Ford Kiernan

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Ford Kiernan
Born Ford John Kiernan
(1962-01-10) 10 January 1962 (age 54)
Glasgow, Scotland
Occupation Actor, producer
Years active 1990-present
Known for

Chewin' The Fat (1999-2000) Still Game (2002-2007), (2014)

Dear Green Place (2007-2008)

Ford John Kiernan (born 10 January 1962)[1] is a Scottish actor and comedian. Along with his comedy partner, Greg Hemphill, he is best known for his appearances in Still Game as Jack Jarvis. He also starred in Chewin' The Fat.

In autumn 2014, Ford rejoined the rest of the Still Game cast for the live shows held at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow.

Personal life[edit]

Born in Dennistoun, Glasgow, Kiernan was educated at Alexandra Parade Primary School and Whitehill Secondary School. He then went on to train as a tailor and work as a barman at Glasgow University. In 1995, he married his current wife Lesley and they have a daughter, Kaye.

Kiernan's 12-year-old son, Sonny Kiernan, was found dead on 6 January 2014 at the family home on Cleveden Road, Kelvinside, Glasgow.[2]


Ford's first comedy performances came in around 1990 Glasgow's Comedy Club in the basement of Blackfriar's pub in the Merchant City. He was an outstanding and unpredictable performer, but had a few quiet years (in comedy terms) before taking up performing in 1993. A run of successful solo spots led to him being offered a slot in the Edinburgh Festival in 1994 in a show called The Best Of Scottish Comedy alongside John Paul Leach and Alan Taylor. Leach and Kiernan teamed up as a double act during this festival and were to have shows at the next two festivals ("After Eight Mince" and "The Full Bhoona"), both at the Gilded Balloon.

As part of the double act, he helped develop the University of Strathclyde comedy night called The Comedy Cellar in the basement of the 13th Note public house on Glassford Street, first run by entertainments convenor Ed Byrne. Byrne decided to develop his career in London after a few months.[3]

His gifts as a writer are often overlooked. His play "Don't Start Me" (Co-written with JP Leach) won a Fringe First Award in 1995 Edinburgh Fringe. Subsequent sketch writing success followed in Pulp Video (BBC Scotland), much of the material for Chewin' The Fat, and the joint inspiration (with Hemphill) for all series of Still Game. His writing is characterised by sharp observation and striking empathy for all of his characters, to whom great depth is given.

Kiernan has appeared both on television and on stage. He has also broadcast frequently on BBC Radio Four and BBC Radio Scotland.

It was in the sketch show Chewin' The Fat that he is best known due to his ability to play a number of characters. At first the show was only shown in Scotland but by the time of the third and fourth series, the BBC decided to show it nationwide. Likewise, spin-off Still Game started in Scotland but branched out to a wider audience. The latter's sixth series broadcast on BBC Two in July 2007, with a repeat on BBC1 Scotland. Also Kiernan, along with Hemphill scripted 7 episodes between 1999 and 2000 for the then popular children's TV series Hububb. These episodes were, Lullabubb, Top Of The Bubbs, Conquer Leserest, Casual-Tea, Bubb Goes Boo, 2010 A Space Bubbsy and No Go Pogo. Ford also guest starred alongside Hemphill in one episode called Casual-Tea which he and Hemphill scripted. He also guest starred in two other episodes, Magnetic Personality and Take Me Your Leader, but these were without Hemphill. Kiernan has also had several bit-part roles in films. In 1996, he starred alongside fellow Scot Robert Carlyle in Carla's Song and in 2002, he also played the role of Black Joke Chief in the Martin Scorsese film Gangs of New York.

In 2007 Kiernan starred in Dear Green Place, a BBC One Scotland sitcom series featuring park wardens.[4] In 2008, Kiernan starred in the movie adaptation of Irvine Welsh's best-selling novel Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance.[5]


Between 1999 and 2002 Kiernan starred in Chewin' The Fat, a Scottish comedy show, alongside Greg Hemphill where they both play various roles. Karen Dunbar, Paul Riley and Mark Cox were also in the show.

From 2002 to 2007 Kiernan and Greg Hemphill starred together in the Scottish comedy Still Game. He and Hemphill wrote all episodes of the show. Paul Riley and Mark Cox also had recurring roles. Kiernan played Jack Jarvis in the program and was in all 66 episodes alongside Mark Cox

He played Archie Henderson in two series of Dear Green Place, broadcast between 2007 and 2008.

In January 2009, he starred in No Holds Bard, a BBC Scotland one-off special comedy shown on Burns Night as part of a line-up of special programming to mark the 250th birthday of Robert Burns.

Kiernan plays a caravan park boss in the comedy Happy Hollidays. A pilot episode was shown in early 2009 on BBC 1, with a series broadcast later in the year.

In October 2011 Kiernan played Gordon Brown in The Hunt for Tony Blair, a one-off episode of The Comic Strip Presents...

In 2011 and 2013, he played George McVie in The Field of Blood. In 2013 it was announced that the hit Scottish comedy Still Game would return for a Glasgow stage show in The Hydro they could possibly return for another series the usual cast would be still in it including Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill with Paul Riley, Mark Cox, Jane McCarry and Gavin Mitchell.


Kiernan lends his voice to the character of Banjo Barry in the animated film Sir Billi. Starring alongside Sean Connery, Alan Cumming and Miriam Margolyes. The film was released in 2012 with the theme song performed by Dame Shirley Bassey.

In 2012 Kiernan starred in the movie Song for Amy.


  1. ^ "Gazetter for Scotland". Overview of Ford Kiernan. Retrieved 30 December 2006. 
  2. ^ "TV star Ford Kiernan's 12-year-old son found dead at his parents' home in Glasgow". Daily Record. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Brian McIver (6 March 2011). "Smaller venues are much better for comedy - not massive arenas, says Irish comic Ed Byrne". dailyrecord. 
  4. ^ "Evening Times". It's Still Game . . . with sideburns. Retrieved 18 December 2006. [dead link]
  5. ^ " News". Cast lines up for taste of Ecstasy (Edinburgh). 29 October 2006. Archived from the original on 28 March 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2006. 

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