Ford Kiernan

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Ford Kiernan
Born Ford John Kiernan
(1962-01-10) 10 January 1962 (age 56)
Scotstoun, Glasgow, Scotland
Occupation Actor, producer, writer
Years active 1990–Present
Known for Chewin' The Fat (1999–2005)
Still Game (2002–2007, 2014, 2016–)
Dear Green Place (2007–2008)
The Field of Blood (2011–2013)

Ford John Kiernan (born 10 January 1962)[1] is a Scottish actor, writer, presenter and comedian. Along with his comedy partner, Greg Hemphill, he is best known for co-writing and starring in Still Game and its predecessor Chewin' The Fat. Kiernan also starred in Dear Green Place playing lead character Archie Henderson between 2007 and 2008.

In autumn 2014, Ford rejoined the rest of the Still Game cast for the live shows held at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow and returned to the Hydro again for Still Game Live 2 in February 2017 ahead of its 8th TV Series.


Ford first performed comedy in 1990 at Glasgow's Comedy Club in the basement of Blackfriar's pub in the Merchant City. He took up performing in 1993. A run of successful solo spots led to him being offered a slot in the Edinburgh Comedy 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.[2]

He wrote a play "Don't Start Me" (co-written with JP Leach), which won a Fringe First Award at the 1995 Edinburgh Fringe. He subsequently wrote sketches in Pulp Video (BBC Scotland), and wrote much of the material in Chewin' The Fat. He wrote, with Hemphill, all episodes of Still Game.

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 broadcast 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. Kiernan, along with Hemphill scripted 7 episodes between 1999 and 2000 for the then popular children's TV series Hububb. Ford also guest starred alongside Hemphill in one episode called Casual-Tea which they scripted. He also guest starred in two other episodes without Hemphill. Kiernan has also had several bit-part roles in films. In 1996, he starred alongside Robert Carlyle in Carla's Song and in 2002, 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.[3]


Between 1999 and 2005 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 had a regular role playing Winston Ingram. Kiernan played Jack Jarvis in the program and was in all 44 episodes plus a live special alongside Paul Riley and Jane McCarry.

He played Archie Henderson in two series of Dear Green Place, broadcast between 2007 and 2008. It was written by Paul Riley and Rab Christie.

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 all episodes of 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 and 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.

In 2016 he played Felix in Journey Bound.[citation needed]

On 12 May 2016 it was announced that Still Game would be making a return to BBC1 in late 2016 for a new six-part series.


He is best known as Black Joke Chief in the 2002 American Thriller movie Gangs of New York which also starred Jim Broadbent, Cameron Diaz and Leonardo Di Caprio.

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.[citation needed]

He has also starred in such shorts films like The Taxidermist and Perfect.


Year Title Role
1995 Pulp Video Various Characters
1995 Ruffain Hearts Wedding Guest
1996 Rab C Nesbitt Agent
1997 St Antony's Day Off Gerry
Space Cadets Himself
The Slap Boys Male orderly
The Baldy Man Various Characters
Rab C Nesbitt Phil
1998 Och around the Clock Jack Jarvis
Is it Bill Bailey Various Characters
Stand and Deliver Taxi Driver
Rab C Nesbitt Mad Dog
1999 Hububb Inventor
The Debt Collector Janitor
1999-2005 Chewin' the Fat Various Characters
2000 The Creatives Lenny the Bruce
Donovan Quick Jim Leahy
2001 Randall & Hopkirk Kiernan
2002 The Last Great Wilderness Eric
Gangs of New York Black Joke Chief
Still Game Jack Jarvis
2004 Sea of Souls Sgt Mulgrew
2005 Happy Birthday Broons Himself - Presenter
2006-2008 Dear Green Place Archie Henderson
2009 No Holds Bard Cronie Cameron
Happy Hollidays Colin Holliday
2011 The Comic Strip Presents Gordon Brown
2011-2013 The Field of Blood George McVie
2012 Songs for Amy Sled Drummer
Sir Billi Banjo Barry
The Angels' Share Station Master
Just Dandy Himself - Presenter
2014 Inspector George Gently ACC Hale
Doctors Dougie McClury
Still Game: Live At The Hydro Jack Jarvis
Still Game The Story So Far Himself - Presenter
2016 Journey Bound Felix

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.[citation needed] In January 2014, Ford's 12-year-old son Sonny was found dead in the family home following a tragic accident, Still Game Live was dedicated to Sonny later that year[citation needed].


  1. ^ "Gazetter for Scotland". Overview of Ford Kiernan. Retrieved 30 December 2006. 
  2. ^ Brian McIver (6 March 2011). "Smaller venues are much better for comedy - not massive arenas, says Irish comic Ed Byrne". dailyrecord. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Evening Times". It's Still Game . . . with sideburns. Retrieved 18 December 2006. [dead link]

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