Ben Willbond

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Ben Willbond
Birth nameBenjamin Thomas Willbond
Born (1973-01-18) 18 January 1973 (age 50)[1]
MediumTelevision, radio, film
Alma materSt Catherine's College, Oxford
Years active1995 – present
SpouseCharlotte Gordon
Notable works and rolesHorrible Histories, The Thick of It, Rev., Ghosts, We Are Not Alone

Benjamin Thomas Willbond (born 18 January 1973)[1] is an English actor and screenwriter best known as a member of the British Horrible Histories troupe in which he appears in the TV series Horrible Histories, Yonderland and Ghosts. He is best known for his numerous roles in the CBBC children's programme Horrible Histories, running from 2009 to 2013. As well as starring as various characters throughout the show's run, he also, along with the other five main actors, wrote numerous episodes. Again alongside the same five actors, he also stars as “Captain” in the 2019 TV series Ghosts. Along with Laurence Rickard, he co-wrote the 2022 feature length television comedy We Are Not Alone.

Early life[edit]

Willbond was a forces child and consequently his family moved around every two years. He was sent to board at Stamford School in Lincolnshire, when he was nine years old. He was bullied whilst attending the school.[2] Willbond when talking about his experience at the school said "I don't actually remember that time because it was so shocking".[3] He read Russian and French at St Catherine's College, Oxford.


Along with Arnold Widdowson, Willbond was part of the comedy duo "Ben & Arn", who won Perrier Award for "Best Newcomer" in 1999,[4] and formed the self-proclaimed "thinking man's French pop duo"[5] Priorité à Gauche.[6] He then went on to perform his solo character shows at several Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, the last being in 2005 which also starred Katy Brand and Jim Field Smith.[6][7]

He is perhaps best known for his regular role in CBBC's Horrible Histories, in which he played a wide variety of historical figures, most memorably recurring roles as Henry VIII and Alexander the Great. Along with the five other members of the Horrible Histories starring cast, Willbond is also the co-creator, -writer and -star of Yonderland, a family fantasy comedy series that premiered on SkyOne on 10 November 2013.[8] In addition he is the co-writer of Bill, a BBC-produced comedy film based loosely around the early life of William Shakespeare, which involved the same starring troupe.[9]

Previously, Willbond had starred in a short-lived sketch show for ITV2 called Laura, Ben & Him[4] with Marek Larwood and sometime writing partner Laura Solon. He also appeared in Solon's BBC Radio 4 sketch show, Laura Solon: Talking and Not Talking. Other notable television work includes the recurring roles of Steve Warwick in the BBC comedy Rev,[10] Adam Kenyon in BBC Four's The Thick of It[4] and as a television director in the movie-length final episode of the Ricky Gervais comedy Extras (BBC Two).[4] He has also appeared in Katy Brand's Big Ass Show[4] for ITV2 and Mayo[11] for BBC One.

Willbond's other radio credits include BBC Radio 4 series Deep Trouble, Double Science (co-written with Justin Edwards), Recorded for Training Purposes and the first series of Electric Ink. He also starred in the YouTube romantic comedy "Nigel and Victoria."

His 2010 short film Tooty's Wedding, which he co-wrote with Solon, won numerous international comedy awards and was screened as part of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.[12] Other notable film work includes the movie Starter for 10 (2006).[13] In 2007 he had a short appearance in St Trinian's,[11] as a nervous school inspector.

He is currently starring in BBC's Ghosts with the other main Horrible Histories cast.

Personal life[edit]

Willbond is a keen cricketer and plays for the Thunderers.[14]


Year Project Award Event Notes
2011 Tooty's Wedding Best Comedy Short Rhode Island International Film Festival
2011 Tooty's Wedding Best Foreign Short & Best Direction (Short) LA Comedy Festival
2011 Tooty's Wedding Jury Prize Best Short Film Friars Club Comedy Film Festival
2011 Tooty's Wedding Best Comedy Aesthetica Short Film Festival
2011 Tooty's Wedding Award of Merit Accolade Competition
2011 Horrible Histories Best Acting Kidscreen Awards Entire Cast
2012 Horrible Histories Best Acting Kidscreen Awards Entire Cast


Year Project Role Notes and references
1999 Ben & Arn's Big Top Ben Edinburgh Fringe Festival performance[4]
1999 The Now Show BBC Radio 4[11]
2001 Le Hip Parade François Play UK television series[15]
2004–07 Deep Trouble Writer / performer ('Lieutenant Jack Trainor') BBC Radio 4[16]
2005 Mayo Simon Johnston BBC One[17]
2005 The Gigolos Ben Film
2005 The Catherine Tate Show Gym Trainer BBC Two[18]
2006 Starter for 10 Julian Film[11]
2006 My Hero Dexter BBC One[19]
2006–08 Recorded for Training Purposes Writer / performer BBC Radio 4[11][20]
2007, 2012 The Thick of It Adam Kenyon BBC Two[21]
2007 St Trinian's Alistair Film[11]
2007, 2008 Double Science Doctor Colin Jackson BBC Radio 4
2008 Exit Strategy Husband Short film[22]
2008 Lead Balloon Jamie BBC Two[23]
2008 Laura, Ben & Him Writer, performer, co-creator ITV 2[11]
2009–13 Horrible Histories Principal sketch performer CBBC[11]
2010–11 Rev. Stephen Warwick BBC Two[11]
2011 Tooty's Wedding Peter Film short
2013–16 Yonderland Various
2014 Inside No. 9 Jeremy Episode: "Sardines"
2015 Bill Various Film
2015 Acoustic Kitty Agent Cooper Film short[24]
2015 Shush! Simon BBC Radio 4
2016 Power Monkeys Oleg Channel 4. Utilises Russian degree.
2016 Bridget Jones's Baby Giles Film
2017 Playing House Dr. Clive Ericson 5 episodes
2017 Quacks Patrice Dupont 1 Episode
2017 Danger Mouse Ham Hands 1 episode
2017 Tracey Breaks the News Emmanuel Macron, Various BBC One
2018 Damned Marcus Bowles
2018– There She Goes Chris Main role; 2 series
2019– Ghosts The Captain BBC One
2019 Good Omens Nigel Tomkins 1 episode
2019 Sequins Alan Bigsby Film short
2021 Alma's Not Normal Phil Series 1 Episode 3
2022 We Are Not Alone Darrenth Film
2023 A Kind of Spark Adam Quinn Main role[25]


  1. ^ a b England and Wales Birth Index 1916–2005
  2. ^ Ben Willbond twitter (2012)
  3. ^ "Comfort Blanket". Retrieved 7 January 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2011". Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  5. ^ "Biography". Priorité à Gauche. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  6. ^ a b Daoust, Phil (17 August 2005). "Ben Willbond". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  7. ^ Dominic, Maxwell. "Laura Solon, Ben Willbond." Times, The (United Kingdom) 22 August 2005: Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 8 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Sky1 to visit Yonderland". Sky1 website. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  9. ^ "Stars of Horrible Histories to make Shakespeare film". BBC Media Centre. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  10. ^ "BBC Two – Rev., Series 2, Episode 4". BBC. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Ben Willbond" (PDF). Avalon Management Group Ltd. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 December 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  12. ^ Mann, Andrea (15 December 2011). "British Comedy Short 'Tooty's Wedding' Is Sundance-Bound (EXCLUSIVE CLIP)". HuffPost. Aol (UK). Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  13. ^ Lawrenson, Edward. "Starter For Ten." Sight & Sound 16.11 (2006): 82. Associates Programs Source Plus. Web. 8 December 2011.
  14. ^ "We catch up with actor Ben Willbond, star of Horrible Histories, Rev". Henry Arlington.
  15. ^ "Le Hip Parade". Tiger Aspect Productions. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  16. ^ "BBC Radio 4 – Comedy – Deep Trouble". BBC. August 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  17. ^ "Mayo". Channel Ten. 11 March 2006. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  18. ^[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ ""My Hero" Here's One I Made Earlier (TV Episode 2006) - IMDb". IMDb. 28 July 2006.
  20. ^ Wolf, Ian. "Recorded for Training Purposes". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  21. ^ "BBC Four – The Thick of It – Adam Kenyon". BBC. October 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  22. ^ "Exit Strategy". IMDb. 4 March 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  23. ^ "Two – Lead Balloon, Series 3, Karma". BBC. 4 December 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  24. ^ "Acoustic Kitty (Short 2015) - IMDb". IMDb. 7 November 2015.
  25. ^ "A Kind of Spark - IMDb". IMDb. 2023.

External links[edit]