Comedian Richard Ayoade's Immigrant Parents Help Him Stay Grounded
British Actor Richard Ayoade became a household name in British comedy after starring as an awkward IT technician in the hit sitcom The IT Crowd (2006-2013). Apart from his 36 acting credits, he has also garnered success as a filmmaker with quirky indy features like Submarine (2010); an author of both memoirs and satires; and a host for the travel series Travel Man.
While his exploits as an actor, director, author, and host are already familiar to most, few know that he also graduated from the prestigious Cambridge University Law School. Much like his lesser-known law degree, The IT Crowd actor has a lot hiding beneath his shrub-sized hairdo.
Richard Ayoade’s Immigrant Parents Had An Impact On His Childhood
Ayoade’s parents are from two different countries, and both are not from England. His father is Layide Ade Laditi from Nigeria, and his mother is Dagny Amalie from Norway.
Ayoade seems to be thankful and amazed by his parents. He told the Guardian that his parents’ nationalities were “unquestionably the most exotic thing about (his) childhood.” The couple never went to college, which makes Ayodae’s success that much more meaningful. His parents met in London. They decided to live in Ipswich, Suffolk, where Ayoade spent most of his childhood and teenage years.
Richard seems to be proud of his Ipswichian heritage, attributing it to his personality. In an interview with Guardian, he said, “As an Ipswichian, I was grateful for what I had…. (I had) a sense that any smugness about one’s circumstances was inappropriate.”
In a different interview, he also claimed that he is “unexciting” because the town of Ipswich was not very fast-paced, and life was very slow. He said he was thoroughly surprised that people jumped in a concert when he visited one in Brixton:
“I didn't know everyone jumped up and down. Because I was from Ipswich."
Ayoade Holds A Law Degree From Cambridge
Ayoade's childhood might have been boring, but his adult life certainly wasn’t. He got accepted into one of the most prestigious law programs in the entire world: Cambridge law. While he claims that he wasn’t doing well in law in an interview with The Irish Times, it could just be out of modesty.
Regardless of his academic background, he chose a completely different career path than the one he studied for. Having said that, Cambridge did play a part in Ayoade's future prospects because he developed a knack for comedy and acting. He joined the famous Footlights club for drama on campus, where his theatrical interests were developed for the first time.
The Cambridge Footlights is Britain's most illustrious student comedy society, which has many famous alumni such as Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson, Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Laurie, and even Ayoade.
Despite His Success, Ayoade Remains Surprisingly Humble
Robert is very attractive, with his charming demeanor, witty remarks, and a height of over 6 feet. Add the fact that he is a Cambridge law graduate with a career in Hollywood, Ayoade is as good as it gets, but he would probably not agree with that. He is known throughout the industry as being surprisingly humble. He himself seems to attribute his upbringing to it. Talking about his down-to-earth persona, Ayoade, in an interview with The Guardian, said, “My own humanity keeps me grounded. Friends keep me grounded.”
He downplays his successes often, which has created a very respectable perception of him in the industry. Journalist Alexis Petridis calls him “Mr. Modest” — a fitting title for his personality.