The League of Gentlemen started life on the London Fringe with a sketch-show first performed at the Cockpit Theatre in 1995. They then secured a weekly residency at the Canal Café Theatre, which led to their first visit to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1996. Here they were quickly signed up by the BBC to record a radio series with a view to future TV work. They returned to Edinburgh with a new show in 1997, scooping the Perrier Award for Comedy.
Their Radio 4 series, On the Town with the League of Gentlemen aired in 1997, winning the Sony Silver Award and subsequently a Talkie Award for Best Audio Comedy.
The League’s first television series, simply called The League of Gentlemen, was filmed in 1998 and transmitted on BBC2 in January 1999. The programme went on to win both the prestigious Golden Rose of Montreux and the RTS award for ‘best entertainment’ 1999. The second series of The League of Gentlemen aired in January 2000 and a book, a Christmas special and a tour followed later that year.
Their first book, A Local Book for Local People, was the No.1 humour bestseller of Christmas 2000.