The Best Nigerian Norwegian Ipswichian Filmmaker in the World
Written by Hebe Dobson-Mouawad
This is a blog about Mr Richard Ayoade. Readers unfamiliar with Ayoade’s critically acclaimed directorial work (Submarine; The Double), may remember him as Moss from The IT Crowd. Be you a cinephile or sitcom junkie, what you may not know is that Ayoade grew up in Ipswich.
‘Suffolk’s neglected jewel’*
*Ayoade gifted Ipswich this affectionate title in his 2014 book, Ayoade on Ayoade: A Cinematic Odyssey.
Formerly a pupil of St Joseph’s College, Ayoade returned to the school in 2015 to lead a workshop. Whether this was an attempt to inspire or dissuade current students from embarking on a career in film and television remains unclear.
In his latest book, Ayoade on Top, Ayoade fondly reflects on his childhood in Ipswich. His passages on Suffolk’s county town will surely attract throngs of tourists to explore Ipswich’s many delights. Local residents can equally enjoy some shoutouts to Suffolk’s overlooked settlements of Felixstowe, Great Yarmouth, and Kesgrave.
Ayoade on Top provides an insightful and detailed analysis of View from the Top, starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Mark Ruffalo. Mockingly hailed as a ‘modern masterpiece’ by Ayoade, the film has an abysmal 14% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Ayoade takes aim at Rom-Com clichés, Paltrow’s ‘acting’, as well as the Oscar winner’s ‘modern lifestyle brand’ Goop.
Reaching the Top
From the bright lights of Martlesham Heath, Ayoade has gone on to enjoy the even brighter lights of fame. He won a BAFTA for his role in The IT Crowd, and travelled across the globe for his celebrated travel documentary series Travel Man.
Ayoade has also found success as a screenwriter and director. His debut film, Submarine, was nominated for a BAFTA. Most recently Ayoade has starred in Joanna Hogg’s semi-autobiographical The Souvenir alongside Honor Swinton Byrne and Tom Burke. He has one of the most pivotal lines of the film.
So, what’s next for the best Nigerian Norwegian Ipswichian filmmaker in the world? Ayoade is set to return in The Souvenir: Part II.