Islington People: Mighty Boosh star says it all started in Highbury

�He may not be instantly recognisable or a household name like the rest of The Mighty Boosh cast.

But Dave Brown featured alongside his friends and comic comrades Noel Fielding and Julian Barrat as one of the hit sitcom’s most popular characters – Bollo the Ape.

And Dave, who lives in Mildmay Grove, Newington Green, has been with the troupe since its earliest days – even before they began building a cult following as residents at the Hen and Chickens Theatre in Highbury Corner, Highbury.


The 38-year-old said: “I sat next to Noel on our first day at university and then we lived together and became comedy train-spotters.

“Julian Barratt came to our college to do stand up and Noel got chatting to him to ask for tips. They realised they made each other laugh and started writing together after we moved to London.

“I was still living with Noel and I used to get involved at the Hen and Chickens. That’s where it all happened – it was a free-for-all. It was just something I used to do as a laugh with mates.”

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As well as the bumbling gorilla, he played a host of supporting characters, helped choreograph the dance routines and put together a humorous publication about the series, The Mighty Book of Boosh.

But it is the costumed ape he is most fond of.

He said: “He’s overweight, old, stinky and a little bit simple, but I love him.”

Dave, a creative all-rounder with his own design and photography firm, Ape Inc, recently returned with Noel to their alma mater, Buckinghamshire New University, where they studied graphic design and advertising in the early 1990s, to pick up an honorary master’s degree.

He said: “It was a surprise but it was great to go back. It’s nice to get some recognition sometimes.”

He has lots of projects on the go, from photography work for Noel Fielding’s soon-to-be-released book Scribblings of a Madcap Shambleton, to working with the Never Mind the Buzzcocks star on a new show for E4.

But while there are no firm plans for a fourth Boosh series, Dave often appears at fundraisers as Bollo.