Rufus Hound in 2011
Robert James Blair Simpson
6 March 1979
Surrey, England, UK
|Occupation||Comedian, stage actor + actor, television presenter|
|Spouse(s)||Beth Johnson (m. 2007)|
Hound was educated at Hoe Bridge School Woking, Frensham Heights and Godalming College, where he was elected as a Student Representative and built the college radio station. After leaving school he began working for a PR agency but started performing comedy in the evenings. In 2000 he left his job as an account executive for Claire's Accessories to begin working full-time as a stand-up comedian. While working at the Edinburgh Festival he adopted the stage name 'Rufus Hound' for the first time.
Television and radio
Hound hosted Destination Three, the coverage of the Glastonbury Festival and Top of the Pops in 2005 and 2006 alongside Fearne Cotton. He presented the idiosyncratic reality show Grime Scene Investigation on BBC Three with staff and students from Aston University, and narrated BBC Two's broadcasts of MythBusters. He has also appeared in many comedy shows and quizzes such as Street Cred Sudoku, Nevermind the Buzzcocks and Celebrity Juice, where he was a regular panellist. He narrated the 2009 series Rocket Science and has appeared on The Apprentice: You're Fired! and Richard & Judy. He also presented Outtake TV on BBC1, replacing Anne Robinson.
In early 2008, Hound appeared twice on ITV's Thank God You're Here in the UK, after initially working as the warm-up act. In late summer 2008, Hound joined the panel show Argumental as the Blue Team Captain. Hound was the narrator for the gaming series Playr and presents What Do Kids Know? on UKTV-owned channel Watch. Hound took part in Let's Dance for Sport Relief, dancing to Cheryl Cole's "Fight for This Love" and won the final of the series on 13 March 2010. Partnered with Flavia Cacace, Hound won the 2013 Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special.
Hound hosted the year 2000 edition of My Funniest Year, a look at a past year of British television, which was broadcast on Channel 4 in September 2010. He has been a regular panelist on Celebrity Juice, hosted by Keith Lemon, and has appeared at Bright Club a number of times. In January 2011, Hound participated in the former Channel 4 reality series Famous and Fearless. He came third for the boys' team, and was referred to as "The Ruthless Hound". In 2012, Hound was a team captain for Mad Mad World.
Since 2012, he has presented a programme on BBC Radio Four called My Teenage Diary, in which celebrities talk about the diary that they kept in their teenage years. On 22 February 2016, Hound made his debut as a panellist on BBC Radio 4's Just A Minute alongside regular Paul Merton and semi-regulars Pam Ayres and Graham Norton.
Hound plays a fictionalised version of himself in the CBBC TV Series Hounded as the protagonist, a normal television presenter who must constantly foil the plans of Dr Muhahaha who plans on taking over the world. In 2015, Hound played Sam Swift in an episode of the ninth series of Doctor Who, titled "The Woman Who Lived", and appeared in the Channel 4 drama series Cucumber as an eccentric character called Rupert.
Hound contributed his voice to the track 'Tazer Beam' by The Skints from their album FM, released in March 2015.
In November 2017, Hound temporarily took over hosting responsibilities of Iain Lee's Talkradio show, named The Late Night Alternative as Iain Lee joined the cast of the 2017 series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!. Since 2018 he has provided the voice of Waffle on the CBeebies show Waffle the Wonder Dog.
Film and theatre
From October 2012 through February 2013, Hound played the lead role of Francis Henshall in the National Theatre's second touring production of One Man, Two Guvnors. Following the end of the tour, he took over the role in the West End production from 4 February 2013. In summer 2013 he played Roy in Chichester Festival Theatre's revival of Neville's Island by Tim Firth at the Theatre in the Park (a temporary theatre, while the Festival theatre was being refurbished).
In early 2016 he played the role of Sancho Panza in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Don Quixote, adapted by James Fenton. The production transferred to the Garrick Theatre in London's West End for a limited season from October 2018 to February 2019.
On 23 April 2016, Hound appeared in Shakespeare Live! From The RSC at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon (which was also broadcast live on BBC Two) celebrating the birthday and 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare. He appeared as the Second Gangster opposite Henry Goodman performing 'Brush Up Your Shakespeare' from the musical Kiss Me, Kate.
In late 2016, he played Toad in the world premiere of the new musical, The Wind in the Willows in Plymouth, Salford and Southampton. In June 2017 he reprised the role for a West End transfer at the London Palladium, after playing Dr Prentice in a revival of What The Butler Saw by Joe Orton at the Curve Theatre, Leicester and Theatre Royal Bath in March 2017.
In April 2018, he returned to Chichester Festival Theatre to play Garry Essendine in a revival of Present Laughter by Noël Coward. From June 2018 he played Billings / Ray in Dusty - The Dusty Springfield Musical on a UK tour.
He has played the role of Constant in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of The Provoked Wife by John Vanbrugh and returned to the RSC for winter 2019 to play Dennis' Dad in the new musical The Boy in the Dress, based on the book by David Walliams.
In March 2020, he was due to play the role of Hugo/Loco Chanelle in the West End production of Everybody's Talking About Jamie. prior to the suspension of performances due to COVID-19. In November and December 2020 he will play Buttons in the adult pantomime Cinderella: A Socially Distanced Ball at the Turbine Theatre (at the Battersea Power Station), written by Jodie Prenger and Neil Hurst.
Hound campaigned for the Liberal Democrats at the 2010 general election. He has subsequently declared his support for the Labour Party. In an episode of The Jonathan Ross Show, which aired on 25 January 2014, Hound announced plans to run as a Member of the European Parliament for the party in the London constituency. Hound was the fifth candidate on the National Health Action Party list, which came ninth, receiving 23,253 votes (1.06 per cent of the vote).
In August 2015, Hound endorsed Jeremy Corbyn's campaign in the Labour Party leadership election. He tweeted: "Understand your thinking, but Corbyn=alternative. The others =Tory policies inflicted with mea culpa eyes". In July 2016, he also supported Corbyn after mass resignations from his cabinet and a leadership challenge. He performed stand-up at "Keep Corbyn event" in Kentish Town and tweeted: "About to go on. #istillbelieve #jc4pm".
Manchester Arena bombing conspiracy theory
In May 2017, Hound wrote a series of tweets concerning the Manchester Arena bombing, in which he implied the attack was a false flag operation designed to help the Conservative Party in the upcoming general election, likening it to the German Reichstag fire of 1933. The comments were widely condemned: he was compared to 9/11 truther conspiracy theorists and accused of insensitivity to the victims of the attack; he later issued a partial apology.
In April 2007, Hound was married at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada, to Beth Johnson, whom he had met at the Reading Festival the year before. They have two children together. They have since separated as of April 2020.
- Being Rude (7 November 2011)
- "Marriage License, County of Clark, Nevada". Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
- "One dog who's having his day". HeraldScotland.
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- "Rufus Hound and Katy Brand to join Everybody's Talking About Jamie in the West End | WhatsOnStage". www.whatsonstage.com. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
- "Rufus Hound in Euro elections NHS bid". BBC News. 26 January 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- "Vote 2014 Results: London". BBC News. 25 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- Hound, Rufus (17 August 2015). "Proudly supporting Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership contest". Twitter. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Mann, Sebastian (12 July 2016). "Jubilant Jeremy Corbyn supporters explode with joy after finding out leader will automatically make ballot". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- Hound, Rufus (12 July 2016). "About to go on. #istillbelieve #jc4pm". Twitter. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
- "Manchester attack: Rufus Hound backtracks on 'tin foil hat' conspiracy theory tweet".
- Hinsliff, Gaby (26 May 2017). "Manchester conspiracy theories reflect the price we pay for social media". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- "Rufus Hound 'sorry' over Manchester bomb conspiracy theory tweets". Evening Standard. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
- "Rufus Hound Apologises For 'Bonkers' Manchester Bombing Conspiracy Theory". HuffPost UK. 25 May 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
- "Rufus Hound backtracks on 'tin foil hat' Manchester attack conspiracy theory tweet". The Independent. 25 May 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
- Hinsliff, Gaby (26 May 2017). "Manchester conspiracy theories reflect the price we pay for social media | Gaby Hinsliff". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
- "Rufus Hound Lambasted For Extremely Stupid Comments About The Manchester Terror Attack". Esquire. 25 May 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
| Winner of Let's Dance for Sport Relief
Charlie Baker and James Thornton