Rob Brydon

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Rob Brydon

Brydon at the 2009 EG Awards
Robert Brydon Jones

(1965-05-03) 3 May 1965 (age 57)
Baglan, Neath Port Talbot, South West Wales
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • presenter
  • singer
  • impressionist
  • writer
Years active1985–present
Martina Fitchie
(m. 1992; div. 2000)
Clare Holland
(m. 2006)

Robert Brydon Jones MBE (/ˈbrdən/; born 3 May 1965) is a Welsh actor, comedian, impressionist, presenter, singer and writer. He played Dr Paul Hamilton in the Australian/British comedy series Supernova, Bryn West in the BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey and Keith Barret in the BBC comedy series Marion and Geoff and its spin-off The Keith Barret Show.

He has appeared in a number of shows for the BBC with Steve Coogan, including The Trip series in 2010, released as a feature film later that year; and The Trip to Italy in 2014 and The Trip to Spain in 2017 and The Trip to Greece in 2020, also edited and released as feature films.

Since 2009, Brydon has presented the BBC One comedy panel show Would I Lie to You? after previously playing himself as host of a fictional panel show in Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive, which ran on BBC Three from 2006 until 2007. In addition to presenting his own late-night chat show, The Rob Brydon Show, for two years and hosting the 2014 Saturday-night game show The Guess List for BBC One, Brydon has also appeared in notable films including Cruise of the Gods, The Gruffalo, 24 Hour Party People, The Huntsman: Winter's War and Holmes & Watson.

Early life[edit]

Brydon was born on 3 May 1965 in Baglan, Glamorgan.[2][3] His mother, Joy Jones (née Brydon), was a school teacher, and his father, Howard Jones, was a car dealer. He grew up in Baglan, with his younger brother Peter (born 1973).[4]

Brydon was educated at two independent schools: St. John's School in Porthcawl, which Eddie Izzard also attended, and Dumbarton House School in Swansea until the age of 14. This was followed by Porthcawl Comprehensive School, where he met Ruth Jones (with whom he later worked in Gavin & Stacey) and became a member of the school's youth theatre group. While at Dumbarton, he once stole the lunch money of fellow pupil Catherine Zeta-Jones (which he admitted while participating in a series 4 episode of Would I Lie To You?).[5]

Brydon has said that his primary childhood influences in comedy were Barry Humphries, Frankie Howerd and Woody Allen. He has also said that he used to memorise entire sketches by Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Peter Sellers.[6][7]


Brydon attended the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Cardiff. He left after a year, to join Radio Wales at the age of 20.[3] His early broadcasts included work as a disc jockey on BBC Radio Wales, when his Saturday morning shows included contributions from stand-up comedian Pete Park-Walker. Between 1992 and 1994, on Radio Wales (where he stayed for six years) he was the main presenter of Rave, one of BBC Radio 5's youth magazine and music programmes, with Alan Thompson. He developed his Marion and Geoff story from this.[8]

In 1994 and 1995 Brydon appeared in numerous episodes of the original Radio Wales version of the cult comedy Satellite City with Boyd Clack. Although he has stayed with radio as a comedy performer on BBC Radio Five Live's The Treatment, Brydon also does occasional stints as a stand-in presenter on BBC Radio 2. He has stood in for Ken Bruce, one of the people whom he impersonates. On 1 April 2011 he appeared in Bruce's place on his show as an April Fools' Day joke.[9][10]

Between September and October 2011, Brydon starred alongside Kenneth Branagh in Francis Veber's play The Painkiller at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast. He reprised his role with Branagh, in March and April 2016, at the Garrick Theatre in London's West End.[11] Whilst not calling himself an impressionist Brydon says he "started out as an impressionist" but will "bristle" when described as such.[citation needed] His impressions include Alec Guinness, James Dean, Michael J. Fox, Richard Burton, Tom Jones, Michael Caine, Mick Jagger and Ronnie Corbett. He is also noted for his "Small Man in A Box" impression.[12]

In an episode of Would I Lie To You?, Rob admitted that he pretended to be his own agent during the early part of his career in order to get more money.

In 2021 he appeared in the first episode of the second series of the show McDonald & Dodds.[13]

Voice-over artist[edit]

Brydon was first known nationally as a voice artist. He provided several voices for the Discworld computer games, radio & television programmes like Eurotrash[14] and continuity announcements for BBC 1.[15] He is also known for voice-over work in television advertising, including for Renault, Tango, The Times, Tesco, Abbey National, Sainsbury's, McDonald's, Pot Noodle, Domino's Pizza, Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, The Observer and Fairy Liquid. He voiced the main character, Lewton, in the Discworld computer game Discworld Noir,[16] and provided voices in animated films such as The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo's Child and Room on the Broom.[17]

Writing breakthrough[edit]

For a brief period in the early 1990s Brydon was a presenter for the Home Shopping Network.[18] He began to find small roles in several successful films and television series. In 2000 he made his mark in television comedy, with two series which he co-wrote and performed for the BBC: Human Remains, co-written by Julia Davis; and the commercially successful Marion and Geoff.

Since these series Brydon has developed a career path as a character actor, in both comedic and serious roles. He portrayed controversial theatre critic Kenneth Tynan in the BBC Four film Kenneth Tynan: In Praise of Hardcore (2005), opposite Julian Sands as Laurence Olivier.

His character Bryn West in Gavin & Stacey, written by Ruth Jones and James Corden, allowed him to return to his South Wales roots. In this role Brydon performed the 2009 Comic Relief charity single, "(Barry) Islands in the Stream", with Ruth Jones (both actors appearing as their characters from Gavin & Stacey) and singer Tom Jones. It reached No.1 in the UK Singles Chart on 15 March 2009.

In 2010 Brydon starred alongside Steve Coogan in Michael Winterbottom's partially improvised BBC Two sitcom series The Trip, in which both actors played fictionalised versions of their public personas (Brydon, optimistic and always eager to do an impression; and Coogan, misanthropic and bitter that he's not the major international star he believes he should be).[19]

Brydon's book Small Man in a Book (the title a play on his "small-man-in-a-box" impression) was published in November 2011.[20]


In 2006, Brydon first appeared on the BBC Radio 4 comedy panel game I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. His singing voice earned the unprecedented accolade from the former host, Humphrey Lyttelton, of being "not bad".[citation needed] When the team went on a tour of non-broadcast stage shows, Brydon filled in as chairman when Lyttelton was in hospital to repair an aortic aneurysm. Lyttelton died in hospital after surgery.

In February 2009, it was announced that Brydon would be one of three people to replace Lyttelton as chairman of the 51st series of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue (the others being Stephen Fry and Jack Dee).[21][22] Brydon also appeared as guest panellist in the first two episodes of series 52, chaired by Jack Dee. He returned as a guest panellist in the last two episodes of series 54 in January 2011.

Additionally, in 2009 he took over as host of Would I Lie To You?, replacing Angus Deayton.[23] Brydon had also appeared as a guest panellist on the show during the previous season.[24] Brydon has presented an episode of Have I Got News for You[25] and has appeared on BBC Radio 4's panel game Just a Minute.[26][27]

Brydon narrated a two-part programme on BBC Radio 4, The Pain of Laughter: The Last Days of Kenneth Williams. It explored the latter part of Williams's life, featuring many of the performer's friends and contemporaries. In other radio work Brydon sat in for Ken Bruce on BBC Radio 2 for one day only on 25 August 2008. In addition to this, on 1 April 2011, Brydon impersonated Bruce for the entire two-hour and thirty minutes show. Bruce came on the air at the end of the show to reveal the prank.

Brydon has appeared on the TV comedy quiz QI. In his first appearance (Series A, episode 5), his talent for mimicry was displayed with impressions of Alec Guinness, James Dean, and Michael J. Fox. In the 2008 Christmas special, he provided impressions of Richard Burton and Tom Jones.


In 2009/10 Brydon had his first stand-up tour in the UK as Rob Brydon (rather than as a differently named character). The resulting DVD of the 2009/10 show, Rob Brydon: Live, was released on 23 November 2009.[28] Brydon appeared as a host on episode two of series five of the BBC series of Live at the Apollo.

In 2010 Brydon took part in Channel 4's Comedy Gala, a benefit show in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, filmed live at the O2 Arena in London on 30 March. He was one of six compères for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert held outside Buckingham Palace on 4 June 2012.

Personal life[edit]

Brydon was married to Martina Fitchie from 1992 to 2000.[29][30] They have two daughters together, Katie (born August 1994) and Amy (born July 1998), and a son, Harry (born October 1996).[31][32]

On 6 October 2006, Brydon married Clare Holland, a former producer on The South Bank Show, at Windsor church. They live in Strawberry Hill in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. They have two sons, Tom, born in April 2008, and George, born in June 2011.[33] A keen golfer, Brydon is also a Swansea City fan and is an ambassador to their 1912 foundation.[34]

In August 2014, Brydon was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.[35]

Honours and awards[edit]

Brydon was made an honorary fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where he previously studied.[36][when?] Brydon was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to comedy and broadcasting, and for charitable services.[37][38]


Not yet released Denotes works that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes
1994 The Healer Sean
1995 First Knight Man in crowd
1996 Lord of Misrule Cornish policeman
1998 Martha – Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence Bus driver
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Traffic warden
2001 A Small Summer Party Keith Barret
2002 24 Hour Party People Ryan Letts
Cruise of the Gods Andy van Allen
2004 Shaun of the Dead Football commentator/'Zombies from Hell!' presenter (voice) Uncredited
2005 MirrorMask Morris Campbell/Prime Minister
A Cock and Bull Story Capt. Toby Shandy/ himself
Kenneth Tynan: In Praise of Hardcore Kenneth Tynan
2009 The Gruffalo Snake (voice)
2011 The Trip Himself
The Gruffalo's Child[39] Snake (voice)
2012 The Best of Men Corporal Wynne Bowen
Room on the Broom Cat (voice)
2013 Gangsta Granny Mr. Parker
The Unbeatables Rico (voice) UK version
2014 The Trip to Italy Himself
2015 Cinderella Master Phineus Uncredited
2016 The Huntsman: Winter's War Gryff
2017 The Trip to Spain Himself
2018 Early Man Message Bird, Brian and Bryan (voices)
Swimming with Men Eric Scott
Holmes & Watson Inspector Lestrade
2019 Blinded by the Light Matt's Father
Days of the Bagnold Summer Douglas Porter
The Snail and the Whale Whale
2020 The Trip to Greece Himself
Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse William Heelis TV Film[40]
Zog and the Flying Doctors The King (voice) [41]
2022 What's Love Got to Do with It? Not yet released Post-production
TBA The Amazing Maurice Not yet released The Pied Piper (voice) In production


Year Title Role Channel
1993 The Legends of Treasure Island Long John Silver (Series 2) CITV on ITV
1996 Cold Lazarus Karl Channel 4/BBC One
2000 Human Remains Peter Moorcross, Gordon Budge, Stephen, Tony, Barne Willers, Les BBC Two
2000–2003 Marion and Geoff Keith Barret
2001 The Way We Live Now Mr Alf BBC One
2002 I'm Alan Partridge Baptist fan ("Alan Wide Shut") BBC Two
Black Books B Nugent Channel 4
Murder in Mind Barry Coates BBC One
Robbie the Reindeer: Legend of the Lost Tribe Prison Guard (voice)
2003; 2008 Top Gear Himself
2003–2013 QI Himself BBC Four/BBC One/BBC Two
2004 Director's Commentary Peter de Lane ITV
2004–2015 The Big Fat Quiz of the Year Himself – panellist Channel 4
2004–2005 The Keith Barret Show Keith Barret BBC Two
2005 Supernova Dr Paul Hamilton
Little Britain Roman de Vere (series 3) BBC One
Jack Dee Live at the Apollo Keith Barret
2006 Have I Got News for You Guest Presenter
100 Greatest Funny Moments Narrator Channel 4
2006–2007 Annually Retentive Himself BBC Three
2007 Dawn French's Boys Who Do Comedy Himself BBC One
2007–2010, 2019 Gavin & Stacey Bryn West BBC Three/BBC One
2007 Heroes and Villains: Napoleon Stanislav Fréron BBC One
2007 Oliver Twist Mr Fang
2009 Horne & Corden Narrator to Olympic sketches BBC Three
Live at the Apollo Compere/stand-up BBC One
2009–present Would I Lie to You? Presenter, since Series 3
2009 The Gruffalo Snake (voice)
2010–2012 The Rob Brydon Show Himself (Host) BBC Two
2010 Ronnie Corbett's Supper Club Himself (Guest) Good Food
2010–2020 The Trip Himself BBC Two/Sky Atlantic
2011 A Quiet Word With ... Himself (Guest)[42] ABC
Michael McIntyre's Christmas Comedy Roadshow Father Christmas/himself BBC One
The Gruffalo's Child Snake (voice)
2012 Room on the Broom Cat (voice)
2013 Gangsta Granny Mr. Parker
2014 This is Jinsy Rex Camalbeeter (series 2) Sky Atlantic
The Guess List Himself BBC One
2015 The Brink Martin HBO
Stick Man Various (voice) BBC One
Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Star Guest Announcer; Series 12 Episode 3 ITV
2016 Revolting Rhymes King, Rolf, the Banker Pig and the Short Sister (voice) BBC One
2017 Not Going Out George (Series 8, Episode 3) (voice)
The Highway Rat Narrator and Horse (voices) Television film
2017 The Nightly Show Himself (guest) ITV
2018 Trust Richard Nixon FX
2019 The Snail and the Whale Whale BBC One
2020 Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Star Guest Announcer; Series 16 Episode 2 ITV
2021 The Chasers Road Trip: Trains, Brains and Automobiles Narrator
McDonald and Dodds Roy[43]
Celebrity Catchphrase: Christmas Special Himself (contestant)[44]
Superworm The Crow (voice)[45] BBC One
2022 Green Eggs and Ham Philip Trousers (voice)[46] Netflix
The Smeds and The Smoos Uncle Smoo (voice)[47] BBC

Radio appearances[edit]

Year Title Role
1992–1994 Rave himself – presenter
1994 Satellite City himself – radio show
1995 Eleven Men Against Eleven radio commentator
The Treatment himself – radio show
2004 Just a Minute himself
2005 Flight of the Conchords (radio series) narrator
Just a Minute himself
2006-2016 I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue himself (host in 1 episode)
2009 The Unbelievable Truth himself
2011 The Ken Bruce Show Ken Bruce (as an April Fool joke)
2012 Best of Men himself

Other appearances[edit]

  • Script editor for a season 2 of Little Britain



Year Single Chart positions
2009 "(Barry) Islands in the Stream" 1 48 7


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  2. ^ "Rob Brydon". BBC Cymru Wales. 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Mark Lawson talks to ... Rob Brydon". BBC Four. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Ask Rob Brydon". 29 January 2003. Archived from the original on 29 January 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  5. ^ "Would Rob Brydon lie to you?". Daily Post North Wales. 8 August 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  6. ^ Quark (28 April 2014). "Quark interviews Rob Brydon". Quark. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Quark interviews Rob Brydon". Quark Online. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  8. ^ "South West Wales – Hall of Fame". BBC. February 2009. Archived from the original on 5 February 2006. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  9. ^ "Rob Brydon impersonates Radio 2's Ken Bruce", BBC News, retrieved 1 April 2011
  10. ^ "Rob Brydon fools Ken Bruce's Radio 2 fans", The Independent, retrieved 1 April 2011
  11. ^ "Branagh Theatre Company". 17 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan: 'We're not the big buddies people think we are'". The Guardian. 26 October 2010.
  13. ^ "McDonald & Dodds renewed for third series on ITV".
  14. ^ Al Murray On The Invention Of The Pub Landlord. 2 June 2022. Event occurs at 6:42. I also did Eurotrash
  15. ^ Larman, Alexander. "BFI Screenonline: Brydon, Rob (1965–) Biography". Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  16. ^ "Discworld Noir (1999) Windows credits". MobyGames. 20 June 2004. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  17. ^ "Rob Brydon – IMDb". IMDb.
  18. ^ "Other works for Rob Brydon". IMDb.
  19. ^ Wollaston, Sam (2 November 2010). "TV review: The Trip, Coppers, The Little House, Twitchers: A Very British Obsession, Extreme Fishing with Robson Green". The Guardian. London.
  20. ^ Gordon, Bryony (7 November 2011). "Rob Brydon: 'I used to be ambitious, but now I'm more like JR Hartley'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  21. ^ "Fry, Brydon, Dee to host 'Clue' return". Digital Spy. 25 February 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  22. ^ Foster, Patrick (26 February 2009). "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue panel game to return to Radio 4". The Times. London. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  23. ^ Parker, Robin (11 March 2009). "Brydon to host BBC1 quiz". Broadcastnow. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
  24. ^ "Would I Lie to You?: Rob Brydon, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Gabby Logan, Robert Webb". Archived from the original on 6 September 2019. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  25. ^ "Have I Got News for You: Rob Brydon, Frankie Boyle, Claudia Winkleman Episode Summary". 3 April 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  26. ^ "Wales – Arts – Rob Brydon". BBC. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  27. ^ Raphael, Amy (24 February 2008). "Look who's laughing now". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  28. ^ "Rob Brydon: Live –". Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  29. ^ England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005
  30. ^ "Rob Brydon tells of anguish after breakdown of first marriage". Wales Online. 12 August 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  31. ^ Swann, Yvonne (22 January 2010). "My perfect weekend: Rob Brydon". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 26 January 2010.
  32. ^, England & Wales Birth Index: 1916–2005.
  33. ^ Swann, Yvonne (22 January 2010). "My perfect weekend: Rob Brydon". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
  34. ^ "Rob Brydon signs for Swans". Swansea City Football Club official site. 12 November 2008. Archived from the original on 23 May 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
  35. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories". The Guardian. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  36. ^ "Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama – Honorary Fellows". Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012.
  37. ^ "No. 60534". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 June 2013. p. 15.
  38. ^ "Birthday Honours: Adele joins Blackadder stars on list". BBC News. 14 June 2013.
  39. ^ "The Gruffalo's Child". BBC One. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  40. ^ "Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse". Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  41. ^ "Zog and the Flying Doctors". Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  42. ^ "A Quiet Word With Rob Brydon". Official site. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  43. ^ Bley Griffiths, Elanor (28 February 2021). "McDonald and Dodds season 2 release date: Cast, plot and episodes". Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  44. ^ "Celebrity Catchphrase: Christmas Special". Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  45. ^ "Superworm". Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  46. ^ "Rob Brydon". IMDb.
  47. ^ "First Look Image: Bill Bailey, 'Bridgerton's' Adjoa Andoh in Julia Donaldson's 'The Smeds and The Smoos'".
  48. ^ "BBC Radio 4 – Desert Island Discs, Rob Brydon".
  49. ^ "Rob Brydon to Front P&O Cruises' New Ad Campaign". Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  50. ^ "Jenkins featuring West, Jones and Gibb – Islands in the Stream – Music Charts". Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  51. ^ "Ireland Singles Top 50 – Music Charts". Retrieved 19 August 2011.

External links[edit]

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