Richard Ellef Ayoade (born 12 June 1977 in Whipps Cross, London) is an English comedian, actor, writer and director best known for his role as Maurice Moss in The IT Crowd.
Ayoade was born an only child to a Norwegian mother, Dagny (née Baassuik), and a Nigerian father, Layide Ade Laditi Ayoade. Ayoade studied at St. Joseph's College in Ipswich, Suffolk and later studied law at St Catharine's College, Cambridge (1995–1998) where he won the Martin Steele Prize for play production and became president of the prestigious Footlights during 1997 -1998.
While in Footlights, Ayoade acted in and wrote many shows. He and Footlights vice-president John Oliver wrote two pantomimes together: Sleeping Beauty, and Grimm Fairy Tales. Ayoade acted in both Footlights' 1997 and 1998 touring shows: Emotional Baggage and Between a Rock and a Hard Place (directed by Cal McCrystal).
On 8 September 2007 he married the actress Lydia Fox. They live in Gipsy Hill, South London.