Russell Howard

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For other people named Russell Howard, see Russell Howard (disambiguation).
Russell Howard
Russell Howard.jpg
Russell Howard in Southend, 2008
Birth name Russell Joseph Howard
Born (1980-03-23) 23 March 1980 (age 36)
Bristol, England, UK
Medium Stand-up, television, radio
Nationality British
Years active 1999–present
Genres Social satire
Observational comedy
Anecdotal humour
Absurdist humour
Relative(s) David Howard (father)
Ninette Howard (mother)
Kerry Howard (sister)
Daniel Howard (brother)
Notable works and roles The Milk Run
Mock the Week
Russell Howard's Good News

Russell Joseph Howard[1] (born 23 March 1980)[2] is an English comedian, television and radio presenter and actor, best known for his TV show Russell Howard's Good News and his appearances on the topical panel TV show Mock the Week. He won "Best Compère" at the 2006 Chortle Awards and was nominated for an if.comedy award for his 2006 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show. Howard cited comedians Lee Evans, Richard Pryor, Frank Skinner as influences.[3]

Early life[edit]

Howard was born in Bristol to Dave and Ninette Howard and has two younger siblings, twins Kerry and Daniel (born 1982).[4] Daniel has epilepsy; a fact which Howard often references during his act.

Howard attended Perins School in New Alresford and Alton College, both in Hampshire. He then went on to study economics at the University of the West of England in Bristol.[5]


TV and radio work[edit]

In 2004 he was commissioned by BBC Radio 1 to write, sing and perform on the comedy series The Milk Run. Howard has also appeared on the shows Banter (hosted by Andrew Collins) and Political Animal for BBC Radio 4.[6]

Until 2010, Howard was a regular panellist on Mock the Week. He has also appeared on 8 Out of 10 Cats, Would I Lie To You?, Live at the Apollo, The Secret Policeman's Ball 2008, Law of the Playground and Never Mind the Buzzcocks (Series 18, Episode 2 and Series 20, Episode 4).[7]

He was one of several comedians picked as the best comedy talent from the 2005 Edinburgh Festival Fringe that recorded 10–15-minute spots for the 'Edinburgh and Beyond' show which was aired on Paramount Comedy 1 in the autumn of 2006. The show was filmed at The Bloomsbury Theatre. From 2009, he took over as compère of this show from Al Murray.[8]

From November 2006 to July 2008, Russell co-hosted The Russell Howard Show on BBC 6 Music with fellow comedian Jon Richardson in a Sunday morning slot previously hosted by Russell Brand.[9][10] The show continued to air, without Howard, until March 2010. He has since explained that his main reason for leaving the show was that he finds radio "really restrictive" and "I gorge off the audience as a performer, but you can't gauge a reaction on the radio."[11]

Russell was commissioned to make a comedy show called Russell Howard's Good News, aimed at under-25s, for BBC Three. The first episode aired on 22 October 2009 and the show ran for seven episodes as well as a "best of" show and a Christmas Special. It went on to become BBC Three's highest ever rating entertainment series.[12][13] In the show, he gave his take on the week's major news stories, as well as giving attention to some of the more light-hearted stories of the week. Two more series of the show were commissioned, with the second series starting on 25 March 2010.[14] A seventh series began on 27 September 2012 on BBC Three. Series 8 began on 25 April 2013 on BBC Three, and series 9 started broadcast in its new home on BBC Two in October 2014.

Russell Howard's Good News was voted the Best Ever BBC Three show on 9 February 2013[15] as part of the channel's 10th birthday celebrations.[16]

Howard made his United States television debut on the 3 August 2011 episode of Conan. Howard guest-hosted the second episode of the 27th series of Never Mind the Buzzcocks on 30 September 2013. Since 29 April 2015, Howard presents a show called Russell Howard's Stand Up Central which broadcasts on Comedy Central. It sees Howard and two other guests performing stand-up and also features Howard answering questions from social media and the audience. In 2015 he appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon where he performed some stand-up.

In December 2015, Howard made his acting debut in BBC Two's hour-long comedy-drama A Gert Lush Christmas, which he also co-wrote. In the film, Howard played Dan Colman, who takes his girlfriend to meet his family in Bristol for Christmas. The film also co-starred Howard's sister Kerry, who played Dan's sister Julie.

On 10 March 2016, Howard appeared on the BBC 1 panel show Room 101. In September 2016 the BBC Trust rejected Philip Davies' complaint against Howard, who had criticised Davies for "talking out" bills, and called him an "arsehole", "windbag", "wanker" and a "toad-faced hypocrite". The BBC Trust found that "robust criticism" was legitimate in political satire.[17]

In October 2016, Howard will present a travel documentary series for Comedy Central called Russell Howard & Mum: USA Road Trip which will involve Howard and his mother Ninette travelling through America.[18]

Live comedy[edit]

A show from his 2007 Adventures tour was released on DVD on 17 November 2008,[19] under the title "Russell Howard Live". The show on the DVD was recorded at The Bloomsbury Theatre.[20]

Howard started touring for his show Dingledodies in September 2008 and played various dates through to December. Due to overwhelming demand he further extended the tour twice into 2009. It sold in excess of 125,000 tickets,[21] including three sell-out shows at the Hammersmith Apollo as well as several large arenas such as Wembley Arena and Manchester's MEN Arena. The DVD of this tour was released on 9 November 2009[22] and features a recording of the show from the Brighton Dome.[21]

Howard was named "Best Theatre Show" at the 2009 Chortle Comedy Awards.[23] Howard appeared in UK dates in December 2009 for his "Big Rooms and Belly Laughs" tour.[24] Right Here Right Now, his 2011 arena tour, sold out.

The Independent reported that Howard earned £4 million in 2009 alone,[25] which he denies.[26]

On 23 April 2013 Howard confirmed that he would be performing a stand-up tour called Wonderbox starting in February 2014 with dates in Britain, Ireland, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.[27] The tour was released on DVD in November 2014. This was further extended to include more UK dates in December 2014.

In November 2015, Howard announced that he would be doing a fifth stand-up tour in February to July 2017 called Round The World where he will tour the United Kingdom, Ireland, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and America.[28]

Personal life[edit]

Howard lives with his girlfriend Cerys, a medical doctor, in Camden, London, and their dog, a Jack Russell Terrier named Archie.[29][30]

Howard supports Liverpool Football Club. He has said that he is "deadly serious" about football.[31] "I still go down the pub and play football with my mates", he commented in 2010.[31] He played for Conference South team Basingstoke Town F.C. before becoming a comedian.

In April 2010, Howard ran the London Marathon for the first time with both his brother and sister, to raise money for Epilepsy Society. He completed the 26-mile course in 4 hours and 15 minutes, beating his target time of 5 hours. Sponsorship has raised over £7,000 to date.[32]

For Sport Relief 2010 he took part in the BT Sport Relief Million Pound Bike Ride with David Walliams, Jimmy Carr, Fearne Cotton, Miranda Hart, Patrick Kielty and Davina McCall. They cycled from John O'Groats in Scotland to Land's End in 4 days trying to raise £1 million.[12]

Howard appeared at Friends of the Earth's LIVEstock comedy and music event at the Hammersmith Apollo in support of the green campaign group's Food Chain Campaign for planet-friendly farming, on 12 November 2009.

Russell was voted Heat Magazine's "Weird Crush of the Year 2013",[33] with his friend and former flatmate Jon Richardson coming second.

On 1 March 2015, Howard took part in The Bath Half Marathon and completed it in 1 hour and 44 minutes in aid of Time Is Precious.



Stand-up DVDs[edit]

Title Release Date Notes
Live 17 November 2008 Live at London's Bloomsbury Theatre
Live 2 – Dingledodies 9 November 2009 Live at Brighton's Dome
Right Here Right Now 14 November 2011 Live at London's Hammersmith Apollo
Wonderbox 17 November 2014 Live at Bristol Hippodrome


  1. ^ "Russell Howard". IMDb. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  2. ^ "Russell Howard". Chortle. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "Favourite Comedians – Russell Howard's Good News – BBC Three". BBC. 18 November 2009. 
  4. ^ "Relative Values: Russell Howard and his mother, Ninette". The Times. UK. 18 January 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2009. (subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ Wilson, Benji (14 April 2012). "Q & A: Comedian Russell Howard". Daily Mail. 
  6. ^ "Russell Howard Interview '06". The National Student Magazine. 2006. Archived from the original on 5 January 2009. 
  7. ^ "Never Mind the Buzzcocks (a Guests & Air Dates Guide)". 2 November 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "Edinburgh And Beyond". Comedy Central. Archived from the original on 5 August 2009. For this latest series, starting Saturday July 25th 2009 Al Murray the Pub Landlord has sadly stepped down as your host and compere. But the good news is that he has been replaced by Mock The Week star Russell Howard, with his own brand of award-winning comedy. 
  9. ^ "The Russell Howard Show". BBC 6 Music. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  10. ^ "Russell Howard presents new show for 6 Music" – BBC Press Release, 2 November 2006
  11. ^ "Star interview: Comedian Russell Howard sold out at Dorking and Crawley". Surrey Mirror. 5 November 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  12. ^ a b "Russell Howard". Sport Relief. Archived from the original on 14 February 2010. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  13. ^ "Good News For Russell". Chortle. 29 August 2009. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "Russell Howard's very good news". Chortle. 16 February 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 
  15. ^ Taylor, Frances (9 February 2013). "'Russell Howard's Good News' voted BBC Three's best ever show". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 June 2016. 
  16. ^ Fletcher, Alex (30 January 2013). "Little Britain, Gavin & Stacey: What is BBC Three's best ever show?". Digital Spy. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Tory MP's complaint about Russell Howard jibes rejected by BBC Trust". The Guardian. 29 September 2016. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Russell Howard Live (2008)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 8 December 2009. 
  20. ^ Russell Howard Live DVD (Back Cover). Peter Orton. Avalon Television Ltd. 
  21. ^ a b Russell Howard Live Dingledodies DVD (Back Cover). Peter Orton. Avalon Television Ltd. 
  22. ^ Goodman, Rich (2 November 2009). "Russell Howard: Dingledodies". Retrieved 8 December 2009. 
  23. ^ "Rhod and Tim triumph at Chortles". Chortle. 24 February 2009. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 
  24. ^ "Russell Howard event listings". Archived from the original on 15 December 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  25. ^ "Funny Money: Britain's Jokers are cashing in". The Independent. London. 30 May 2010. 
  26. ^ Lewis, Helen (25 April 2011). "I got invited to David Walliams's wedding . . . but I'd have just been on my own at the buffet". New Statesman. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  27. ^ Everett, Lucinda (23 April 2013). "Russell Howard announces 2014 world stand-up tour, Wonderbox". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  28. ^ Lewis, Roz. "Russell Howard: 'Ryanair would charge you for sneezing if they could'". Telegraph. Telegraph. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  29. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ Jones, Ross (23 April 2013). "Russell Howard interview: 'Twitter isn't useful to my soul'". The Telegraph. 
  31. ^ a b English, Paul (23 October 2010). "Comedian Russell Howard on reading newspapers and watching TV for a living". Daily Record. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  32. ^ "The Howards are raising money for Epilepsy". Virgin Money Giving | Fundraising. 25 April 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  33. ^ Lewis, Anna (11 September 2014). "Your Weird Crush 2013 winners!". heatworld. 

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