->''"Comedy will always be central to what I do, it's just an instinct for me, but I am a writer and always have been."''

Ben Elton (born 3 May 1959) is an English writer, director and comedian who co-wrote ''Series/BlackAdder'' (from its second season onward) with Richard Curtis. He also wrote and produced ''Series/TheThinBlueLine'', co-wrote ''Series/TheYoungOnes'' with Creator/RikMayall and Lise Meyer, and was solo writer on ''Filthy, Rich and Catflap'' and the now largely-forgotten sketch show ''Series/{{Alfresco}}''.

He has also written three West End plays, several "jukebox" musicals including ''Theatre/WeWillRockYou'', and 11 novels.

His published books to date are:

* ''Stark'' (1989)
* ''Gridlock'' (1991)
* ''This Other Eden'' (1993)
* ''Popcorn'' (1996)
* ''Blast From the Past'' (1998)
* ''Inconceivable'' (1999) - adapted into the film ''Film/MaybeBaby'' (2000), also written by Elton
* ''Dead Famous'' (2001)
* ''High Society'' (2002)
* ''Past Mortem'' (2004)
* ''The First Casualty'' (2005)
* ''Chart Throb'' (2006)
* ''Blind Faith'' (2007)
* ''Meltdown'' (2009) - Probably his best known novel in America due to Music/OneDirection.
* ''Two Brothers'' (2012)
* ''Time and Time Again'' (2014)

He also had a short-lived comedy show in 1998 on Creator/TheBBC. The [[http://www.meldrum.co.uk/mhp/identzone/bbc1/benelton.html opening]] of each show spoofed BBC 1's hot air balloon ident of the time.

In America, he's probably best known for one line from his 2009 novel ''Meltdown.'' "'No!' Jimmy protested." The reason the quote became [[MemeticMutation so popular]] is because Music/OneDirection's Louis Tomlinson read it out of a copy of the book on one of the band's web diaries, and it has become a popular joke with Directioners ever since.
!!As well as his clever use of tropes in the TV series ''Series/BlackAdder'' and ''Series/TheThinBlueLine'', they can also be found in his novels:
* AnimalWrongsGroup: Woggle in ''Dead Famous'' is a one-man example.
* AssholeVictim: Many of the murder victims in ''Past Mortem'' [[spoiler:though Christine, while an AlphaBitch as a teen and a [[BrainlessBeauty shallow ditz]] as an adult is sympathetic and her murder comes across as a MoralEventHorizon for the killer.]]
* BedlamHouse: Subverted in ''Dead Famous'' when a contestant on a reality TV show pretends to have been abused in a mental institution, in order to boost her appeal with the public. The producer knows this is a lie because both of her own parents were institutionalized, and decides not to broadcast the footage.
* BettyAndVeronica: In ''Past Mortem'', where Newson had relationships with Helen (Betty - albeit a rather [[BreakTheCutie warped]] version) and Christine (Veronica), who later reappear in his life as an adult in the run-up to a school reunion. [[spoiler:Over the events of the book Christine is murdered by the serial killer, Newson discovers that Helen is chronically depressed and mentally ill, and the story ends with him asking out the ThirdOptionLoveInterest: Natasha, the woman he believes he loved all along.]]
* BitchInSheepsClothing: [[spoiler:Sandra Dee]] in ''Blind Faith''.
* BittersweetEnding
** ''Blind Faith'': [[spoiler:Trafford is burned as a heretic by the Temple, but he tricks Sandra Dee into triggering an auto-system that will send Humanist emails to thousands of homes. As he shouts "EV LOVE!" ("evolve", backwards - a code word used by the Humanists) he sees people in the crowd nodding and trying to catch his eye, indicating that they received his emails. This gives him hope that the Temple will one day be overthrown.]]
** ''High Society'': [[spoiler: Peter is convicted, sent to jail, and Angela divorces him. His disillusioned kids are suggested to be on the first steps towards drug abuse. As a result of the media outcry, the King of Thailand refuses to release Sonia, whose lawyers continue to petition for her to be deported on mental health grounds. Tommy finds Jessie (who has just been released from prison) and takes her on the holiday she dreamed of.]]
** ''Blast From the Past'': [[spoiler:There is a huge scandal over Jack's death and the details of his involvement with Polly, just as he feared; and Polly is left with nothing. Harry contacts her, wanting to know more about her and her relationship with his brother. At the end of the story he comes to visit Polly, and she notices how much he looks like Jack, only that his voice is "kinder, somehow"]]
* BrainlessBeauty: Several, often used to deliver an {{Aesop}} about shallowness or vanity. A more sympathetic example is Kelly in ''Dead Famous''. Christine Copperfield in ''Past Mortem'' is similarly somewhat sympathetic [[spoiler: and likewise ends up murdered.]]
* BrokenBird: Helen in ''Past Mortem'', Jessie in ''High Society'', to some extent Sally in ''Dead Famous''.
* ButchLesbian: Played with in ''Dead Famous'': Sally, although outwardly the textbook example of this trope, is one of the most sympathetic characters in the book. Also inverted with Trish, who is in the closet and resents people assuming she is heterosexual simply because she's not butch.
* ButtMonkey: Robbo in ''Meltdown''. After he [[spoiler: is killed while drink driving]], the protagonist Jimmy reflects on how the joke doesn't seem so funny any more ...
* CampingACrapper: The whole plot of [[spoiler: ''Dead Famous'']] turns out to be based around this. [[spoiler: Geraldine realised that at least one of the girls would have to go to the bathroom and planned for the murder to take place there.]]
* CoitusEnsues: In several books, to the point where ''The First Casualty'' earned Elton a nomination for the Bad Sex Awards (an annual prize given to the author of the worst sex scene in fiction that year.)
* CrapsackWorld: ''Blind Faith'' and ''This Other Eden'' are set in this.
* DepravedKidsShowHost: Chloe in ''High Society''. Tommy mentions that almost every children's TV presenter he has met was a drug user, because, he imagines, it is too much stress for them to constantly act perky and cheerful for their audience.
* DuringTheWar: ''The First Casualty'' is set during UsefulNotes/WorldWarI.
* {{Expy}}: ''Blind Faith'' didn't do as well as Elton's other books, partly because of criticism that its plot was too heavily borrowed from ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour''.
** Scout and Wayne in ''Popcorn'' are obvious Expies of Mickey and Mallory in ''Film/NaturalBornKillers'', the entire book being a satire of the moral panic over media violence.
** Calvin, Beryl and Rodney in ''Chart Throb'' are Expies of the real life ''Series/TheXFactor'' judges.
* FatBastard: Barbieheart in ''Blind Faith'', who uses her position as the online moderator for everyone in Trafford's housing complex to bully and exploit the residents. It's suggested that she was given the role of moderator ''because'' her size renders her unable to leave the house, so she is perfectly placed to spend the whole day monitoring everyone via screens.
* FieryRedhead: Jessie in ''High Society''.
* FunetikAksent: ''High Society'', ad nauseam.
* GranolaGirl: Layla in ''Dead Famous''. Polly from ''Blast From the Past'' was one as a teenager.
* HisNameIs: Happens in ''Past Mortem''. Christine Copperfield left a message on Newson's answerphone just before her death, but was interrupted by the arrival of her killer at the door, and hung up so she could talk to them. Her message indicates that the killer is someone she knows; she just never got to say ''who''.
* HoldingTheFloor: In ''Dead Famous'', Inspector Coleridge talks on television for five and a half minutes to delay the end of the show so his colleagues can arrive with [[spoiler: faked]] evidence to prompt a confession from the murderer.
* ILetGwenStacyDie: Much of Trafford's motivation in ''Blind Faith'' is due to his first child's death from an illness easily preventable by vaccination.
* {{Ladette}}: Kelly and Moon in ''Dead Famous'' fit the trope, with Geraldine referring to Kelly as "the little ladette slapper."
* LawyerFriendlyCameo: Prince Charles is a major character in ''Chart Throb'', but is never named.
* LittleMissBadass: Anna Leman in ''High Society''
%%* LoveMakesYouCrazy
* LoveMakesYouEvil: Peter in ''Blast From the Past''.
* ManipulativeEditing: Performed by characters in ''Dead Famous'' and ''Chart Throb'', both of which satirize reality TV.
%%* MeaningfulName
* NewEden: The basic plot of ''This Other Eden''.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Bruce Delamitri, of ''Popcorn,'' has an attitude and a filmography that are strongly reminiscent of Creator/QuentinTarantino, to the point where one of his movies even includes a scene where [[Film/PulpFiction two gangsters need to get their suits cleaned after killing someone they weren't intended to and getting spattered in blood.]]
* OnlyOneName: In ''Dead Famous'', we never find out Trish's surname, or Sergeant Hooper's first name.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: Most of the cast of ''Meltdown'' begin like this, until [[ForegoneConclusion the recession hits and they are left with nothing.]]
* StalkerWithACrush: Peter in ''Blast From the Past'', Carlisle in ''Dead Famous''.
* TomatoSurprise: In ''Time and Time Again'' the hero is sent from 2024 to 1914 to prevent World War I. Toward the end readers learn [[spoiler:why it's never referred to by number, but occasionally called "The Great War". In their timeline it was the only world war, but it lasted twice longer.]]
* WarIsHell: Pretty much ''First Casualty'' and ''Two Brothers'' in a nutshell.
* YourCheatingHeart: For much of ''Blind Faith'' Trafford has an affair with Sandra Dee while his wife, Chantorria, is also having an affair with Confessor Bailey. They inhabit a [[CrapsackWorld dystopian future]] where marriage is not considered a permanent fixture and most marriages last only two to three years at most.