Ben Elton

Literary Birthday – 3 May – Ben Elton

Happy Birthday, Ben Elton, born 3 May 1959.


  1. Books are the key. A book cannot be accessed from afar, you have to hold it, you have to read it.
  2. I’m lucky because the strongest emotion I have ever felt is being in love, and that definitely informs my writing.
  3. We’ve all got to look at ourselves, start with yourself, that’s all you can do. I believe that we can act responsibly as a group, it’s just that there are vested interests telling us not to bother.
  4. I think trying to be cool is the worst possible ambition – and I have never suffered from it.
  5. My advice to anyone adapting a novel is that once they’ve read it and learnt to understand it, then they must throw it away and never look at it again!
  6. Jealous love is no more like true love than Mr Hyde was like Dr Jekyll or a stagnant swamp is like a freshwater lake.
  7. Artists don’t create society, they reflect it.
  8. I find the fact that billionaires are quoted as if the fact that they are billionaires gives them some kind of wisdom is outrageous.
  9. With privilege comes responsibility, you must understand that.
  10. History is made by people. And the majority of people are arseholes. Which is I suppose why the majority of history has been so disastrous.

Ben Elton is an English comedian, author, playwright, actor, and director. He has published 15 novels and written the musicals We Will Rock You and Love Never Dies, the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. He co-wrote Blackadder II, and Blackadder the Third with Richard Curtis. He is the author of Time and Time Again, Dead Famous, Popcorn, and High Society.


Ingo Hoehn, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

Please click here for our Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 3rd May 2015