Jon Culshaw

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For the Decca/London record producer, see John Culshaw.
Jon Culshaw
Jon Culshaw.jpg
Born (1968-06-02) 2 June 1968 (age 46)
Ormskirk, Lancashire, England
Nationality British
Years active 1980s-present
Genres Impressions, sketch comedy
Notable works and roles Dead Ringers (2000–07)
2DTV (2001–04)
The Impressionable Jon Culshaw (2004)
The Sky at Night (2007—)
Headcases (2008)
The Impressions Show (2009-)

Jonathan Peter Culshaw (born 2 June 1968) is an English impressionist and comedian, best known for his work on the BBC Radio 4 and BBC Two show Dead Ringers from 2000 until 2007.

He has appeared on the ITV show 2DTV as well as his own show The Impressions Show with Culshaw and Stephenson co-starring Debra Stephenson since 2009.

Early life[edit]

Culshaw was born in Ormskirk[1] and educated at St Bede's RC High School[2] and St John Rigby College, Wigan.


Early career[edit]

Culshaw's radio career began in hospital radio in Ormskirk. His first job was at Red Rose Radio (now Rock FM) in Preston in 1987, where, even then, he used to occasionally read the weather in the voice of Frank Bruno. He did voice-over work, then was catapulted to prominence with Spitting Image, where he voiced around forty characters, including John Major, then the Prime Minister.

Culshaw is also a former student of Canterbury Christ Church University.[3]

For around four years in the late 1980s, Culshaw was a DJ on commercial radio station Viking FM,[4] based in Hull, and also had a breakfast show on Pennine Radio (now The Pulse of West Yorkshire) and Radio Wave in Blackpool. It was a receptionist at Viking FM who persuaded Culshaw that he should go onstage with his impressions and make it his living. Culshaw later appeared on BBC Radio 2's It's Been a Bad Week, appeared as a guest on the BBC Two Star Trek Night quiz in August 1996, and was also a regular guest on the Chris Moyles afternoon show on BBC Radio 1 from 1998 to 2002, where he would phone up commercial organisations such as a Kwik-Fit garage in the voice of Patrick Moore or Obi-Wan Kenobi politely requesting whether they could service his X-wing fighter, and how much time it would take.

Later career[edit]

Culshaw rose to fame in January 1998 while working with Steve Penk on Capital Radio, by impersonating William Hague and succeeding in contacting Number 10 Downing Street. He was put through to Tony Blair who, despite instantly discovering the ruse, had a lengthy conversation with him until a member of Blair's staff ended the call.[5]

Culshaw was one of the stars of the BBC Radio 4 comedy series Dead Ringers, which ran from 2000 to 2007 as well as the BBC Two television series of the same name, from 2002 to 2007.

Between 2001 and 2002, Culshaw hosted a programme on ITV called Alter Ego, where he interviewed male celebrities in their own style of speaking, a form of simultaneous translation. Culshaw also appeared on 2DTV, a cartoon version of Dead Ringers. In early 2004, using the same production team, he had his own programme, The Impressionable Jon Culshaw commissioned for ITV.

Some of Culshaw's most famous impressions include ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Obi-Wan Kenobi (in the Alec Guinness persona), Russell Crowe, President George W. Bush, Ozzy Osbourne, Dale Winton, the newsreader Brian Perkins, Sir Patrick Moore and Tom Baker.

Culshaw also appeared in the Doctor Who webcast "Death Comes to Time" and audio drama The Kingmaker. In the latter, he got to perform his Tom Baker impression "for real" (voicing tape recordings of the fourth Doctor), although his nominal part was that of Earl Rivers.

In 2005, Culshaw was a celebrity contestant on Comic Relief does Fame Academy and was the fourth person eliminated.

In January 2006, Culshaw presented one series of the BBC programme Jon Culshaw's Commercial Breakdown

In January 2008, he appeared on Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack, as part of a pub-quiz team with Chris Moyles.

In May 2008, Culshaw appeared in the BBC documentary series Comedy Map of Britain.

He also voiced Piston Pete in the 2008 film Agent Crush.

In November 2007 and December 2008, Culshaw, a keen amateur astronomer, appeared on The Sky at Night impersonating a young Sir Patrick Moore. In March 2011, he appeared again on the 700th episode of The Sky at Night, reading viewer questions to the panel of experts. Culshaw then appeared two months later reporting on the Northern Lights.

Since 31 October 2009, Culshaw has starred in comedy sketch show The Impressions Show with Culshaw and Stephenson with Debra Stephenson.

On 13 March 2010, Jon was a guest judge on the BBC One charity programme Let's Dance for Comic Relief. In 2013, he appeared as a contestant, where he performed a routine to "Praise You" by Fatboy Slim. However, he was eliminated by the public vote.[6][7]

In 2010, Culshaw appeared in the television series, Missing as Des Martin.

In November 2013, Culshaw appeared in the one-off 50th anniversary comedy homage The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.[8]

In 2015, he is voicing new characters alongside Debra Stephenson for a brand new ITV sketch show called Newzoids to air later in the year.[9]

Awards and honours[edit]

In 2006, Culshaw received an honorary fellowship from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston. In December 2010, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Edge Hill University.[10]


Culshaw is a celebrity ambassador for the charity Trekstock.[11]

Culshaw also supports The Starlight Children's Foundation.[12][13]

Culshaw regularly presents Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Awards as part of his support for the Charity.[14]


Year Title Role Channel
2001 Alter Ego Starring ITV
2DTV Voice ITV
2002 Room 101 Patrick Moore BBC Two
2002–09 Dead Ringers Starring BBC Two
2004 The Impressionable Jon Culshaw Starring ITV
Little Britain Guest BBC One
2006 The Slammer Guest BBC One
The Secret Policeman's Ball 2006 Guest Channel 4
2007 The Sky at Night Young Patrick Moore BBC One
Red Nose Day 2007 Various BBC One
Kombat Opera Presents Guest BBC Two
2008 Headcases Voice ITV
2008— Horrible Histories Various characters CBBC / BBC One
2009- The Impressions Show with Culshaw and Stephenson Starring BBC One
2010 Heston's Eighties Feast Guest Channel 4
2011 The Sky at Night Guest BBC One
2012 Stargazing Live Guest BBC Two
2013 Let's Dance For Comic Relief Contestant BBC One
The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot Tom Baker (voice) BBC Red Button
2015 Newzoids Voice ITV
Guest appearances
Year Title Role
2004 Churchill: The Hollywood Years Tony Blair
2008 Agent Crush Voice


External links[edit]

Audio clips[edit]

Video clips[edit]