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(born May 3, 1959) is an English comedian and writer. Born in Catford, London of an immigrant family of academics (he is the nephew of the historian G. R. Elton), he studied at Godalming Grammar School and the University of Manchester. He became a stand-up comedian and comedy writer shortly after leaving university in 1980, and was a central figure in the alternative comedy scene in the early 1980s.
Prolific and ambitious, he began writing novels and plays, including Stark (1989, made into a television series in which Elton starred); Gridlock (1991); This Other Eden (1993); Popcorn (1996); Blast From the Past (1998); Inconceivable (later turned into a film); Dead Famous (2001), a variation on the classical whodunnit of the 1930s and 1940s set around a reality TV series akin to Big Brother; High Society (2002), a novel exploring the social consequences of drug illegality in Britain; and Past Mortem (2004), another whodunnit examining the motivations behind those who connect with old schoolfriends via web sites like Friends Reunited.