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Jethro, after his show at Retford in October 2008
|Birth name||Geoffrey Rowe|
St. Buryan, Cornwall, England
After leaving school, Rowe was apprenticed as a carpenter and then worked as a timber man in a tin mine. At the age of eighteen he joined the St. Just and District Operatic Society and, in addition to his bass voice, locals found he had a talent for making an audience laugh. He began visiting the pubs of Cornwall to sing and joke and was quickly hailed as Cornwall’s top comic.
Rowe made his TV debut on the Westward Television programme ‘Treasure Hunt’ playing a pirate co-host.
In addition to his appearances on stage and video, Jethro has made a record nine appearances on TV shows hosted by Des O'Connor. His first appearance was on the Des O’Connor Tonight show in 1990, followed by a return for the Christmas Eve show later that year - the first time a comedian had been invited back during one series. He also appeared five times on Jim Davidson’s Generation Game show, twice giving a demonstration of how to make a Cornish pasty. Jethro was also involved in one of the show’s longest sequences of out-takes, removed due to his and Davidson's uncontrolled fits of laughter but later shown separately; it involved the story of Hans Brinker, “the boy who put his finger in the dike”, with a pun on dyke. Davidson has said that he regards Jethro as his favourite storyteller, one of his great stories being Train don’t stop Camborne Wednesdays.
The comedian lives in Lewdown in west Devon and in March 1995 walked the 100 miles or so from Land's End to Lewdown to raise money for the Bristol Cancer Open Scanner Appeal. He gave a show each night at a local venue and in total managed to raise £20,000.
Rowe is a skilled marksman. He often competes in Down the Line (DTL), a form of clay pigeon shooting competition at B class standard. He has been mentioned numerous times in the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association’s Pull! magazine as one of Cornwall’s most prominent shooters.
Whilst not performing comedy Rowe shows his horses all over the country. They have won most major prizes, including at Wembley Arena. He also runs his own venue, Jethro’s Club, where he performs each year for charity. He was one of the directors of troubled channel Sound TV and performed at Somerset County Cricket Club at the benefit dinner of England batsman Marcus Trescothick.
In earlier times Rowe played over 100 games for the Penzance Pirates rugby team, now better known as the Cornish Pirates. His rugby interest was nurtured at Cape Cornwall School (a then primitive rugby academy in the far west of Cornwall) under the guidance of Derek Small who helped produce other famous Pirate characters such as Colin ‘Dumbo’ Dymond and Graham ‘Granite’ Waters. He played in St Just’s first ever match back in 1967 and then in 1970 had his first spell with the Pirates. Rowe played his 100th match for the Pirates in 1974-75. Rowe played rugby for Penzance and Newlyn Senior first team for 10 years from 1967 to 1977 as prop forward. One of his teammates at the time was Brian 'Stack' Stevens who went on to become one of English rugby’s most famous players. He also played for Wadebridge Camels captaining the highly successful and competitive ‘Commandos’ second XV.
Stand-up VHS and DVD releases
- A Portion Of Jethro - Slightly Naughty (1993)
- From Behind The Bushes - Live (1994)
- Live - What Happened Was… (23 October 1995)
- Not For The Vicar (1996)
- The Beast of Bodmin Moor (27 October 1997)
- Go You Ahead Hmmn…! (2 November 1998)
- Ready For Battle (1999)
- Jethro Says Bull’cks to Europe (6 November 2000)
- Rule Britannia (5 November 2001)
- Only For The Barmy (4 November 2002)
- Stark Raving Bonkers! - Live Stand Up (3 November 2003)
- Off The Wall (1 November 2004)
- Jethro In Cuckoo Land (31 October 2005)
- Live From The Madhouse (30 October 2006)
- Live At Jethro’s - Back Of Beyond (29 October 2007)
- A Giant Portion Of Jethro (27 October 2008)
- Too Late to Grow Up (2 November 2009)
- I Told It My Way - Live on Tour (22 November 2010)
- The Cornish Ambassador (14 November 2011)
- Jethro 40 Years a Joker (16 November 2015)
- "About Jethro". jethro.co.uk. 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Cornish comedian Jethro joins UKIP - West Briton". West Briton. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Club History - Players - Geoffrey Rowe - 'Jethro'". Penzance - Newlyn RFC Club History. Retrieved 2008-12-10.