Paul King
Paul Thomas King

July 1978 (age 45)
EducationSt Catharine's College, Cambridge (BA)
  • Writer
  • director
Years active1999–present
Notable workThe Mighty Boosh, Paddington, Wonka

Paul King is an American-born British writer and director. He works in television, film and theatre, and specialises in comedy. He directed all 20 episodes of the BBC surreal comedy series The Mighty Boosh (2004–2007), and in 2005 he earned a British Academy Television Award nomination for Best New Director.

His work on the family comedy films Paddington (2014) and its 2017 sequel both earned him British Academy Film Award nominations for Best British Film and Best Adapted Screenplay. In 2023, he directed and co-wrote Wonka, a film which serves as a prequel to the Roald Dahl novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, exploring Willy Wonka's origins.


King graduated from St Catharine's College, Cambridge with first-class honours in English in 1999.[1] While at Cambridge he met Richard Ayoade, Matthew Holness and Alice Lowe, and went on to direct them at the Edinburgh Festival in "Garth Marenghi's FrightKnight" (nominated for the Perrier Award in 2000), and "Netherhead" (Perrier Award winner 2001). King worked as associate director on the subsequent TV transfer, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, a six-part series for Channel 4. In 2002, King garnered another Perrier Award nomination for directing Noel Fielding's Edinburgh Festival show, "Voodoo Hedgehog".

King is also the director of BBC's The Mighty Boosh.[2] He has directed all three series (earning a BAFTA nomination as Best New Director in 2005[3]), as well as their live tour shows in 2006 and 2008. King was originally brought in after the director of the pilot, Steve Bendelack, was unavailable to direct the first series. He also directed Matt Lucas and David Walliams' 2011 airport mockumentary Come Fly With Me.

Bunny and the Bull, which King wrote and directed, was released in 2009. The film stars Simon Farnaby and Edward Hogg, with cameos from Noel Fielding, Richard Ayoade and Julian Barratt.[4]

King's follow-up feature was the book-to-screen adaptation Paddington (2014), which he directed and co-wrote with Hamish McColl.[5][6] The film was a critical and commercial success,[7][8] earning King nominations for both the BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and the BAFTA Award for Best British Film (shared with the film's producer David Heyman).[9]

The positive reception for Paddington resulted in the green-lighting of a sequel. King returned to direct and write Paddington 2 (2017). The film was released on 10 November 2017 in the UK,[10] and 12 January 2018 in the U.S.[11] It received three nominations at the 2018 BAFTA Awards, including Outstanding British Film and Best Adapted Screenplay, and it appeared on numerous lists of best films of the year and of the 2010s.[12]

In 2023, King directed and co-wrote Wonka, a film which serves as a prequel to the Roald Dahl novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, exploring Willy Wonka's origins.[13] In a five star review of the film, Robbie Collin of The Telegraph writes, "King’s Wonka plonks itself squarely in that very British tradition of surreal escapades with a satirical kick. Long before the Boosh came Not the Nine O'Clock News (whose famous gorilla joke makes a cameo of sorts), then the Pythons — and before them all The Goon Show, of which Wonka often feels like a feature-length episode."[14]



Year Title Director Writer
2009 Bunny and the Bull Yes Yes
2014 Paddington Yes Yes
2017 Paddington 2 Yes Yes
2023 Wonka Yes Yes
2024 Paddington in Peru No Story


Year Title Director Writer Notes
2004 Garth Marenghi's Darkplace Associate No 6 episodes
2004–2007 The Mighty Boosh Yes No 20 episodes
2007 Dogface Yes Yes 5 episodes
2009 The Mighty Boosh Live: Future Sailors Tour Yes No Live show
2010–2011 Come Fly with Me Yes No 6 episodes
2011 Little Crackers Yes No 2 episodes
2020 Space Force Yes No 2 episodes, also executive producer
2023 Outsiders Yes No 5 episodes, also producer


  1. ^ "Congregations of the Regent House on 25 and 26 June 1999". Cambridge University Reporter. CXXIX (5781). 7 July 1999. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  2. ^ "The Mighty Boosh: the production team". BBC Press Office. 10 October 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Television Craft: New Director - Fiction in 2005". BAFTA. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  4. ^ Bunny and the Bull at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  5. ^ Singh, Anita (14 May 2012). "David Heyman: Paddington Bear is a story about an outsider finding a home". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  6. ^ Jacob, Stolworthy. "Paddington 2 recruits Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson as filming begins". The Independent. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Paddington (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Paddington (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Film in 2015". BAFTA. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  10. ^ Keslassy, Elsa. "Studiocanal Signs Licensing Deals Ahead of 'Paddington 2' Release". Variety. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  11. ^ Busch, Anita. "TWC Schedules 'Paddington 2' For Wide Release". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Paddington 2". Year-End Lists. Archived from the original on 29 April 2021. Retrieved 8 December 2023.
  13. ^ Kit, Borys (12 February 2018). "'Paddington' Director Paul King in Talks for 'Willy Wonka' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  14. ^ "Wonka, review: the most fun you'll have in a cinema all year". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 December 2023.