John Bishop (comedian)

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John Bishop
John Bishop 2011.jpg
John Bishop in 2011
Birth name John Joseph Bishop
Born 30 November 1966 (1966-11-30) (age 49)
Mill Road, Liverpool
Medium Stand-up, television, film, radio
Years active 2002–present
Spouse Melanie Bishop (m. 1993)
Children 3
Website Official site
from the BBC programme Desert Island Discs, 24 June 2012.[1]

John Bishop
Personal information
Full name John Joseph Bishop
Date of birth 30 November 1966 (1966-11-30) (age 49)
Place of birth Mill Road, Liverpool
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–1990 Hyde 41[2] (7)
1990–1991 Southport 35[2] (7)
Total 76 (14)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

John Joseph Bishop (born 30 November 1966)[3] is an English comedian and actor, who is also known for his charity work, having raised £4.2m for Sport Relief 2012.

A keen footballer, Bishop played for non-league teams Hyde and Southport and worked as a pharmaceutical Rep prior to becoming a stand-up comedian. His television debut came on The Panel. He has subsequently appeared in the E4 teen drama Skins (seasons 3-4) and in the Ken Loach film Route Irish in addition to his own shows including John Bishop's Britain (2010–2011), John Bishop's Only Joking (2013) and The John Bishop Show (2015–present).

Bishop also had a regular Sunday slot on Liverpool radio station Radio City 96.7 called Bishop's Sunday Service.

Early life[edit]

Bishop was born at Mill Road Maternity Hospital in Liverpool, the son of Kathleen "Kathy" (née Hackett) and Edward E. Bishop.[4] He grew up in Liverpool overspills, namely in Winsford and Runcorn, and attended Murdishaw West Primary School[5] and Brookvale High School after earlier he and his family moved from Huyton.[6] He then briefly studied English at Newcastle Polytechnic[5][7] and gained a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Manchester Polytechnic.[8]


John Bishop carrying the Olympic Torch at Jodrell Bank in 2012

In the 1990s, Bishop worked as a medical representative for the pharmaceutical company Syntex, before leaving in 2006 to pursue a career as a full-time comedian.[9] He 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.[10] 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).[11]

In 2009, Bishop appeared in Channel 4's series Comedy Showcase and was a contestant on Celebrity Mastermind. He also appeared in 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,[12] 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. 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 entitled John Bishop's Britain.[13] 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 [14]

Bishop's autobiography entitled How Did All This Happen? was published in October 2013 .[5] 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.[15]

In December 2014, he appeared in a music special 'A Night in with Olly Murs' where he and Olly Murs had a lip-sync battle.

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.[16][17]


At the 2010 British Comedy Awards, Bishop won the Best Male Comedy Breakthrough Artist award.[18] 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 minutes 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.

Charity work[edit]

On 30 March 2010, Bishop took part in Channel 4's Comedy Gala, a benefit show held in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, filmed live at the O2 Arena in London. In 2012, he 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.[19] Also in 2012, Bishop 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 the Hillsborough disaster. 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.

Bishop has also competed in numerous charity football matches including playing in the Ciaran Geddes memorial match at the Deva Stadium, Chester, where Bishop scored two goals while playing with his brother Eddie for Chester FC.[20] On 27 May 2012, Bishop took part in the Soccer Aid match for Unicef, playing for the England team, who won 3-1 against the Rest of the World. 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.

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.

Personal life[edit]

Bishop has been married to his wife Melanie since 1993.[21] They have three sons: Joe, Luke, and Daniel.[21][22] He lives in Cheshire.[23] He 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 is a panelist. He has one brother and two sisters; his brother, Eddie, is a former professional footballer with Tranmere Rovers FC and Chester City FC.[24]

In July 2010, Bishop took part in protests against then-owners of Liverpool FC, Tom Hicks and George Gillett,[25] and later took part in a celebrity-studded protest video put out on YouTube.[26] Bishop pre-recorded a video message to the 2011 Labour Party conference, which was being held in Liverpool.[27]

Bishop has been a vegetarian for over 20 years.[28] He talked about this on BBC Two's Something for The Weekend and his episode on food on his stand-up show John Bishop's Britain.[29] On a 2013 episode of The Jonathan Ross Show, he said he had been vegetarian for 27 years. In 2013, PETA declared him to be one of the "Sexiest Vegetarians" of the year.[30]


Year Title Role Notes
2009, 2010 Live at the Apollo Guest performer 2 episodes
2009-2010 Skins Mr Fitch Series 3 & 4
2010–2011 John Bishop's Britain Presenter 2 series on BBC One
A League of Their Own Regular 4 series
2010 Have I Got News For You Guest presenter
2012 Panto! Lewis Loud with Sheridan Smith
2013 John Bishop's Only Joking Presenter
2013— John Bishops Christmas Show Presenter BBC One
2013 Royal Variety Performance Presenter ITV
2014 John Bishop's Australia Presenter 1 mini-series
2015— The John Bishop Show Presenter 1 series
2015 John Bishop's Gorilla Adventure[31] Presenter One-off show
2015 Top Gear from A-Z Narrator One off shows
Year Title Role Notes
2011 (UK) Route Irish Frankie
Music videos


  • "The Elvis Has Left the Building Tour" (2010)
  • "The Sunshine Tour" (2011)
  • "The Rollercoaster Tour" (2012)
  • "Supersonic Tour" (2014)


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


  1. ^ "John Bishop". Desert Island Discs. 24 June 2012. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "John Bishop Biography (Personal Life, Career)". Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "John Bishop on Liverpool FC and One Night in Istanbul at the Empire", 2 June 2009 (Retrieved: 20 February 2010)
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ a b c Bishop, John (2013). How Did All This Happen?. Harper. ISBN 978- 0007436125. 
  6. ^ Jordan, Barbara (8 September 2011). "John Bishop congratulates adults with learning disabilities on their beer". Runcorn and Widnes World. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  7. ^ John Bishop Interview at Newcastle Chronicle Live. Retrieved 1 September 2014
  8. ^ Manchester Metropolitan University alumini. Finally h was in brookside before hitting the road on his comedy tour. Retrieved 31 August 2014
  9. ^ "Comedian John Bishop says Tories are failing our young". 10 November 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "North West Comedy Awards - the winners!", BBC Manchester.
  11. ^ "Edinburgh Comedy Awards - The Nominees". BBC. 28 August 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2009. 
  12. ^ Bishop, John. "Standing up for men in Lycra: John Bishop tries pedal power". Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "John Bishop's Britain". BBC. Retrieved 31 July 2010. 
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ "RVP 2013, London Palladium". Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  16. ^ Butcher, David. "Stargazing Live, Series 6 - Episode 1". Radio Times. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  17. ^ "Stargazing Live". Principia. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  18. ^ Schofield, Ben (24 January 2011). "John Bishop named best Male Breakthrough comedian at British Comedy Awards". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  19. ^ "£4.2 million for Sport Relief". 2 March 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  20. ^ [3]
  21. ^ a b Beth Neil (11 June 2010). "John Bishop: We talk to TV's hottest new comedian - 3am & Mirror Online". Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  22. ^ "John Bishop: The brighter side of stand-up". Manchester Evening News. 29 April 2010. 
  23. ^ BBC News: John Bishop: HS2 will 'kill communities' (accessed 10 October 2013)
  24. ^ "Our Eddie". John Bishop Online. Archived from the original on 3 February 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  25. ^ Weston, Alan (3 July 2010). "Mass rally to oust Tom Hicks and George Gillett from Liverpool FC". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 
  26. ^ 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. 
  27. ^ "The Laz Word...on the Labour Party Conference". Liverpool Confidential. 26 September 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  28. ^ Midgley, Carol (27 July 2011). "Interview: John Bishop". Radio Times. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  29. ^ "John tells his parents he's a vegetarian". John Bishop's Britain, Series 2, Food. BBC One. 6 August 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  30. ^ "Bishop, Cole Sexiest Vegetarians," Belfast Telegraph, 30 December 2013.
  31. ^

External links[edit]