John Bishop

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John Bishop
John Bishop 2011.jpg
Bishop in June 2011
John Marcus Bishop

(1966-11-30) 30 November 1966 (age 56)
Liverpool, England
  • Comedian
  • presenter
  • actor
  • former footballer
Years active2002–present
Melanie Bishop
(m. 1993)
RelativesEddie Bishop (brother)

John Marcus Bishop (born 30 November 1966) is an English comedian, presenter, actor and former footballer.

Bishop formerly played football as a midfielder for Winsford United F.C., Crewe Alexandra F.C., Runcorn F.C., Rhyl F.C., Witton Albion F.C., Hyde United F.C., Southport F.C., Stalybridge Celtic F.C., Northwich Victoria F.C., Caernarfon Town F.C. and Holywell Town F.C.[2]

His first television appearance was in 2007 on the RTÉ topical-comedy show The Panel, where he was a regular panelist until 2008.[citation needed] He subsequently appeared in seasons 3 and 4 of the E4 teen drama Skins and the Ken Loach film Route Irish. He has also hosted his own shows such as John Bishop's Britain (2010–2011), John Bishop's Only Joking (2013), and two versions of The John Bishop Show (2015, 2022). He also has played the companion Dan Lewis in Doctor Who from 2021 to 2022.

Bishop had a regular Sunday slot on Liverpool radio station Radio City called Bishop's Sunday Service. He is also known for his charity work, most notably raising £4.2 million for Sport Relief 2012.

Early life[edit]

John Bishop was born at Mill Road Hospital in the Liverpool suburb of West Derby on 30 November 1966,[3][4] the son of housewife Kathleen (née Hackett) and labourer Edward Bishop, a couple from nearby Huyton.[5] He has an older brother, footballer Eddie, and two older sisters, Kathy and Carol.[6] He grew up mostly in the Cheshire towns of Runcorn and Winsford, attending Murdishaw West Primary School and Brookvale Comprehensive School (now known as Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy).[5] He briefly studied English at Newcastle Polytechnic,[7][8] and gained a BA in Social Science from Manchester Polytechnic.[9] He later became a medical representative for the pharmaceutical company Syntex, where he worked until leaving in 2006 to pursue his comedy career full-time at the age of 40.[10]


John Bishop
Olympic Torch 2012 at Jodrell Bank 2.jpg
Bishop carrying the Olympic Torch at Jodrell Bank in 2012
Personal information
Date of birth (1966-11-30) 30 November 1966 (age 56)
Place of birth Liverpool, England
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Position(s) Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–1990 Hyde United 41[11] (7)
1990–1991 Southport 35[11] (7)
Total 76 (14)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Bishop performed stand-up comedy for the first time in Manchester in October 2000, and the following year, made it to the final of all the major new act competitions, including So You Think You're Funny, the Daily Telegraph Open Mic Awards, the BBC New Comedy Awards, and the City Life North West Comedian of The Year Award, which he won. In 2002, he was named best newcomer by BBC Radio Merseyside, and in 2004, he won the North West Comedy Award for best stand-up.[12] In 2009, Bishop appeared as the first act on Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow in Manchester. That year, he appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where his show Elvis Has Left the Building was nominated for an "Eddie" (Edinburgh Comedy Award).[13]

In 2009, Bishop appeared in Channel 4's series Comedy Showcase and was a contestant on Celebrity Mastermind. He also appeared in the BBC Three sitcom Lunch Monkeys as fireman Terry. He has appeared five times on 5 Live's Fighting Talk quiz show, claiming four victories on the programme. His material is drawn from his life's experiences, including fatherhood, cycling around the world, playing semi-professional football, and working as a nightclub doorman. Bishop's first television appearance was in 2007 on the RTÉ topical-comedy show The Panel, where he was a regular panelist until 2008.[citation needed] He then went onto the Channel 4 panel show 8 out of 10 Cats before appearing on the BBC's Live at the Apollo. In December 2009, Bishop started his own TV show on LFC TV called John Bishop Meets..., where he interviewed former Liverpool football players.

In 2010, Bishop was a celebrity team captain on What Do Kids Know? with Rufus Hound, Joe Swash and Sara Cox on Watch. He has also appeared on BBC's Mock the Week, and Radio 4's Act Your Age. In series 3 and series 4 of Skins, Bishop portrayed Emily and Katie Fitch's father. In 2010, Bishop appeared in Ken Loach's Route Irish, which premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Bishop is a regular panelist on Sky1 show, A League of Their Own, as well as a stand-up/sketch show for BBC One titled John Bishop's Britain.[14] On 11 July 2010, Bishop came runner-up in the second-ever game of How Many Peter Jones'? on ITV's James Corden's World Cup Live. He has appeared as a panellist on BBC programmes Have I Got News for You, Would I Lie to You?, and on QI. On 28 October 2010, he also guest hosted an episode of series 40 of Have I Got News For You.

On 12 February 2010, during an appearance on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross it was revealed that prior to his TV breakthrough, Bishop had worked as a warm-up for the show. In March 2011, Bishop and fellow comedians Alan Carr, James Corden, Catherine Tate, and David Walliams appeared in the video for Take That's single "Happy Now" for Comic Relief. On 24 June 2012, he appeared on Desert Island Discs. On 28 August and 4 September 2012, he appeared in Accused as Peter for two episodes. In late 2012, Bishop appeared on BBC genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? and on an ITV one-off episode called Panto!, where he starred as a local Morecambe disc jockey called Lewis Loud. As of January 2013, Bishop hosts John Bishop's Only Joking on Sky 1.

On 28 July 2013, Bishop headlined the Vodafone comedy festival in Dublin's Iveagh Gardens. Before the gig, a reporter called Brian Boyd interviewed him about his recently replenished marriage and how his wife eventually found him funny again.[15]

Bishop's autobiography titled How Did All This Happen? was published in October 2013.[7] In November 2013, he hosted the 2013 Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium theatre in the presence of Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.[16]

In December 2014, he appeared in A Night in with Olly Murs where he and Olly Murs had a lip-sync battle. In 2015, Bishop presented his own variety show on BBC One called The John Bishop Show.

In May 2015, Bishop appeared as a special guest at the Liverpool date of Murs's Never Been Better Tour and performed "Troublemaker" with him.[17]

In January 2016, he took part in the BBC series Stargazing Live, appearing from the European Astronaut Centre, and following Tim Peake's astronaut training programme with a simulated spacewalk, underwater.[18][19]

Since September 2016, Bishop has presented John Bishop: In Conversation With... for the W channel.[20] Two series have been aired: the show will return for a third series.

On 21 September 2016, Bishop was confirmed to have a role in ITV drama series Fearless, which aired in 2017.[21]

On 29 September 2016, Bishop announced that he would be going on tour for the fifth time in October and November 2017 with a show titled Winging It.[22]

In August 2019, Bishop began presenting a football programme called Back of the Net for Amazon Prime Video with Peter Crouch and Gabby Logan.[23]

On 8 September 2020, Bishop and writer, actor and director Tony Pitts launched their new podcast called Three Little Words. This podcast was launched on the Crowd Network podcasting platform, which has financial backing from John Bishop and was started by a group of ex-BBC executives.[24][25]

On 1 January 2021, Bishop announced that he would join the cast of Doctor Who as Dan Lewis, a companion of the Thirteenth Doctor.[26] On 28 January, it was announced that Bishop would appear as a contestant on the 4th series of The Great Stand Up to Cancer Bake Off in the spring of that year.[27]


At the 2010 British Comedy Awards, Bishop won the Best Male Comedy Breakthrough Artist award.[28] He became the Number 1 "Star in a reasonably priced car" on Top Gear on Sunday 23 January 2011 after he appeared on the BBC Two show. He drove the Kia Cee'd around the test track in 1 minute and 42.8 seconds to become the fastest star in the latest reasonably priced car, knocking Tom Cruise off the top. Bishop's record lasted nearly half a year until being knocked off by Rowan Atkinson (1 minute 42.2 seconds) on Sunday 17 July 2011. He was also the fastest in the League of Their Own skeleton race, beating Georgie Thompson and James Corden.

On 18 July 2014, Bishop was awarded an honorary fellowship at Liverpool John Moores University in recognition of his contribution to the arts and charity work during a ceremony at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral.

On 11 July 2018, Bishop won the Celebrity Animal Champion award at the RSPCA Honours Awards for his work with rescue animals.[29] On 25 July 2019, Bishop received an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Manchester Metropolitan University for his charity work, and the contributions he has made to comedy and the arts.[30]

Charity work[edit]

In 1992, Bishop cycled from Sydney to Liverpool, raising £30,000 for the NSPCC.[31][32]

On 30 March 2010, Bishop took part in Channel 4's Comedy Gala, a benefit show held in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital, filmed live at the O2 Arena in London.

Bishop promotes his "Say Hello" campaign in 2022

In 2012, Bishop completed a 290-mile (470 km) triathlon from Paris to London in five days to raise money for the BBC charity Sport Relief. His "week of hell" began at the Eiffel Tower on 27 February, where he cycled 185 miles (298 km) to Calais. The next day, he rowed across the English Channel as part of a team including Davina McCall, Andrew Flintoff, and Denise Lewis, then ran 90 miles (140 km) from Dover to London in three days, finishing in Trafalgar Square on 2 March. On 23 March, during the Sport Relief telethon, it was announced that his efforts had raised £4.2 million.[33] Also in 2012, he took part in The Justice Collective for their cover of The Hollies single "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" for charities in aid of Hillsborough disaster victims. On 27 May 2012, he took part in the Soccer Aid match for Unicef, playing for the England team, who won 3–1 against the Rest of the World.

In 2014, Bishop once again took part in Sport Relief as a team captain for the Clash of the Titans event, competing against Sebastian Coe and his team. In May 2014, Bishop donated £96,000 to the Hillsborough Family Support Group after being moved by personal statements delivered by the victims' families at their inquests. On 8 June 2014, he took part in his second Soccer Aid football match, again playing for England, this time losing 4–2 to the Rest of the World. On 5 June 2016, he took part in his third Soccer Aid match, playing on England's team.

In 2020, Bishop donated 100 laptops to his former school, Brookvale Academy, as he warned of a “gulf” in society risks leaving children behind.[34]

On 19 April 2016, Bishop served as host for a comedy gig at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.

Bishop competed in the Ciaran Geddes memorial match at the Deva Stadium, scoring two goals while playing with his brother Eddie for Chester.[35]

Personal life[edit]

Bishop has been married to his wife Melanie since 1993, though they were separated for 18 months starting in 2000.[36][37] They have three sons: Joe (born 1994), Luke (born 1996), and Daniel (born 1998).[36][38] Until 2019, they lived at Whatcroft Hall in Northwich, Cheshire. The property is a Grade II listed Georgian mansion.[39] In April 2019, he sold the home for £6.2 million to the HS2 rail project, despite his vocal criticism of the project.[39][40]

Bishop enjoys playing football and is an avid Liverpool FC fan, a fact frequently brought up on the show A League of Their Own, on which he was a panelist. In July 2010, he took part in protests against then-owners of Liverpool FC, Tom Hicks and George Gillett,[41] and later took part in a celebrity-studded protest video on YouTube.[42]

Bishop pre-recorded a video message for the 2011 Labour Party conference, which was held in Liverpool.[43]

Bishop has been a vegetarian since 1985,[44][45] which he discussed on BBC Two's Something for The Weekend and his episode on food on his stand-up show John Bishop's Britain.[46] In 2013, PETA declared him to be one of the "Sexiest Vegetarians" of the year.[47]

In September 2016, Bishop was ranked tenth place on Forbes' Top 10 Highest Paid Comedians List, earning £5.4 million a year, making him the UK's highest earning comedian.[48]

On 30 December 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bishop revealed that he and his wife had tested positive for COVID-19 on Christmas Day and described it as the "worst illness [he has] ever had".[49]

While driving in Wales on 21 July 2021, Bishop crashed his Land Rover Discovery after swerving to avoid another driver who had swerved to avoid a "big chicken". He was on his way to take a ferry to Ireland and was unhurt.[50][51]



Year Title Role Notes
2007–2008 The Panel Panellist 6 episodes
2008 Celebrity Juice Guest panellist Series 1, Episode 7
2009, 2010 Live at the Apollo Guest performer 2 episodes
Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow Guest performer Series 1, Episode 2 & Series 2, Episode 3
2009–2010 Skins Rob Fitch Series 3–4 (3 episodes)
2010–2011 John Bishop's Britain Presenter 2 series on BBC One
A League of Their Own Regular (appeared as a guest panelist in Series 11) 4 series
2010 Have I Got News for You Guest presenter Series 39, Episode 9 & Series 40, Episode 3
Mock the Week Guest panellist Series 8, Episode 2
Would I Lie to You? Guest panellist Series 4, Episode 8
2011 Top Gear Guest Series 16, Episode 1
Little Crackers Bobby Series 2, Episode 7: "John Bishop's Little Cracker"
2012 Who Do You Think You Are? Himself Series 9, Episode 10
Accused Peter Cartwright Two episodes (Stephen's Story and Tina's Story)
Panto! Lewis Loud With Sheridan Smith
2013 John Bishop's Only Joking Presenter
2013–2015 John Bishop's Christmas Show Presenter One-off specials for BBC One
2013 Royal Variety Performance Presenter
2014 John Bishop's Australia Presenter Mini-series
A Night in With Olly Murs Himself One-off special
2015 Backchat Guest Series 2, Episode 5
The John Bishop Show Presenter 1 series
TFI Friday Guest Series 7, Episode 6
John Bishop's Gorilla Adventure[52] Presenter One-off show
Top Gear from A-Z Narrator One-off specials
2016— John Bishop: In Conversation With... Presenter Also executive producer
2016 Jamie & Jimmy's Friday Night Feast Guest Series 4, Episode 1
2017 The Nightly Show[53] Guest presenter 5 episodes
Fearless Steve Livesey ITV drama, 4 episodes
2019 John Bishop's Ireland Presenter Mini-series
2020 John Bishop's Great Whale Rescue Presenter Mini-series
2021 The Great Celebrity Bake Off For Stand Up to Cancer Himself Series 4, Episode 5
The Masked Dancer Guest panelist Series 1 Semi-final
2021–2022 Doctor Who Dan Lewis Series 13[54] and 2022 specials; 9 episodes
2022 The John Bishop Show[55] Presenter ITV comedy series
This Is My House for Red Nose Day Narrator Red Nose Day special for BBC One
John & Joe Bishop: Life After Deaf Presenter Documentary[56]
2023 DNA Journey Himself With Hugh Bonneville[57]


Year Title Role Notes
2010 Route Irish Frankie
2014 One Rogue Reporter Himself
2017 Funny Cow Colin Pile

Music videos[edit]


  • 2009: One Night in Istanbul – Tom
  • 2022–2023: Mother Goose – Vic[58]


  • "Stick Your Job Up Your Ar**" Tour" (2007)
  • "The Elvis Has Left the Building Tour" (2010)
  • "The Sunshine Tour" (2011)
  • "The Rollercoaster Tour" (2012)
  • "Supersonic Tour" (2014)
  • "Winging It" (2017)
  • "Work In Progress" (2019)
  • "Right Here Right Now" (2021)


Title Released Notes
The Elvis Has Left the Building Tour 15 November 2010 Live at the Liverpool Empire Theatre
The Sunshine Tour 14 November 2011 Live at Liverpool's Echo Arena
Rollercoaster Tour 2012 12 November 2012 Live at the Manchester Arena
John Bishop Supersonic Live 15 November 2015 Live at London's Royal Albert Hall
John Bishop Winging It Live 19 November 2018 Live at The London Palladium


  1. ^ "John Bishop". Desert Island Discs. 24 June 2012. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. ^ John Bishop
  3. ^ Hughes, Lorna (17 August 2015). "Comedian John Bishop hits back at critics who questioned his Liverpool roots". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  4. ^ "John Bishop – Who Do You Think You Are? Not the only entertainer in the family..." 19 October 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2016. John was born in 1966, the youngest of four children, to labourer Edward Bishop and his wife Kathleen Hackett.
  5. ^ a b Jordan, Barbara (8 September 2011). "John Bishop congratulates adults with learning disabilities on their beer". Runcorn and Widnes World. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  6. ^ "Our Eddie". John Bishop Online. Archived from the original on 3 February 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  7. ^ a b Bishop, John (2013). How Did All This Happen?. Harper. ISBN 978-0007436125.
  8. ^ John Bishop Interview at Newcastle Chronicle Live. Retrieved 1 September 2014
  9. ^ Manchester Metropolitan University alumni Archived 15 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 31 August 2014
  10. ^ "Comedian John Bishop says Tories are failing our young". 10 November 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  11. ^ a b "John Bishop Biography (Personal Life, Career)". Archived from the original on 2 October 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  12. ^ "North West Comedy Awards – the winners!", BBC Manchester.
  13. ^ "Edinburgh Comedy Awards – The Nominees". BBC. 28 August 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
  14. ^ "John Bishop's Britain". BBC. Retrieved 31 July 2010.
  15. ^ "My wife and my comedy life: John Bishop opens up - the Irish Times - Fri, Jul 19, 2013". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  16. ^ "RVP 2013, London Palladium". Archived from the original on 5 September 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  17. ^ Tansley, Janet (11 May 2015). "Troublemaker John Bishop joins Olly Murs on stage". Liverpool Echo.
  18. ^ Butcher, David. "Stargazing Live, Series 6 – Episode 1". Radio Times. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  19. ^ "Stargazing Live". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  20. ^ "John Bishop goes Piers Morgan for new interview series". 1 March 2016.
  21. ^ "John Bishop returns to TV for new ITV thriller". 21 September 2016.
  22. ^ "John Bishop announces 2017 tour, 'Winging It'". 29 September 2016.
  23. ^ "Best TV Shows, Box Sets & Movies | Stream now on BT TV | BT TV".
  24. ^ "Crowd Network launches its first podcast, fronted by Bishop and Pitts". 8 September 2020. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  25. ^ "Ex-BBC talent launch Manchester podcast firm backed by John Bishop". September 2020. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  26. ^ "Comedian John Bishop joins Doctor Who cast". BBC News. 1 January 2021. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  27. ^ "A brand new batch of celeb bakers return to the tent". 28 January 2021. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  28. ^ Schofield, Ben (24 January 2011). "John Bishop named best Male Breakthrough comedian at British Comedy Awards". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  29. ^ "Honours for animal champions human and four legged". 11 July 2018. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  30. ^ "Comedian John Bishop receives honorary degree from Manchester Metropolitan". 25 July 2020. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  31. ^ "Beaches, bikies and koalas with chlamydia: John Bishop's Australian adventure". 26 January 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  32. ^ "John Bishop: Midlands changed direction of my life". 11 October 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  33. ^ "£4.2 million for Sport Relief". 2 March 2012. Archived from the original on 22 August 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  34. ^ Clay, Oliver (15 January 2021). "John Bishop donates laptops to old school to help during closures". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  35. ^ "Chester FC | Match | Match Reports | Match Report | Chester FC 6 Chester City 4". Archived from the original on 17 May 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  36. ^ a b Beth Neil (11 June 2010). "John Bishop: We talk to TV's hottest new comedian – 3am & Mirror Online". mirror. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  37. ^ Reade, Brian (29 June 2014). "John Bishop's break-up hell: I sobbed on the stairs while I got kids into wellies". Daily Mirror.
  38. ^ "John Bishop: The brighter side of stand-up". Manchester Evening News. 29 April 2010. Archived from the original on 3 December 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
  39. ^ a b "Comedian John Bishop sells mansion to HS2 for £6.8m". BBC News. 7 April 2019.
  40. ^ John Bishop: HS2 will 'kill communities', BBC News, (accessed 10 October 2013)
  41. ^ Weston, Alan (3 July 2010). "Mass rally to oust Tom Hicks and George Gillett from Liverpool FC". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  42. ^ Traynor, Luke (30 September 2010). "Hollywood film producer Mike Jeffries to launch anti Tom Hicks and George Gillett Liverpool FC campaign". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  43. ^ "The Laz Word...on the Labour Party Conference". Liverpool Confidential. 26 September 2011. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  44. ^ "PETA Names the UK's Top 5 Comedians Who Stand Up for Animals". 7 August 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  45. ^ Midgley, Carol (27 July 2011). "Interview: John Bishop". Radio Times. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  46. ^ "John tells his parents he's a vegetarian". John Bishop's Britain, Series 2, Food. BBC One. 6 August 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  47. ^ "Bishop, Cole Sexiest Vegetarians," Belfast Telegraph, 30 December 2013.
  48. ^ "John Bishop is UK's highest earning comic : News 2016 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide".
  49. ^ "John Bishop 'flattened' by Christmas Day coronavirus diagnosis: 'This is the worst illness I have ever had'". 31 December 2020. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  50. ^ Harries, Robert (21 July 2021). "John Bishop crashes after another car tries to avoid a 'big chicken'".
  51. ^ "Doctor Who's John Bishop in car crash avoiding 'big chicken'". 21 July 2021.
  52. ^ "John Bishop's Gorilla Adventure Episode 1". Archived from the original on 4 March 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  53. ^ "John Bishop joins The Nightly Show line-up for ITV". ITV Press Centre. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  54. ^ Foster, Chuck (1 January 2021). "New companion for Series 13". Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  55. ^ "John Bishop is to present a brand new Saturday night ITV comedy show, The John Bishop Show". Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  56. ^ "John & Joe Bishop: Life After Deaf". Retrieved 14 September 2022.
  57. ^ "DNA Journey". Retrieved 7 March 2023.
  58. ^ "Mother Goose". Retrieved 31 December 2022.

External links[edit]