Louis Theroux sat on sofa looking at camera with filming activity is happening around him
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Louis Theroux: Redefiner, King of Controversy and Cult Hero Across Generations

Enter the world of Louis Theroux, a captivating storyteller, cult hero and the king of controversy. With his trademark dry wit and unorthodox approach to interviewing, Theroux has risen to prominence as one of Britain's most celebrated documentary filmmakers and broadcasters.

From delving into taboo subjects on screen to producing thought-provoking books as a talented author, his journey is as intriguing as the stories he uncovers, and his talents know no bounds.

Unconventional Beginnings

From the outset, Theroux was destined for the world of writing, being born into a family of literary giants. His father, Paul Theroux, is a renowned travel writer and novelist, while his uncles, Alexander, and Peter Theroux, are accomplished novelists and writers.

Surrounded by influential characters, he found himself becoming friendly with comedians Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish during his school days, and even struck up a quirky friendship with none other than former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.

Upon graduating from Oxford University with first-class honours in 1991, Theroux dove headfirst into the world of journalism. His journey began in California, where he started working at Metro Silicon Valley, the alternative free weekly newspaper, before embarking on a writing stint at Spy Magazine.

He didn’t know that what would come next would catapult him into the spotlight.

Theroux’s Big Break

Louis Theroux found his break in television in 1994 when he began working for the American documentary maker Michael Moore, who hired him as a writer and correspondent on TV Nation.

Louis found his niche, and signed a deal with the BBC, where he launched his signature series "Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends," in 1998. The show featured interviews with individuals holding extreme beliefs or leading unconventional lives, earning Theroux the Richard Dimbleby Award and the Best Presenter BAFTA in 2001 for his exceptional, never-seen-before work.

Following his previous success, he launched the ‘When Louis Met…’ series from 2000-2002 delving into the interesting lives of British celebs. He interviewed eight individuals over the two series, including Jimmy Savile, which was voted one of the top 50 documentaries of all time by Channel 4.

Throughout the early to late 2000s, Theroux produced captivating one-off episodes for the BBC, exploring a range of controversial topics. Some of these included "Louis and the Brothel" in 2003, "America's Medicated Kids" in 2010, and "Talking to Anorexia" in 2017 (which earned him a BAFTA nomination in 2018).
He has always tackled sensitive subjects with empathy and without judgement, contributing to his success on these projects.

"I Don’t Think I’m Afraid of Anything" Says Louis
Louis Theroux Podcast
Louis Theroux podcast grounded

Theroux and the New Generation

In recent years, Theroux has been mixing things up, ditching his traditional interview style for something a bit more modern.

From writing three books from 2018 – 2021 to jumping into the ever so popular world of podcasting in 2020 just as Covid-19 lockdown began, with ‘Grounded with Louis Theroux’ – he's always on the lookout for fresh ways to spark conversation.

Locked indoors, he seized the opportunity to chat with some big names he'd been itching to interview – finding opportunity when faced with limitations.

His most recent and ongoing podcast ‘The Louis Theroux Podcast’ is a series of freewheeling conversations with celebrities from across the globe. Featuring Shania Twain, Craig David, and Ben Elton.

From BBC Background to Social Media Stardom

But then, in 2022, Theroux flipped the script in the most unexpected way. The acclaimed documentarian launched himself into TikTok stardom when an old rap clip resurfaced and went viral.

This catchy tune ‘jiggle jiggle’, originally part of his "Weird Weekends" series from 2000 was transformed into an auto-tuned meme. Initially featured on the popular Chicken Shop Date YouTube channel by Amelia Dimoldenburg, it soon took TikTok by storm, appearing in over 6.2 million videos. And Louis isn't just a hit on TikTok - he's also collected over one million followers on Instagram. Even Grime artist Stormzy is a fan, collaborating with Louis on a documentary series in the same year.

Despite his success and stable career, Louis fearlessly embraces change and innovation, a bold move that others in his position might hesitate to make, fearing it could disrupt their stability and achievements.

He might joke about "slowing down," but his impact on journalism and television has been anything but slow. With his authentic style and talent for raising awareness about important issues, Louis Theroux has become a household name, leaving an undeniable mark on audiences of all ages.

"All That Stuff I Thought I'd do When I was Older I am Now Going to Do - With Gusto!" He says.

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We are big believers that you should be able to design a life you love and not stick to a linear path, especially when it comes to your career choices. In fact, we'd go as far to say that the concept of retirement in its current form needs to be retired. Yes, that's right, there's no rulebook here!