Paul James Martin, known as Paul Merton (born 9 July 1957) is a British writer, actor, comedian, radio and television presenter. Known for his improvisation skill, his humour is rooted in deadpan, surreal and sometimes dark comedy. Considered by some critics, fellow comedians and members of the public to be among Britain's greatest comedians, he is well known for his regular appearances as a team captain on the BBC panel game Have I Got News for You, and as the former host of Room 101. He has also appeared as a regular panellist on Radio 4's Just a Minute and as one of Comedy Store's Comedy Store Players.
Merton was born on 9 July 1957 in Parsons Green, London, to an English father, Albert Martin (a train guard on the London Underground) and an Irish Roman Catholic mother, Mary Ann Power.
He attended Wimbledon College, a Jesuit-run secondary school that was formerly a grammar school and had just become a comprehensive, in a stream for boys who had failed the eleven plus and he received A-levels in English and History. After leaving school, Merton worked at the Tooting employment office as a clerical officer for seven years...
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