John Bishop (comedian)

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John Bishop
John Bishop 2011.jpg
John Bishop in 2011
Birth name John Joseph Bishop
Born 30 November 1966 (1966-11-30) (age 47)
Liverpool, Lancashire, England, UK
Medium Stand-up, television, film, radio
Years active 2002–present
Spouse Melanie (1993–present)[1]
Website Official site
from the BBC programme Desert Island Discs, 24 June 2012.[2]

John Bishop
Personal information
Full name John Joseph Bishop
Date of birth 30 November 1966 (1966-11-30) (age 47)
Place of birth Liverpool, Lancashire, England, UK
Height 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–1990 Hyde 41 (7)
1990–1991 Southport 35 (7)
Total 76 (14)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

John Joseph Bishop (born 30 November 1966)[3] is an English comedian and actor. He is also known for his charity work, having raised £3.4m for Sport Relief 2012.

A keen footballer, he played for non-league teams Hyde and Southport and worked as a salesman in the pharmaceutical industry prior to becoming a stand-up comedian. His television debut came on The Panel. He has subsequently appeared in the E4 teen drama Skins and in the Ken Loach film Route Irish in addition to his own shows John Bishop's Britain and John Bishop's Only Joking. He also had a regular Sunday slot on Liverpool radio station Radio City 96.7 called Bishop's Sunday Service.

Early life[edit]

Bishop was born in Liverpool's Mill Road Maternity Hospital, the son of Kathleen "Kathy" (Hackett) and Edward E. Bishop.[4] He grew up in Winsford and Runcorn and attended Murdishaw West Primary School[5] and Brookvale High School after his family relocated from Huyton.[6] He then briefly studied English at Newcastle Polytechnic[5][7] and gained a BA (Hons) Degree in Social Science at Manchester Polytechnic.[8]


John Bishop carrying the Olympic Torch at Jodrell Bank in 2012

From the 1990s he worked as a Medical Representative for the pharmaceutical company Syntex, before leaving in 2006 to pursue a career as a full-time comedian.[9]Bishop performed stand-up comedy for the first time in Manchester in October 2000, and the following year made it to the final of all the major new act competitions, including So You Think You're Funny, the Daily Telegraph Open Mic Awards, the BBC New Comedy Awards, and the City Life North West Comedian of The Year Award, which he won. In 2002, he was named best newcomer by BBC Radio Merseyside, and in 2004 he won the North West Comedy Award for best stand-up.[10] In 2009, he appeared as the first act on Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow in Manchester. That year he appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where his show Elvis Has Left the Building was nominated for an "Eddie" (Edinburgh Comedy Award).[11]

In 2009 he appeared in Channel 4's short series Comedy Showcase, and was a contestant on Celebrity Mastermind. In that year he also appeared in BBC Three sitcom Lunch Monkeys as fireman Terry. He has appeared five times on 5 Live's Fighting Talk quiz show, claiming four victories on the programme. His material is drawn from his life's experiences, including fatherhood, cycling around the world,[12] playing semi-professional football, and working as a nightclub doorman. His first television appearance was in 2007 on the RTÉ topical-comedy show The Panel, where he regularly sat as a panelist until 2008. He then went onto the Channel 4 panel show 8 out of 10 Cats before he appeared on the BBC's Live at the Apollo. In December 2009, Bishop started his own TV show on LFC TV called John Bishop Meets..., where he interviews former Liverpool football players.

In 2010, he was a celebrity guest team captain on What Do Kids Know? along with Rufus Hound, Joe Swash and Sara Cox on Watch. He has also appeared on BBC's Mock the Week, and Radio 4's Act Your Age. In series 3 and series 4 of Skins, Bishop portrayed Emily and Katie Fitch's father. In 2010, he appeared in Ken Loach's Route Irish, which received its premiere at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Bishop is a regular panelist on the Sky1 show, A League of Their Own, as well as a stand-up/sketch show for BBC One entitled John Bishop's Britain.[13] On 11 July 2010, John came runner-up in the second-ever game of How Many Peter Jones'? on ITV's James Corden's World Cup Live. He has appeared on BBC programmes Have I Got News for You, Would I Lie to You?, and on episode 3 of the I series of QI as a guest. He also chaired an episode of the 40th series of Have I Got News For You on 28 October 2010.

During an appearance as a guest on an episode of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross aired on 12 February 2010, it was revealed that prior to his TV breakthrough Bishop had worked as a warm-up for the show. In 2011, Bishop appeared on Top Gear as the Star in the Reasonably Priced Car, setting a time of 1:42.8. In March 2011, Bishop, along with fellow comedians Alan Carr, James Corden, Catherine Tate, and David Walliams appeared in the video for Take That's single "Happy Now" for Comic Relief. On 24 June 2012, he appeared on Desert Island Discs. On 28 August and 4 September 2012, he appeared in Accused as Peter for two episodes. In late 2012, he appeared on the BBC's genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? and on an ITV one off episode called Panto!, where he starred as a local Morecambe disc jockey called Lewis Loud. As of January 2013 Bishop hosts John Bishop's Only Joking on Sky 1.

John Bishop headlined the Vodafone comedy festival in Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens that started on 28 July 2013. Before the gig, a reporter called Brian Boyd interviewed him about his recently replenished marriage and how his wife eventually found him funny again [14]

Bishop's autobiography entitled How Did All This Happen? was published in October 2013 .[5] In November 2013, he hosted the 2013 Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium theatre in the presence of His Royal Highness, Charles, Prince of Wales who was accompanied by his wife, Her Royal Highness, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.[15]


At the 2010 British Comedy Awards, Bishop won the Best Male Comedy Breakthrough Artist award.[16] He became the Number 1 "Star in a reasonably priced car" on Top Gear on Sunday 23 January 2011 after he appeared on the BBC Two show. He drove the Kia Cee'd around the test track in 1 minute and 42.8 seconds to become the fastest star in the latest reasonably priced car, knocking Tom Cruise off the top, his record lasted nearly half a year until being knocked off by Rowan Atkinson (1 minutes 42.2 seconds) on Sunday 17 July 2011. He was also the fastest in the League of Their Own skeleton race, beating Georgie Thompson and James Corden.

On 18 July 2014 John Bishop was awarded an honorary fellowship at Liverpool John Moores University in recognition of his contribution to the arts and charity work during a ceremony at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral.

Personal life[edit]

Bishop has been married to his wife Melanie since 1993. They have three sons Joe, Luke and Daniel.[1][17] He lives in Cheshire.[18] Bishop's hobbies include football; he is an avid Liverpool fan, a fact frequently brought up on the show A League of Their Own in which he was a panelist. He has a brother and two sisters. His brother, Eddie, is a former professional footballer with Tranmere Rovers and Chester City.[19]

In July 2010, Bishop took part in protests against then owners of Liverpool FC Tom Hicks and George Gillett[20] and later took part in a celebrity-studded protest video put out on YouTube.[21] Bishop pre-recorded a video message to the 2011 Labour Party conference, which was being held in Liverpool.[22]

Bishop has been a vegetarian for over 20 years.[23] He talked about this on BBC2's Something for The Weekend and his episode on food on his stand-up show John Bishop's Britain.[24] On an episode of the Jonathan Ross show in 2013 he said he had been vegetarian for 27 years. In 2013, PETA declared him to be one of the "Sexiest Vegetarians" of the year.[25]

Charity work[edit]

In 2010, Bishop took part in Channel 4's Comedy Gala, a benefit show held in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, filmed live at the O2 Arena in London on 30 March. In 2012, he completed a 290-mile (470 km) triathlon from Paris to London in five days to raise money for the BBC charity Sport Relief. His "week of hell" began at the Eiffel Tower on 27 February, from where he cycled 185 miles (298 km) to Calais. The next day, he rowed across the English Channel as part of a team including Davina McCall, Andrew Flintoff and Denise Lewis, then ran the 90 miles (140 km) from Dover to London in three days, finishing in Trafalgar Square on 2 March. On Sport Relief day, 23 March, it was announced that his efforts had raised £3.4 million.[26]

Bishop has also competed in numerous charity football matches, including playing in the Ciaran Geddes memorial match at the Deva Stadium, Chester, where Bishop scored two goals whilst playing alongside his brother Eddie for Chester FC.[27] On 28 May 2012, Bishop took part in fourth edition of Soccer Aid, playing for the England team in a 3-1 win against the Rest of the World.

In 2014 Bishop once again took part in Sport Relief as a team captain for the Clash of the Titans event were he competed against Sebastian Coe and his team. In May 2014 John Bishop donated £96,000 to the Hillsborough Family Support Group after being moved by personal statements delivered by the victims' families at their inquests.


Title Released Notes
The Elvis Has Left the Building Tour 15 November 2010 Live at the Liverpool Empire Theatre
The Sunshine Tour 14 November 2011 Live at Liverpool's Echo Arena
Rollercoaster Tour 2012 12 November 2012 Live at the Manchester Arena


  1. ^ a b Beth Neil (11 June 2010). "John Bishop: We talk to TV's hottest new comedian - 3am & Mirror Online". Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "John Bishop". Desert Island Discs. 24 June 2012. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  3. ^ "John Bishop on Liverpool FC and One Night in Istanbul at the Empire", 2 June 2009 (Retrieved: 20 February 2010)
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c Bishop, John (2013). How Did All This Happen?. Harper. ISBN 978- 0007436125. 
  6. ^ Jordan, Barbara (8 September 2011). "John Bishop congratulates adults with learning disabilities on their beer". Runcorn and Widnes World. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  7. ^ John Bishop Interview at Newcastle Chronicle Live. Retrieved 1 September 2014
  8. ^ Manchester Metropolitan University alumini. Retrieved 31 August 2014
  9. ^ "Comedian John Bishop says Tories are failing our young". 10 November 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "North West Comedy Awards - the winners!", BBC Manchester.
  11. ^ "Edinburgh Comedy Awards - The Nominees". BBC. 28 August 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2009. 
  12. ^ Bishop, John. "Standing up for men in Lycra: John Bishop tries pedal power". Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "John Bishop's Britain". BBC. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  14. ^ <>
  15. ^ "RVP 2013, London Palladium". Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  16. ^ Schofield, Ben (24 January 2011). "John Bishop named best Male Breakthrough comedian at British Comedy Awards". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  17. ^ "John Bishop: The brighter side of stand-up". Manchester Evening News. 29 April 2010. 
  18. ^ BBC News: John Bishop: HS2 will 'kill communities' (accessed 10 October 2013)
  19. ^ "Our Eddie". John Bishop Online. Archived from the original on 3 February 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  20. ^ Weston, Alan (3 July 2010). "Mass rally to oust Tom Hicks and George Gillett from Liverpool FC". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  21. ^ Traynor, Luke (30 September 2010). "Hollywood film producer Mike Jeffries to launch anti Tom Hicks and George Gillett Liverpool FC campaign". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  22. ^ "The Laz Word...on the Labour Party Conference". Liverpool Confidential. 26 September 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  23. ^ Midgley, Carol (27 July 2011). "Interview: John Bishop". Radio Times. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  24. ^ "John tells his parents he's a vegetarian". John Bishop's Britain, Series 2, Food. BBC One. 6 August 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  25. ^ "Bishop, Cole Sexiest Vegetarians," Belfast Telegraph, 30 December 2013.
  26. ^ "£4.2 million for Sport Relief". 2 March 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  27. ^,,10786~2770471,00.html

External links[edit]