Charlie Brooker

Charlie Brooker (b. 1971) is an English satirist, critic, presenter and charliebrookerpicproducer.  He is known for his sharp and cynical observations.  His main subject is the effect of media (television, radio, print, video games, social media) on people.  Writing primarily for television, his shows have included TVGoHome; Dead Set; Screenwipe and, most notably, Black Mirror.  Brooker has also written for PC Zone and The Guardian.  His awards have included a BAFTA; a Royal Television Society Award; three British Comedy Awards; a British Press Award; and three Primetime Emmy Awards.

Brooker was raised a Friend at Wallingford (BrYM) Meeting.  His grandparents were Quaker missionaries.  His parents were actively involved in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.  Brooker’s Quaker upbringing was very relaxed, however.  He says, “I wasn’t really aware they were a religious organization for quite some time….  No one tried to hammer the God nail into my forehead at an impressionable age.  In fact, the best thing about being a Quaker was the lack of God in my life. As a Quaker, I got to duck out of religious education lessons at my Church of England primary school. I sat outside the classroom with the offspring of other godless heathens, sketching comic strips….”  While he continues to call himself a Quaker, he has also identified as an atheist.

Brooker is a ferocious talent.  His Black Mirror, for example, is extraordinary.  A sort of darker Twilight Zone, it challenges people’s unquestioning acceptance of social media. “The Waldo Moment”, for example, eerily prophesizes the rise of President Trump.  Highly recommended.

Gary Sandman

October 2018

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