevin Sturridge|
|2016||It's Not Rocket Science||Co-presenter||With Rachel Riley and Romesh Ranganathan|
|I Want My Wife Back||Murray||BBC One sitcom series|
|2017||Tracey Ullman's Show||Rupert Murdoch||TV series|
|Paddington 2||The Colonel|
|2018||Johnny English 3||Angus Bough||Filming|