Sean Lock obituary: vibrant & influential stand-up

A vibrant and influential member of the UK comedy scene, we reflect on the life and career of Sean Lock

Article by Polly Glynn | 19 Aug 2021
  • Sean Lock

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Sean Lock yesterday. A vibrant and influential member of the UK’s comedy scene, Lock was most recently known as a team captain on Channel 4's 8 Out of 10 Cats and its wildly successful spin-off, Cats Does Countdown.

Beginning his stand-up career in 1988, after stints as a cleaner, labourer and actor, Lock developed a sardonic stage persona tackling both the political and the absurd. Twelve years after his stand-up debut, he was nominated for the Perrier Award at the 2000 Edinburgh Fringe for his show No Flatley, I am Lord of the Dance. Lock was also one of the first comedians to perform at Wembley Arena, supporting David Baddiel and Rob Newman on their 1993 tour.

Lock earned himself a legion of dedicated fans through his radio sitcom 15 Minutes of Misery and subsequent radio and TV sitcom 15 Storeys High, which revolved around the peculiar ongoings of Vince (Lock) and his even more peculiar neighbours and flatmates (including Benedict Wong and Mark Lamarr). He also hosted TV Heaven, Telly Hell, a panel show where comics detailed their best and worst television programmes.

However, Lock is best-remembered for his show-stopping appearances on the Jimmy Carr fronted ...Cats and Cats Does Countdown. Lock’s quips came bullet-speed from places no-one could ever predict, with myriad other comedians commenting on his punchline prowess and generosity towards new acts.

A twinkly-eyed talent, gone far too soon, Lock is survived by his wife and three children.