Towards the end of the double act, Herring also worked as a writer, producing four plays. After Lee and Herring went their separate ways he co-wrote the sitcomTime Gentlemen Please, but quickly returned to performance with concept-drivenone-person shows like Talking Cock, Hitler Moustache and Christ on a Bike as well as regular circuit stand-up. Herring has created thirteen of these stand-up shows since 2004, performing them for eleven consecutive years at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with annual tours and a final performance recorded for DVD. His 2016–17 show was a 'best of' tour, drawing from these shows.
Richard Herring was born in Pocklington, East Riding of Yorkshire, and grew up in Cheddar, Somerset. He is the youngest of three children. He attended The Kings of Wessex School, where his father was the headmaster and maths teacher. This later formed the basis of his 2008 stand-up show, The Headmaster's Son. Herring’s mother was also a teacher. The 2007 ITV comedy drama You Can Choose Your Friends, which he wrote and also starred in, was based on his family.
Herring has written and performed in thirteen one-person shows, eleven of them consecutively. A Herring show typically starts with a run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, continues with an extensive UK tour and ends with a recorded performance for DVD.
In January 2008 he began the Collings and Herrin (sic) podcast with Andrew Collins. They celebrated their two-year anniversary with a live "100th" podcast (it was actually the 105th recording) at the Leicester Square Theatre. On 30 January 2010 the pair began a tenure of sitting in for Adam and Joe on BBC Radio 6 Music on Saturdays mornings, a slot they occupied for more than a year.
Herring's 2008 stand-up set The Headmaster's Son earned four 5-star reviews and several 4-star reviews. The set covers his experience growing up in The Kings of Wessex School in Somerset where his father worked as headmaster and how this may have been the origin of his fondness for telling puerile jokes. The show was seen by critics as a thoughtful look at his upbringing, and his relationship with his father, to whom the show is dedicated.
On 27 December 2010, Herring finished second on Celebrity Mastermind with a final score of 34 points. His specialist subject was Rasputin. He was The Pod Delusion "Comedian of the Year 2010."
In May 2011 it was announced that Fist of Fun would be released on DVD by Go Faster Stripe. The first series was released in December 2011 and the second in November 2012, winning 'Best DVD' at the 2013 Chortle Awards
In August and September 2015, he performed all 11 of his previous one man shows, plus a new one, Happy Now?, at the Leicester Square Theatre over the course of six weekends in a season called "The Twelve Shows of Herring".Happy Now? was taken on a 50-plus date UK tour between October 2015 and June 2016. His 2017 tour show was called Richard Herring — The Best. His 2017 Edinburgh Fringe show is called "Oh Frig, I'm 50!" This was taken on a UK tour in the Spring of 2018.
In 2020, Herring was a contestant on the tenth series of Taskmaster. He was the series' eventual winner.
On 25 November 2002 Herring started his blog, Warming Up, as a way to overcome writer's block. He has written an entry for every day, and has over 7,000 consecutive entries. His regular readership is estimated to be around 3,000. Some ideas recorded in Warming Up have been used in his live shows. The first year of his blog is collected in two books, Bye Bye Balham and The Box Lady and Other Pesticles.
On 12 October 2009, he recorded the first episode of As It Occurs To Me, a weekly radio-style stand-up and sketch show made for the Internet. It stars him, Emma Kennedy, Dan Tetsell and Christian Reilly and currently stands at 18 episodes and 5 bonus mini-episodes. It was nominated for best internet show at the 2010 Sony Awards, though it failed to place. On 7 February 2011, As It Occurs to Me won the first Chortle Internet award On 20 March 2012 he retained it. In 2017, As It Occurs To Me returned as a six-episode web series.
In 2011 Herring began playing himself at snooker for an audio podcast called "Me1 vs Me2 Snooker". On 28 July 2016 he performed at the Tempting Failure extreme art festival In 2020 he started playing this with 32 personas on Twitch and appeared on Comedians: Home Alone on BBC2 in July with an edited frame of Me1 vs Me2.
In 2013, Herring won the Chortle Award for his Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, which again won the award in 2014. In 2012 he had recorded the first 16 episodes of the long-running Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast with guests including Tim Minchin, Stewart Lee, Adam Buxton, David Mitchell and Armando Iannucci. It was nominated for a Sony Award for Best Comedy alongside a list of BBC produced comedy shows in 2013. The show won the Bronze Award. In May and June 2013 he recorded nine podcasts with guests including Stephen Fry, Russell Brand and Mary Beard. His interview with Stephen Fry, was covered by national and international news media including the BBC and Sky News when Fry revealed a recent suicide attempt. The series continued with Harry Shearer, Eddie Izzard and David Cross.
On 17 November 2013, he recorded the first episode of a six-part internet stand-up, sketch and interview show Richard Herring's Meaning of Life, structured around the philosophical concepts of 'Creation', 'the Paranormal', 'Love', 'Death', 'Good & Evil' and 'the Shape of Things To Come', the episode being broadcast online between February 2014 and early 2015.
In February 2014, the first Richard Herring Show was broadcast on Fubar Radio. Herring presented this with comedian Lou Sanders weekly, before quitting the show together; their final episode was broadcast on 24 May 2014.
On 8 March 2018, in aid of International Women’s Day, Herring raised over £150,000 for domestic abuse charity Refuge by responding to anyone on Twitter who asked when International Men's Day was (it is 19 November). He did the same on 8 March 2019, raising almost £130,000. He repeated the exercise on 8 March 2020 and streamed himself responding to tweets live on Twitch. He raised a further £70,000. In 2020 he wrote a book about his experiences and toxic masculinity called The Problem With Men which was published on 5 November.
In March 2020 Herring started streaming regularly on Twitch as the world went into lockdown. He produced weekly remote episodes of his podcast, Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, did a live feed of Stone Clearing most weekday mornings and played himself at Snooker (with 32 personas) in the evening. He also did occasional non-director's commentaries for films, as well as a newspaper review with his 128-year-old ventriloquist dummy called Ally and Herring's Twitch of Fun.
Misspelling words for comic effect, most commonly by adding a superfluous 's' (as in 'John Majors') or 'g' (as in 'skellington')
Recurrence of the name Ian for characters, especially as a stand-in name for the imagined director of a company (as in 'Ian Starbucks').
Unlikely acronyms (as in tmwrnj for This Morning With Richard Not Judy) and complex, self-defeating mnemonics (as in abia-ibja-jbjah-baj-bpa zot-apbea-ebaaa-baaa-bnanb-sasb-bora-bboora-obja-jbdt-kadt-kbsoh-thbtwo-uas-bra-rbaaa-baaa-bjaj bjaj-boa-obja-jbaaa-bea-ebmam-baaa-bja-jbjah-batt-twcat-baatwb-tbjbs-asbzaz-baaa-beaebaaabs-as-baaa-beaebea-ebmam-jaj-bj-thomow-wbj-wicc for the genealogy of Christ.)
In April 2012, Herring married author and comedian Catie Wilkins. They had their first child, a daughter, in February 2015, followed by a son in October 2017.
Herring has raised money for Scope since 2003, and ran the London Marathon in aid of the charity in 2004 as well as the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon in 2011, 2013 and 2014. In January 2011 he was nominated for a Just Giving Life Time Achievement Award for his extensive work in helping to raise money, awareness and support for Scope. In 2012 he was made a Patron of Scope.
In 2010 he was made a patron of Humanists UK (formerly The British Humanist Association) and said:
"It’s the 21st century and it’s time the human race accepted that we’re flying this plane and no one out there is going to save us from crashing it. So let’s work together, hey?"
In February 2021 he had an orchidectomy to remove a cancerous testicle, undergoing one shot of chemotherapy a month later.
In November 2021 he ran the Hertfordshire Half Marathon and raised £30,000 for the hospitals that treated his condition. His book about the experience "Can I Have My Ball Back?" will be published in October 2022.
In April 2022 it was announced that Herring had become an Ambassador for Movember
^Herring’s appearance at Edinburgh in 1995 was the backdrop for a short film by Martin Pickles. 'Fisted: the hunt for Richard Herring', 1996. This comedy is not really about Herring but his recent stardom with Stewart Lee forms the comic device. Pickles was at Oxford with Herring. G.M. Film The soundtrack by Evangelista is produced by band member and fellow comedian Al Murray.