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Rob Brydon

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Rob Brydon
Brydon at the 2009 EG Awards
Robert Brydon Jones

(1965-05-03) 3 May 1965 (age 59)
EducationRoyal Welsh College of Music and Drama
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • presenter
  • singer
  • impressionist
  • writer
Years active1985–present
Known forFull list
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. Brydon gained prominence for his roles in film, television and radio. Brydon was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Honours in 2013 for services to comedy and broadcasting, and for charitable services.

Brydon gained fame for his roles in the black comedy series Human Remains (2000), the mockumentary series Marion and Geoff (2000–2003), the chat show spoof The Keith Barret Show (2004–2005), and the comedy series Supernova (2005–2006). From 2007 to 2010 he played Bryn West in the BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey for which he received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Comedy Performance.

He has acted in a number of shows for the BBC with Steve Coogan starting with 24 Hour Party People (2002) and A Cock and Bull Story (2005). Brydon and Coogan then starred in The Trip (2010) followed by The Trip to Italy (2014), The Trip to Spain (2017), and The Trip to Greece (2020). He has also acted in the films Cinderella (2015), The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016), Holmes & Watson (2019) and Barbie (2023).

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.

Early life and education[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 private 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]


1982–1999: Early radio work[edit]

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 including for Ken Bruce before Bruce resigned from the BBC in 2023. Notably on 1 April 2011, Brydon appeared during Bruce's absence, as him, as an April Fools' Day joke, for the entire show.[9][10]

During an episode of Would I Lie To You?, Brydon admitted that he had pretended on the phone to be his own agent, using one of his repertoire of different voices in the early part of his career. This was done to justify enhancing his freelance work fees.

For a brief period in the early 1990s Brydon was a presenter for the Home Shopping Network.[11] He began to find small roles in several successful films and television series. Brydon was first known nationally as a voice artist. He provided several voices for the Discworld computer games, radio & television programmes like Eurotrash[12] and continuity announcements for BBC 1.[13] 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,[14] and provided voices in animated films such as The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo's Child and Room on the Broom.[15]

2000–2009: Television roles and acclaim[edit]

Brydon on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue in 2009

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. From 2000 to 2003 he starred in the BBC television mockumentary Marion and Geoff which was commercially successful. Brydon plays as Keith Barret, a naïve taxi driver going through a messy divorce from his wife, Marion, who, though he fails to realise it, has had a long-standing affair with her colleague, Geoff. Each episode is presented as a monologue, filmed by a fixed camera in the confines of his car. From 2004 to 2005 Brydon starred in The Keith Barret Show which was a fictional spoof of a BBC chat show. In 2006 he parodied comedy panel shows such as QI, Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You in the BBC Three series Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive. Ed Potton of The Times found that the series "provides the perfect platform for host Brydon, playing a demonic version of himself, to mimic (often hilariously) and abuse (often brutally) his guests".[16]

Michael Winterbottom (left), Steve Coogan (middle), and Brydon (right) at the Ryerson Theatre in Toronto, Canada (2005)

In 2005 he portrayed a version of himself in the British comedy A Cock and Bull Story directed by Michael Winterbottom. Brydon starred opposite Steve Coogan. Dana Stevens of Slate wrote, "Rob Brydon, plays Tristram’s Uncle Toby, a blustering war veteran with a wound in an unspeakable place. In the modern-day scenes, Rob Brydon is, surprise, Rob Brydon, an actor with an ego even more pitifully in need of stroking than Coogan’s. The unscripted-sounding exchanges between these two are the funniest part of the movie".[17] From 2007 to 2010 Brydon gained prominence for his leading role as Uncle Bryn in the BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey starring Matthew Horne, Joanna Page, and James Corden. In the 2009 Brydon was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Comedy Performance as Bryn. Starting in 2009 Brydon has hosted the game show Would I Lie to You?. 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.

Also 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. 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.

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 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).[18][19] 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.[20] Brydon had also appeared as a guest panellist on the show during the previous season.[21] Brydon has presented an episode of Have I Got News for You[22] and has appeared on BBC Radio 4's panel game Just a Minute.[23][24]

2010–present: The Trip and other roles[edit]

Steve Coogan and Brydon at the Sundance Film Festival promoting The Trip to Spain (2014)

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.[25] Whilst not calling himself an impressionist Brydon says he "started out as an impressionist" but will "bristle" when described as such.[26] 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.[27]

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).[28] Coogan and Brydon reprised their roles as themselves in the follow up films The Trip to Italy (2014), The Trip to Spain (2017), and The Trip to Greece (2020). The films have been met with critical acclaim with many critics describing them as "hilarious and heartbreaking". Elizabeth Nelson of The Ringer comparing their chemistry to that of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in the Road movies. Nelson also compared the films to Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.[29]

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.[30] 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.[31] 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. The following year he dubbed the voice of Beto in the animated film The Unbeatables for the United Kingdom edition of the film.

In 2015 he had a uncredited role as Master Phineus in the Kenneth Branagh directed romantic fantasy Cinderella for Walt Disney Pictures. The following year he played Gryff in The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016) alongside Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth and Emily Blunt. That same year he played various roles in the BBC One animated series Revolting Rhymes (2016) which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. In 2018 he played Inspector Lestrade in the mystery-parody Holmes & Watson starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. Brydon also had roles in the stop-motion animated film Early Man (2018) and the British comedy Swimming with Men (2018). He also portrayed Richard Nixon in the FX series Trust (2018). The following year he had roles in the musical comedy Blinded by the Light (2019) and in the coming-of-age film Days of the Bagnold Summer (2019).

In 2021 he acted in the first episode of the second series of the show McDonald & Dodds.[32] That same year he narrated The Chasers Road Trip: Trains, Brains and Automobiles, was a contestant on Celebrity Catchphrase, and voiced The Crow in Superworm alongside Olivia Colman and Matt Smith. The following year he voiced the Pied Piper in The Amazing Maurice (2022) alongside Hugh Laurie, Emilia Clarke, David Thewlis and Hugh Bonneville. In 2023 he had a brief role as Sugar Daddy Ken in Greta Gerwig's comedy Barbie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.

In 2022 Brydon appeared in Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends revue, including alongside Haydn Gwynne in "The Little Things You Do Together", the marital battle from Company.[33][34]

Personal life[edit]

Brydon was married to Martina Fitchie from 1992 to 2000.[35][36] They had two daughters and a son.[37][38]

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.[39] A keen golfer, Brydon is also a Swansea City fan and is an ambassador to their 1912 foundation.[40]

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.[41]


Denotes works that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes
1995 First Knight Man in crowd
1998 Martha, Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence Bus driver
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Traffic warden
2002 24 Hour Party People Ryan Letts
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
2010 The Trip Himself
2013 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
2020 The Trip to Greece Himself
2022 The Amazing Maurice The Pied Piper (voice)
Stephen Sondheim's Old Friends Himself Concert film
2023 Barbie Sugar Daddy Ken


Year Title Role Notes
1993 The Legends of Treasure Island Long John Silver (voice) Series 2
1994 The Healer Sean Television film
1995 Eleven Men Against Eleven Radio commentator
1996 Cold Lazarus Karl Channel 4/BBC One
Lord of Misrule Cornish policeman Television film
2000 The Baskervilles Brian Baskerville, Nicolas Lucifer II, others (voices) ITV
Human Remains Peter Moorcross, Gordon Budge, Stephen,
Tony, Barne Willers, Les
2000–2003 Marion and Geoff Keith Barret
2001 The Way We Live Now Mr Alf BBC One
A Small Summer Party Keith Barret Television film
2002 Murder in Mind Barry Coates BBC One
Black Books B Nugent Channel 4
Robbie the Reindeer: Legend of the Lost Tribe Prison Guard (voice) Television film
I'm Alan Partridge Baptist fan Episode: "Alan Wide Shut"
Cruise of the Gods Andy van Allen Television film
2003; 2008 Top Gear Himself BBC One
2003–2013 QI BBC Four/BBC One/BBC Two
2004 Directors Commentary Peter de Lane ITV
Agatha Christie's Marple Inspector Awdry Episode: "What Mrs McGillicuddy Saw!"
2004–2005 The Keith Barret Show Keith Barret BBC Two
2004–2015 The Big Fat Quiz of the Year Himself – panellist Channel 4
2005 Kenneth Tynan: In Praise of Hardcore Kenneth Tynan Television film
Little Britain Roman de Vere Series 3
Jack Dee Live at the Apollo Keith Barret BBC One
2005-2006 Supernova Dr Paul Hamilton BBC Two
2006 Have I Got News for You Guest Presenter BBC One
100 Greatest Funny Moments Narrator Channel 4
2006–2007 Annually Retentive Himself BBC Three
2007 Dawn French's Boys Who Do Comedy BBC One
Heroes and Villains: Napoleon Stanislas Fréron
Oliver Twist Mr Fang
2007–2010, 2019 Gavin & Stacey Bryn West BBC Three/BBC One
2009 Live at the Apollo Compere/stand-up BBC One
Horne & Corden Narrator to Olympic sketches BBC Three
The Gruffalo Snake (voice) Television film
2009–present Would I Lie to You? Presenter Since Series 3
2010 Ronnie Corbett's Supper Club Himself (guest) Good Food
2010–2012 The Rob Brydon Show Himself (host) BBC Two
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[43] Snake (voice) Television film
2012 The Best of Men Corporal Wynne Bowen
Room on the Broom Cat (voice)
2013 Gangsta Granny Mr. Parker
2014 This is Jinsy Rex Camalbeeter Series 2
The Guess List Himself BBC One
2015 The Brink Martin HBO
Stick Man Various (voice) Television film
Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Star Guest Announcer Series 12, episode 3
2016 Revolting Rhymes King, Rolf, the Banker Pig, the Short Sister (voice) BBC One
2017 Not Going Out George (voice) Series 8, episode 3
The Highway Rat Narrator and Horse (voices) Television film
The Nightly Show Himself (guest) ITV
2018 Trust Richard Nixon FX
2019 The Snail and the Whale Whale (voice) BBC One
2020 Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Star Guest Announcer Series 16, episode 2
Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse William Heelis Television film[44]
Zog and the Flying Doctors The King (voice) Television film[45]
2021 The Chasers Road Trip: Trains, Brains and Automobiles Narrator 3 episodes
McDonald & Dodds Roy Gilbert[46] Episode: "The Man Who Wasn't There"
Celebrity Catchphrase Himself (contestant)[47] Episode: "2021 Christmas Special"
Superworm The Crow (voice)[48] Television film
2022 Green Eggs and Ham Philip Trousers (voice)[49] Netflix
The Smeds and The Smoos Uncle Smoo (voice)[50] Television film
The Tuckers Tony Perrot BBC One Wales
2023 Tabby McTat Fred (voice) BBC One[51]


Year Title Role
1992–1994 Rave Himself – presenter
1994 Satellite City Himself – radio show
1995 The Treatment
2004 Just a Minute Himself
2005 Flight of the Conchords (radio series) Narrator
Just a Minute Himself
2006–2021 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

Honours and awards[edit]

Brydon was made an honorary fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama where he previously studied.[54][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.[55][56]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2000 British Comedy Awards Best Comedy Newcomer Marion & Geoff Won
2001 Best TV Comedy Actor Human Remains Won
2003 Marion & Geoff / Cruise of the Gods Nominated
2004 BAFTA Award Best Situation Comedy Marion & Geoff Nominated
2005 British Independent Film Award Best Supporting Actor Tristham Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story Nominated
2009 BAFTA Award Best Comedy Performance Gavin & Stacey Nominated
2009 British Comedy Award Best TV Comedy Actor Nominated
2010 The Trip Nominated
Best New TV Comedy Nominated
2011 BAFTA Award Best Situation Comedy Nominated
Best Entertainment Performance The Rob Brydon Show Nominated
British Comedy Award Best Male TV Comic Would I Lie to You Nominated
2018 BAFTA Award Best Male Performance in a Comedy Series The Trip to Spain Nominated



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


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