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Michael "Atters" Attree was born 22 April 1965 and is a British satirist, comedy writer and performer.
"Atters", as he is more widely known, is often portrayed within the media as both authentic English gentleman and Ealing Comedies-style villainous cad.
Attree's parents were British colonials who met in East Africa during the early 1950s. His late father worked as a District Officer in Kenya for Her Majesty's Government during the Mau Mau Uprising.
Attree's formative years were spent in Oxford at his Italianate parental home (designed by Sir Bertram Clough Williams-Ellis of Portmeirion and The Prisoner acclaim). He moved to London during the early 1980s and graduated in Fine Art & Film from Saint Martins School of Art. At that time the late art connoisseur and critic George Melly compared Attree's abstract oil painting style to that of Willem de Kooning.
For a considerable period he lived on the remote island of Iona. Here he resided both within a medieval ex-Benedictine monastery (Iona Abbey) and the Bishop of Argyll and the Isles' Bishop's House retreat. Whilst researching Scottish Highland folklore and witchcraft he taught Celtic art to the Iona Community. As a self proclaimed Grand Master he later stated: "Being a treeless island, constructing a Wicker Man proved difficult, so I enlisted the islanders for a Pagan Burry man procession instead." He also established a Ladies Pipe Smoking Club. Referring to the numerous complaints regarding his non-Christian beliefs and activities Attree later noted how: "An ecclesiastical invitation to leave the island duly arrived".
He relocated to Brighton where he became a fine art and antiques dealer and also ran a business selling monocles. A Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood stained glass triptych housed within Brighton's Annunciation Church celebrates his ancient family name whose Anglo Saxon lineage predates the Norman Conquest and is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. "Dominus" Attree first held court at Sussex's Great Ote Hall in 1438 and the Attree family remained "Lords of the Manor" for almost a century.
"Atters" is Editor of Whiskerade for the satirical magazine The Chap and is the publications official "resident moustachioed bounder". He also edits Judge My Shrub and Moustache News online and regularly officiates during the annual Chap Olympiad (presiding as "Official Mascot" at the 2009 event).He began as the magazines Moustache Grooming Editor (and activist) and went on to become Editor of Roguishness. His former series The Bounder recounted his numerous rakish antics including his exploits within Soho (London) and Hollywood and an interview with "fellow bounder" Leslie Phillips. Referring to "Atters" Le Figaro magazine professed: "This man is a bomb. A bomb in stripy jacket, of course, but an explosive charge of madness, humour and eccentricity. Anarcho-dandy, Michael Attree is a revolutionary cell in three-piece suit who cherishes the dream of overthrowing the Western consumer society."
His articles (including broadsheet reviews) are generally black humoured and Gonzo in style and span from mainstream publications such as Time Out and The Guardian to erotic comedy for magazines such as Penthouse Forum, Erotic Knave (as "The Knave") and formerly Erotic Review (as an ongoing columnist). As Flux Magazines Paranormal Investigations Editor, his satirical series Atters Attree's Temple of Arcane explored the supernatural through spoof case studies and carefully staged esoteric photographs (including UFOs, Fossilised Poltergeists, Gymslip Levitation and Ectoplasmic Discharge). He was also serialised in T3 Magazine (with his socially dysfunctional robotic sidekick Robodog) as their caddish Gadget Guru.
From the mid 1980s Attree was an independent 16mm filmmaker and active member of the LFMC . On graduating from CSM, he moved into television having been immediately commissioned by Janet Street-Porter (then head of BBC Youth and Entertainment Features) to work on various BBC programmes as a producer and director. He later worked on documentaries for Channel Four. Lindsay Anderson, film critic and director of both O Lucky Man! and If.... once said of his work: "Menacing, disturbing, disturbed. Such is the ruthlessness and ironic-poetic spirit of Attree's probing camera".
Attree regularly contributes to both radio and television and in 2009 "Atters" appeared on Blighty with comedian Vic Reeves in My Brilliant Britain, a documentary about Tweed where he discussed the weaves traditional associations with being British. In 2006 Attree featured in a Lonely Planet Six Degrees documentary in which he remonstrates the demise of British eccentricity and the gentleman. He later offers his personal historical view of London's River Thames (recounting the 19th century social researcher and journalist Henry Mayhew's world of the mudlark). In 2003 he was sponsored by Channel Four to attend Milan's European Beard & Moustache Championships as part of the British team.Attree returned "triumphant" with a trophy.He has also featured as a character within various popular-culture Animutations.
His theater show Atters Attree's Chaporgasmic Terrors is a sci-fi/horror comedy spin off of his former Flux magazine series. Here he takes on the role of an ex-colonial paranormal investigator and conspiracy theorist. Heralding his show The Independent stated "Try to resist succumbing to the dandyish charm of Michael "Atters" Attree, moustache-grooming expert and all-round cad as he explores the supernatural with his "magic laptop" and sheds light on risqu√© case studies - such as Yootha Joyce's Incarnate Negligee." While (according to The Guardian) "Paranormal sitarist "Atters" shows his photographic evidence of semi naked levitating ladies and spontaneous human combustion while accompanied by live theremin."His act was first performed at the Komedia theater, Brighton in 2007 and later that year in Dublin where Attree claimed his satirical portrayals of The Abominable Gayman and The PayPal Popes Stigmata were received with "boos" and a sheep heart thrown at him on stage. In 2009 his show was performed as part of the Brighton Festival Fringe and showcased various supporting (paranormally themed) burlesque acts.
He is also known for his "saucy" postcard style as a Master of Ceremonies performer within the fields of burlesque, compereing and performing at theaters such as the Brighton Dome complex and the Brighton Centre and at shows such as the London Burlesque Festival in 2007, Burlesque Against Breast Cancer in 2008 and Camp Bestival in 2009. Once while performing as compere at a large stage show, Attree repeatedly introduced Nick Cave as "Mr. Nicholas Cave" despite the singers constant yells of "My name's Nick!" "Atters" finally apologised and re-introduced him as "Nick Cage".
Throughout his work Attree has increasingly highlighted numerous conspiracy theories including global media manipulation, CIA funded terrorism, the New world Order and the Bohemian Grove. Featuring "Atters" in an interview, Le Figaro magazine of August 8, 2009 stated: "This not just a retro dressed, fanatical nostalgic, but also an outstanding analyst of our society;" quoting Attree as saying: "Our human intellect is debased every day. It operates under the dictatorship of clandestine bankers, industrialists and corporations behind the Bilderberg Group. Such people would rather we watched reality TV and ate lard then question their nefarious activities." In Penthouse Forum he further states: "We the British (and society in general) perform the most bizarre psychological contortions to avoid being embarrassed and therefore we are apt to "toe the line", shut up and not ask questions. Hence my delight in parodying petty embarrassments at every level - preferably at a most inappropriate moment."
In 2008 his artwork was donated to the charity the Willow Foundation for their Stars on Canvas campaign involving high profile celebrities. "Atters" has also annually supported the Tacheback charity event along with comedian Charlie Higson and celebrities from the fashion, sports and entertainment industries.
Equally famous for his handlebar moustache, Attree sits upon the committee of London's Handlebar Club and edits the club journal. "Atters" has been credited by The Guardian as the club's "most rakish member." He has also been Honorable Chairman of the World Beard and Moustache Championships and was Master of Ceremonies (and a key organiser) of the 2007 Brighton Centre event. FT Magazine declaired that he frequently sleeps donned in a protective moustache snood and Le Figaro cites "Atters" as "one of the most beautiful mustaches of England."
Attree is a fencer and belongs to a fencing club claiming this to be "a wise precaution against being challenged to a duel."