2 June 1968 |
Ormskirk, Lancashire, England
|Genres||Impressions, sketch comedy|
|Notable works and roles||Dead Ringers (2000–07, 2014–)
The Impressionable Jon Culshaw (2004)
The Sky at Night (2007—)
The Impressions Show (2009—)
Culshaw has voiced a number of characters for ITV shows including 2DTV (2001), Spitting Image (1994–96) and Newzoids (2015), as well as appearing in The Impressions Show alongside Debra Stephenson since 2009.
Early life and career
Culshaw's radio career began in hospital radio in Ormskirk. His first job was at Red Rose Radio (now Rock FM) in Preston in 1987, where, even then, he used to occasionally read the weather in the voice of Frank Bruno. He did voice-over work, then was catapulted to prominence with Spitting Image, where he voiced around forty characters, including John Major, then the Prime Minister.
For around four years in the late 1980s, Culshaw was a DJ on commercial radio station Viking FM, based in Hull, and also had a breakfast show on Pennine Radio (now The Pulse of West Yorkshire) and Radio Wave in Blackpool. It was a receptionist at Viking FM who persuaded Culshaw that he should go onstage with his impressions and make it his living. Culshaw later appeared on BBC Radio 2's It's Been a Bad Week, appeared as a guest on the BBC Two Star Trek Night quiz in August 1996, and was also a regular guest on the Chris Moyles afternoon show on BBC Radio 1 from 1998 to 2002, where he would phone up commercial organisations such as a Kwik-Fit garage in the voice of Patrick Moore or Obi-Wan Kenobi politely requesting whether they could service his X-wing fighter, and how much time it would take.
Culshaw rose to fame in January 1998 while working with Steve Penk on Capital Radio, by impersonating William Hague and succeeding in contacting Number 10 Downing Street. He was put through to Tony Blair who, despite instantly discovering the ruse, had a lengthy conversation with him until a member of Blair's staff ended the call.
Culshaw was one of the stars of the BBC Radio 4 comedy series Dead Ringers, which ran from 2000 to 2007 as well as the BBC Two television series of the same name, from 2002 to 2007. The radio series of Dead Ringers made a return to BBC Radio 4 in 2014.
Between 2001 and 2002, Culshaw hosted a programme on ITV called Alter Ego, where he interviewed male celebrities in their own style of speaking, a form of simultaneous translation. Culshaw also appeared on 2DTV, a cartoon version of Dead Ringers. In early 2004, using the same production team, he had his own programme, The Impressionable Jon Culshaw commissioned for ITV.
Culshaw also appeared in the Doctor Who webcast "Death Comes to Time" and audio drama The Kingmaker. In the latter, he got to perform his Tom Baker impression "for real" (voicing tape recordings of the fourth Doctor), although his nominal part was that of Earl Rivers.
In 2005, Culshaw was a celebrity contestant on Comic Relief Does Fame Academy and was the fourth person to become eliminated.
In January 2006, Culshaw presented one series of the BBC programme Jon Culshaw's Commercial Breakdown. In November 2007 and December 2008, Culshaw, a keen amateur astronomer, appeared on The Sky at Night impersonating a young Sir Patrick Moore. In March 2011, he appeared again on the 700th episode of The Sky at Night, reading viewer questions to the panel of experts. Culshaw later appeared two months later reporting on the Northern Lights.
On 13 March 2010, Jon was a guest judge on the BBC One charity programme Let's Dance for Comic Relief. In 2013, he appeared as a contestant on the show, where he performed a routine to "Praise You" by Fatboy Slim. However, he was eliminated by the public vote.
He also voiced Piston Pete in the 2008 film Agent Crush.
Some of Culshaw's most famous impressions include ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Obi-Wan Kenobi (in the Alec Guinness persona), Russell Crowe, President George W. Bush, Ozzy Osbourne, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, comedian Michael McIntyre, presenter Dale Winton, newsreader Brian Perkins, Sir Patrick Moore and Tom Baker.
Awards and honours
Culshaw is a celebrity ambassador for the charity Trekstock.
|1994–1996||Spitting Image||Various voices||ITV|
|2002||Room 101||Patrick Moore||BBC Two|
|2002–2009||Dead Ringers||Starring||BBC Two|
|2004||The Impressionable Jon Culshaw||Starring||ITV|
|Little Britain||Guest||BBC One|
|2006||The Slammer||Guest||BBC One|
|The Secret Policeman's Ball 2006||Guest||Channel 4|
|2007||The Sky at Night||Young Patrick Moore||BBC One|
|Red Nose Day 2007||Various||BBC One|
|Kombat Opera Presents||Guest||BBC Two|
|2008-present||Horrible Histories||Various characters||CBBC / BBC One|
|2009-present||The Impressions Show with Culshaw and Stephenson||Starring||BBC One|
|2013||Let's Dance for Comic Relief||Contestant||BBC One|
|The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot||Tom Baker (voice)||BBC Red Button|
- Guest appearances
- Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (August 2007, 8 January 2013) – Contestant
- Celebrity Are You Smarter than a Ten Year Old? (2008) – Contestant
- Hotel Babylon (2008) – Guest
- Celebrity Mastermind (29 December 2008) – Contestant
- Heston's Eighties Feast (2010) – Guest
- The Sky at Night (2011) – Guest
- Stargazing Live (2012) – Guest
- Celebrity Antiques Road Trip (10 September 2012) – Participant
- Britain's Secret Treasures (20 July 2012) – Contributor
- Pointless Celebrities (2012, 1 November 2014) – Contestant
- The Chase: Celebrity Special (5 October 2013) – Contestant
- Tipping Point: Lucky Stars (9 August 2014) – Contestant
- Pointless Celebrities (1 November 2014) – Contestant, with Debra Stephenson
- Holiday of My Lifetime (5 November 2014) – Guest
- Bruce Forsyth's Hall of Fame (27 December 2014) – Guest performer
- Get Your Act Together (22 February 2015) – Guest
- All Star Family Fortunes (22 February 2015) – Contestant
- This Week (April 2015) – Guest
- Sunday Brunch (19 April 2015) – Guest
- The Paul O'Grady Show (23 April 2015) – Guest
|2004||Churchill: The Hollywood Years||Tony Blair|
|2008||Agent Crush||Piston Pete (voice)|
- St Bede's
- "Canterbury Christ Church University". The Independent. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- tellytunes: dj photocards: viking fm dj photographs
- Jenny Gilbert (11 August 2002). "Jon Culshaw: A very good impression of a man who wants to outdo Rory Bremner". The Independent. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- "The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot", BBC programmes, retrieved 26 November 2013
- Jon Culshaw at the Internet Movie Database
- Alter Ego.
- Article in The Stage
- BBC Dead Ringers.
- Honorary fellowship
- Viking FM photo
- Prank call.[dead link]
- The Time Lord contacts terrestrial organisations by telephone.
- Voice over work.
- Viking FM jingle
- Talking about his work on Dead Ringers.
- Interviewed on Radio Lancashire in July 2006
- Helping out with Budget 2005 on Radio Five Live
- Would You featuring celebrity vocals
- Talking on Danny Baker's programme.
- This is the Radio Four News with Brian Perkins.
- Are you sitting comfortably? It's time for Dead Ringers to begin.