Herring during the final performance of As It Occurs To Me in 2011
12 July 1967 |
Pocklington, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
|Medium||Stand up, Radio, Television, Podcast|
|Alma mater||St Catherine's College, Oxford|
|Genres||Black comedy, Satire, Irony, Wit, Deadpan|
|Spouse||Catherine Wilkins (2012-present)|
|Notable works and roles||Fist of Fun
This Morning with Richard Not Judy
Time Gentlemen Please
The Collings and Herrin Podcast
Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast
Richard Keith Herring (born 12 July 1967) is a British comedian and writer, whose early work includes the comedy double-act Lee and Herring. He is described by the British Theatre Guide as "one of the leading hidden masters of modern British comedy".
He is celebrated for concept-led one-person live stand-up shows like Talking Cock, Hitler Moustache and Christ on a Bike. Since 2004, Herring has created a new show every year: developing them at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, touring them extensively throughout the year, and recording the final performance for DVD. His 2015 show, Happy Now? is his twelfth consecutive stand-up show in as many years.
He is also recognized as a pioneer of comedy podcasting, initially with broadcaster Andrew Collins on The Collings and Herrin Podcast and more recently with high-profile comedians such as Stephen Merchant, Russell Brand and Stephen Fry on Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast.
Richard Herring was born in Pocklington, East Riding of Yorkshire, and grew up in Cheddar, Somerset. 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.
He was a student at St Catherine's College, Oxford, where he wrote and performed for a comedy troupe known as the Seven Raymonds as well as the Fringe favourites the Oxford Revue. He attained a 2:1 in History.
Between 1992 and 2000, Richard was one half of the standup comedy double act with Stewart Lee. They were probably best known for their television work, most notably Fist of Fun and This Morning With Richard Not Judy but had been collaborating on stage and radio projects since the 1980s.
As with many double acts, Lee and Herring performed as contrasting personalities: one intellectual and rational (Lee) and the other daft and charming (Herring). As with several other double acts, Lee and Herring had a certain irony to their style and constantly checked themselves and made reference to this. The characters of Lee and Herring were parodies and exaggerations of their real world selves.
With Stewart Lee, Herring wrote material for Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci's On the Hour (1991). During this time the duo contributed to the creation of the character Alan Partridge. In 1992 and 1993, they wrote and performed Lionel Nimrod's Inexplicable World for BBC Radio 4. For Radio 1, they wrote and performed one series of Fist of Fun (1993), which was later remade for television in 1995 and 1996. They also hosted a series on Radio 1 in 1994 and 1995, simply called Lee and Herring. A final television partnership with Lee, This Morning With Richard Not Judy, ran for eighteen episodes over two series but eventually became a victim of BBC management reshuffles.
In 2011, Frank Skinner cited Lee & Herring as one of his favourite comedy double acts, alongside Laurel and Hardy, The Two Ronnies and Reeves and Mortimer.
Lee and Herring went their separate ways at the end of the 1990s though there have been occasional reunions. In 2002 Herring played the role of Renchard in the Doctor Who webcast Real Time, with Stewart Lee as Carey. An account of meeting Doctor Who fans as a result of this is recorded in his blog and reprinted in his book Bye Bye Balham.
Since ending his informal partnership with Stewart Lee, Herring has written and performed in a large body of one-person shows. A noteworthy example of these shows was Talking Cock – also released as a book in 2003 – which The Guardian described as "man's answer to The Vagina Monologues. " The show was translated into several European languages, most successfully in French. The book was also published in Russian.
He has also written for television, most notably a large portion of Al Murray's sitcom Time Gentlemen Please, on which Stewart Lee also worked as script editor. Herring has also contributed to the third series of Matt Lucas and David Walliams' TV sketch show Little Britain, as script editor. He has also worked for Russell Howard.
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 single day since then, over 4000 consecutive entries. It is estimated that he has a regular readership of over 3,000. Some of the ideas from Warming Up were used in his 2005 Edinburgh show Someone Likes Yoghurt, his 2006 Edinburgh show Ménage à Un and his 2007 Edinburgh show Oh Fuck, I'm 40!. In December 2008 the first six months of his blog were published in a book called Bye Bye Balham. The blog also proved a source for his 2010 book How Not To Grow Up and his 2011 stand up show "What is Love, Anyway?"
In 2005, he presented a chat show called Heads Up with Richard Herring on the Pokerzone channel, in which he interviewed professional poker players and celebrities about their careers and their love of the game. There were ten episodes in total.
Herring also made weekly appearances on Andrew Collins's BBC Radio 6 Music radio show on Saturday afternoons, where the two would discuss the week's papers. Occasionally he hosted the show in Collins's absence and joined him for the whole of his final show on 31 March 2007. Herring was also a panellist on BBC Radio 4 gameshow Banter, which was presented by Collins.
In January 2007, Herring's live stand-up show Someone Likes Yoghurt was filmed in Cardiff and released on DVD on 16 May by the independent distributor Go Faster Stripe. A recording of an earlier show, The 12 Tasks of Hercules Terrace, was released on 5 March 2007. Herring returned to Cardiff in June 2007 to film his third DVD, ménage à un. This DVD was released on 19 December 2007. He recorded Oh Fuck, I'm 40 on 21 March 2008. This DVD was released by Go Faster Stripe on 9 December 2008. He recorded "The Headmaster's Son" on 2 June 2009 at the Bristol Tobacco Factory. This was released by Go Faster Stripe on 11 February 2010. The DVD of "Hitler Moustache" was recorded on 2 April at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff and was released through PIAS/Go Faster Stripe on 25 October 2010. He recorded Christ on a Bike at the Leicester Square Theatre in 2011 and What is Love, Anyway? Talking Cock, We're All Going To Die! and Lord of the Dance Settee at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively.
In February 2007, filming began on Herring's new comedy drama You Can Choose Your Friends. As well as writing the script, Herring also played one of the characters alongside Gordon Kennedy, Claire Skinner, Rebecca Front, Sarah-Jane Potts, Robert Daws, Anton Rodgers and Julia McKenzie. The show was broadcast on ITV on 7 June 2007.
In January 2008 he began producing the Collings and Herrin (sic) podcast with Andrew Collins. They celebrated their two-year anniversary with a live "100th" podcast (it was actually about the 105th one they had done) at the Leicester Square Theatre. On 30 January 2010 the pair started sitting in for Adam and Joe on BBC Radio 6 Music on Saturdays mornings, a slot they continued in for over a year.
His 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 encouraged him to make 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.
The original idea behind his 2009 show, Hitler Moustache, was to see if he "could reclaim the toothbrush moustache for comedy – it was Chaplin's first, then Hitler ruined it." The show discusses broader issues, such as fascism and the British National Party. Herring and some of his contemporaries, including Dave Gorman, were angered when comments he makes in his show were misrepresented in an opinion column written by critic Brian Logan in The Guardian. In his piece about offensiveness in comedy, Logan failed to communicate that Herring's line "that racists have a point" is accompanied by a critical commentary of democracy.
On 12 October 2009, he recorded the first episode of As It Occurs To Me, a weekly stand-up and sketch show made especially for internet download. It also features Emma Kennedy, Dan Tetsell and Christian Reilly and had a first run of 10 episodes. A second series of eight episodes ran from 17 May to 5 July 2010. It was nominated for best internet show at the 2010 Sony Awards, though it failed to place. An Edinburgh special took place during the Fringe on 17 August and there were three autumn specials in October and November 2010. A third series of six episodes started on 16 May 2011.
On 14 October 2010, his Radio 4 series Richard Herring's Objective was first broadcast. In it Herring attempted to reclaim demonised items, starting with the Hitler moustache. The other episodes revolve around the hoodie, St George's Flag and Dolly the Sheep. An Edinburgh special about the "See You Jimmy" Hat was broadcast in August 2011 and a second series was recorded in October 2011 with episodes about the Golliwog, the wheelchair, the Page 3 girl and the Old School Tie.
He was The Pod Delusion "Comedian of the Year 2010" 
On 7 February 2011, As It Occurs to Me won the first Chortle Internet award  On 20 March 2012 he retained it. He won the award for a third year running in 2013 for his Leicester Square Theatre Podcast  His Leicester Square Theatre Podcast again won the award in 2014.
On 18 May 2011 he recorded a live performance of his 2010-11 show, Christ on a Bike: The Second Coming, which was released by Go Faster Stripe on 31 October 2011.
In May 2011 it was announced that Fist of Fun would be released on DVD via Go Faster Stripe. The first series was released on 5 December 2011. Series two was released in November 2012. The series two set won Best DVD at the 2013 Chortle Awards 
His 2011 Edinburgh show What Is Love, Anyway premiered at the Cow Barn on 3 August, and was taken on a 74 date tour between October 2011 and May 2012. It was filmed by Go Faster Stripe at the Bloomsbury Theatre on 30 March 2012 and released on 9 August 2012. His other 2012 Edinburgh show, Richard Herring's Edinburgh Fringe Podcast topped the iTunes chart for 3 weeks during August 2011 and guests included Adam Buxton, Sarah Millican, Al Murray and Omid Djalili.
In 2012 he also recorded 16 episodes of 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. It won the Bronze Award  In May and June 2013 he recorded nine podcasts with guests including Stephen Fry, Russell Brand and Mary Beard  In the interview with Stephen Fry, Fry revealed that had attempted to commit suicide. The story was reported across various newspapers and international news networks including the BBC and Sky News. A fourth series was recorded in September and October 2013 with guests including Stephen Merchant, Simon Pegg and Ross Noble. A fifth series was recorded in February and March 2014 with guests including Alexei Sayle, Greg Davies, Harry Shearer and Adam Buxton  A sixth series was recorded between September and November 2014 with guests including Sarah Millican, Steve Coogan and Milton Jones. Series 7 was recorded in June and July of 2015 and guests included Bob Mortimer and Louis Theroux.
His 2013 Edinburgh Fringe stand up show We're All Going To Die! was performed at the Pleasance Beyond and was critically acclaimed, with three 5 star and several 4 star reviews. It was followed up by a 2013-2014 UK tour and a podcast of the same name.
On 17 November 2013 he recorded the first episode of his six-part internet stand-up/sketch/interview show Richard Herring's Meaning of Life. Show one is about Creation, show two recorded on 26 January 2014 tackled the Paranormal. Show 3 recorded on 16 February 2014 tackled love. Show 4 about Death was recorded on 16 March 2014. Show 5 about Good and Evil was recorded on 13 April 2014. Show 6 about The Shape of Things To Come was recorded on 18 May 2014 Episode one went online for free on 28 February 2014, episode 2 went live on 22 April 2014, episode 3 became available on 23 June 2014. Episode 4 went online on 1 October 2014. The last two episodes were released in early 2015.
On 20 February 2014, the first Richard Herring show went out on internet radio station, Fubar Radio. Herring presented this with comedian Lou Sanders on a weekly basis. Herring and Sanders quit the show and their final episode was broadcast on 24 May 2014. His 2014 Fringe shows "Lord of the Dance Settee" and his play "I Killed Rasputin" premiered at the George Square Theatre in August.
In August and September 2015, taking a year off from the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time since 2003, 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". 
Body of Work
Stand up shows
|1994||Richard Herring is Fat||Yes|
|1995||Richard Herring is All Man||Yes|
|2001||Christ on a Bike||Yes||Yes|
|2004||The 12 Tasks of Hercules Terrace||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2005||Someone Likes Yoghurt||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2006||Ménage à un||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2007||Oh Fuck, I'm 40!||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2008||The Headmaster's Son||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2010||Christ on a Bike: The Second Coming||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2011||What Is Love, Anyway?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2012||Talking Cock: The Second Coming||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2013||We're All Going To Die!||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2014||Lord of the Dance Settee ||Yes||Yes|
Miscellaneous home media
|Lee and Herring's Fist of Fun||CD/Tape||1995|
|Lee and Herring Live||VHS||1996|
|Michel Leeb - Qu'est-ce que Sexe? (Talking Cock performed in French)||DVD||2004|
|On The Hour||CD||2008|
|Collings and Herrin: The Best of Earth Wind and Fire * *(and water)||CD||2010|
|As It Occurs To Me: Secret Stand Up||CD||2010|
|Collings and Herrin: War and Peace, Crime and Punishment||CD||2010|
|As It Occurs To Me: The Complete Cumpkin||CD||2011|
- Fist of Fun with Stewart Lee BBC Books, 1995. ISBN 0-563-37185-4; ISBN 978-0-563-37185-4
- Warming Up blog (2002–present)
- Talking Cock Ebury Press ISBN 978-1-56025-608-3 (2003) reprinted (2012)
- Warming Up Volume I: Bye Bye Balham Go Faster Stripe ISBN 978-0-9560901-0-2 (2008)
- Guardian How To Write (contributor) edited by Philip Oltermann The Guardian ISBN 0-85265-138-4 ISBN 978-0852651384 (2009)
- The Atheist Guide to Christmas Contributor (Editor Ariane Sherine) The Friday Project ISBN 978-0-00-732261-9 (2009)
- Shouting At The Telly Contributor (Editor John Grindrod) Faber and Faber ISBN 0-571-24802-0 ISBN 978-0571248025 (2009)
- How Not To Grow Up Ebury Press ISBN 0-09-193208-4 ISBN 978-0091932084 (2010)
- Roger's Profanisaurus – Das Krapital Introduction Dennis Publishing ISBN 978-1-907232-90-9 (2010)
- Metro newspaper weekly column (2012–present)
- Behind the Sofa: Celebrity Memories of Doctor Who (contributor) edited by Steve Berry Matador (2012)
- Warming Up Volume II: The Box Lady and Other Pesticles Go Faster Stripe (2012)
- Radio Academy Awards Best Comedy - Bronze, 2013 (Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast)
- Chortle Awards Internet Award - 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Herring was formerly in a relationship with the actress Julia Sawalha, some years after joking on Fist of Fun that "My ideal woman has the head of Julia Sawalha and the body of Julia Sawalha." In April 2012, Herring married author and comedian Catherine Wilkins. They had their first child, Phoebe Herring, in February, 2015.
Herring has raised money for the Scope charity 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.
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- Richard Herring: The Headmaster’s Son. Metro.co.uk (5 August 2008). Retrieved on 24 May 2011.
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- Dave Gorman (29 July 2009). "Writing wrongs... : Dave Gorman is angered by a 'dangerously bad' piece of journalism". Chortle.
- "The new offenders of standup comedy – Brian Logan – Stage – The Guardian". London: guardian.co.uk. 27 July 2009. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
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- Victoria Wood honoured at Chortle Awards : News 2011 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide. Chortle. Retrieved on 24 May 2011.
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- "Chortle Awards 2013 - Full Results - News - British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
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- "Stephen Fry Reveals 2012 Suicide Attempt". Sky News. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
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- "Why comedian Richard Herring thinks creating free comedy will make money". SO IT GOES - John Fleming's blog.
- "Comedian Richard Herring on financing his own TV series and an alternative to losing money at the Edinburgh Fringe". SO IT GOES - John Fleming's blog.
- "Richard Herring on buying back his own TV series from the BBC, not being more famous and regaining happiness". SO IT GOES - John Fleming's blog.
- Richard Herring's Meaning of Life. vimeo.com.
- "Fubar Radio: UK uncensored radio". fubarradio.com.
- Powder Blue Internet Business Solutions. "Richard Herring: Why I'm skipping Edinburgh". chortle.co.uk.
- "Downloads". Richard Herring.com. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "History Archive". Richard Herring.com. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- 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.
- "Richard Herring – Talking Cock | Metro News". Metro.co.uk. 7 August 2002. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "Richard Herring: The 12 Tasks Of Hercules Terrace's description : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". Chortle. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "Richard Herring: Someone Likes Yoghurt's description : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". Chortle. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "Richard Herring ménage à un - EdFringe Archive - Broadway Baby. Brighter Coverage. Fringe, Regional and West End Theatre Listings and Reviews". Broadwaybaby.com. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- Tim Clark (21 May 2008). "Live comedy review, Richard Herring 'Oh fuck i'm 40'". Such Small Portions. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "Richard Herring – The Headmaster's Son".
- Julian Hall (19 August 2009). "Richard Herring: Hitler Moustache, Underbelly, Edinburgh - Reviews - Comedy". London: The Independent. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- Lindsey (23 December 2010). "Comedy Review: Richard Herring, Christ On A Bike: The Second Coming". Londonist. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- Hall, Julian (8 August 2011). "Richard Herring: What Is Love Anyway?, Udderbelly's Pasture, Edinburgh - Reviews - Theatre & Dance". London: The Independent. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- Brian Logan (21 October 2012). "Richard Herring – review | Stage". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- N/A. "Richard Herring – We're all going to die!". Edfringe.com. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- N/A. "Richard Herring – Lord of the Dance Settee". Warming Up. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
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- "Time Gentlemen Please - Sky1 Sitcom - British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "Poker News | Latest News | News". PokerPlayer. 31 October 2005. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "TV Review – You Can Choose Your Friends, ITV1, Thursday 7 June, 9pm | TV Scoop". Tvscoop.tv. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "Richard Herring works on Rasputin sitcom : News 2012 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". Chortle. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
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- "BBC Radio 7 - Lionel Nimrod's Inexplicable World". Bbc.co.uk. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
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- "Richard Herring: As It Occurs To Me (AIOTM) - Podcasts - British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. 12 October 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "Richard Herring's Edinburgh Fringe Podcast - Podcasts - British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "Me1 vs Me2 Snooker with Richard Herring - Podcasts - British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast - Podcasts - British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
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- "Richard Herring – Metro |". Metro.co.uk. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
- "Merope Mills meets Ab Fab's Julia Sawalha | The Guardian". London: guardian.co.uk. 23 August 2001. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
- "Saturday 7th April 2012". Richard Herring. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- Richard Herring. JustGiving. Retrieved on 24 May 2011.
- Flora London Marathon – Richard Herring Runs The Marathon. Original.justgiving.com. Retrieved on 24 May 2011.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Richard Herring.|
- Interview with The Humourdor
- Interview with BBC Somerset (March 2007)
- Richard Herring at the Internet Movie Database
- Guardian Guide To Writing Comedy
- Extensive Interview with Mustard Magazine
- Independent interview about Hitler Moustache and AIOTM
- Interview with Den of Geek
- BBC news story about Hitler Moustache
- Interview with Gigglesbeat
- Interview with Dave
- Interview with British Comedy Guide
- Interview with John Fleming Part 1
- Interview with John Fleming Part 2
- Interview with John Fleming Part 3