Russell Howard

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Russell Howard
Russell Howard 2017 (cropped).png
Howard at the QPAC Theatre in 2017
Birth nameRussell Joseph Howard
Born (1980-03-23) 23 March 1980 (age 38)
Bristol, England
MediumStand-up, television, radio
NationalityBritish
Years active1999–present
GenresSocial satire
Observational comedy
Surreal humour
Relative(s)Kerry Howard (sister) Daniel Howard (brother)
Notable works and rolesMock the Week
Russell Howard's Good News
Russell Howard's Stand-Up Central
The Russell Howard Hour
Websiterussell-howard.co.uk

Russell Joseph Howard (born 23 March 1980)[1] is an English comedian, television presenter, radio presenter and actor, best known for his TV shows Russell Howard's Good News and The Russell Howard Hour 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 and Frank Skinner as influences.[2]

Early life[edit]

Russell was born to Dave and Ninette Howard. He has two younger siblings, twins Kerry and Daniel (born 1982).[3] Daniel has epilepsy, to which Howard sometimes refers during his act.

Howard attended Perins School in New Alresford and Alton College, both in Hampshire. He later studied economics at the University of the West of England in Bristol.[4][5]

Career[edit]

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.

In November 2013 Howard made a surprise appearance in the North East market town Barnard Castle to preview his latest tour show, Wonderbox.[17]

From 2015 to 2016, Howard presented a show called Russell Howard's Stand Up Central which broadcasts on Comedy Central. However, in 2017 due to tour commitments, Howard was unable to present the show's third series and was replaced by Chris Ramsey.[18] 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 March 2016 Howard attacked Conservative MP Philip Davies on his BBC show calling him an "arsehole", "windbag", "wanker" and a "toad-faced hypocrite", accusing the MP of filibustering (talking out a bill). Davies complained on the grounds of "inaccuracy" and "misrepresentation" and the BBC was forced to publish in the Clarifications and Corrections section of the BBC website stating "Davies did not personally use up all the time available for the debate and that almost three hours remained after he sat down". Howard was also found to have misrepresented Davies' views on the disabled and the BBC noted "that the programme did not fully represent his comments, which were, that it would be in the best interests of disabled people, and others, to be allowed to offer to work for less than the minimum wage, if the alternative were no employment at all". The broadcaster also agreed not to air the episode again due to their misrepresentation of Davies' position.[19] The BBC Trust later rejected a further escalation of the complaint by Davies[20]

Starting in October 2016, Howard presented a travel documentary series for Comedy Central called Russell Howard & Mum: USA Road Trip which involved him and his mother Ninette travelling through America.[21]

On 29 November 2016, it was announced that Howard would write and star in a 14-part weekly comedy series entitled The Russell Howard Hour on Sky 1 in 2017, as part of a two-year deal with Sky.[22] The series began on 21 September 2017.

Live comedy[edit]

A show from his 2007 Adventures tour was released on DVD on 17 November 2008,[23] under the title "Russell Howard Live". The show on the DVD was recorded at The Bloomsbury Theatre.[24]

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,[25] 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[26] and features a recording of the show from the Brighton Dome.[25]

Howard was named "Best Theatre Show" at the 2009 Chortle Comedy Awards.[27] Howard appeared in UK dates in December 2009 for his "Big Rooms and Belly Laughs" tour.[28] Right Here Right Now, his 2011 arena tour, sold out.

The Independent reported that Howard earned £4 million in 2009 alone,[29] which he denies.[30]

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.[31] 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. In advance of the tour, Howard plans to memorise the capital city of every country in the world alphabetically, in order to recite the full list at the start of each performance.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Howard lives with his girlfriend Cerys, a doctor, in Camden, London, and their dog, a Jack Russell terrier named Archie.[33][34]

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.

Since he was ten, Howard has supported Liverpool Football Club.[35] He has said that he is "deadly serious" about football.[36] "I still go down the pub and play football with my mates", he commented in 2010.[36] 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.[37]

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]

In November 2011 whilst filming a Mystery Guest segment for Good News, Howard broke his right hand when attempting to do press ups on a stunt chair.[38]

Russell was voted Heat Magazine's "Weird Crush of the Year 2013",[39] with his friend and former flatmate Jon Richardson coming second.

Howard mentioned on the DVD recording of his 2014 tour Wonderbox that he is an atheist.[citation needed]

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.

Howard has previously stated that he was born with or developed many minor health problems including asthma, hay fever and a lazy eye.

Credits[edit]

Radio[edit]

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
Recalibrate 19 December 2017 Live at Brighton's Dome

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Russell Howard". Chortle. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  2. ^ "Favourite Comedians – Russell Howard's Good News – BBC Three". BBC. 18 November 2009.
  3. ^ "Relative Values: Russell Howard and his mother, Ninette". The Times. UK. 18 January 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2009. (Subscription required (help)).
  4. ^ "Where did these 11 Bristol celebrities go to school?",Bristol Post, 2 April 2017 (Accessed 4th April 2017)
  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)". epguides.com. 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. ^ "Comedian Russell Howard confirms intimate Barnard Castle gig". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 2017-01-17.
  18. ^ https://www.comedy.co.uk/tv/news/2573/chris_ramsey_stand_up_central/
  19. ^ http://uk.businessinsider.com/tory-philip-davies-furious-bbc-russell-howard-toad-faced-hypocrite-2016-9.
  20. ^ Sweney, Mark (29 September 2016). "Tory MP's complaint about Russell Howard jibes rejected by BBC Trust". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  21. ^ "Russell Howard & Mum: US Road Trip". British Comedy Guide.
  22. ^ Solutions, Powder Blue Internet Business. "Russell Howard set to host his own chat show : News 2017 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". www.chortle.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  23. ^ "Russell Howard Live (2008)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
  24. ^ Russell Howard Live DVD (Back Cover). Peter Orton. Avalon Television Ltd.
  25. ^ a b Russell Howard Live Dingledodies DVD (Back Cover). Peter Orton. Avalon Television Ltd.
  26. ^ Goodman, Rich (2 November 2009). "Russell Howard: Dingledodies". MyReviewer.com. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
  27. ^ "Rhod and Tim triumph at Chortles". Chortle. 24 February 2009. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  28. ^ "Russell Howard event listings". IKnowWhereItsAt.com. Archived from the original on 15 December 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  29. ^ "Funny Money: Britain's Jokers are cashing in". The Independent. London. 30 May 2010.
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ Everett, Lucinda (23 April 2013). "Russell Howard announces 2014 world stand-up tour, Wonderbox". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  32. ^ Lewis, Roz. "Russell Howard: 'Ryanair would charge you for sneezing if they could'". Telegraph. Telegraph. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  33. ^ Sturgis, India (23 May 2016). "Russell Howard: 'I have crippling low self-esteem'". Telegraph. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  34. ^ Jones, Ross (23 April 2013). "Russell Howard interview: 'Twitter isn't useful to my soul'". The Telegraph.
  35. ^ Gorst, Paul (30 March 2017). "Russell Howard on why he supports Liverpool". Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ "The Howards are raising money for Epilepsy". Virgin Money Giving | Fundraising. 25 April 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  38. ^ Solutions, Powder Blue Internet Business. "Russell Howard breaks his fingers : News 2011 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". www.chortle.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  39. ^ Lewis, Anna (11 September 2014). "Your Weird Crush 2013 winners!". heatworld.

External links[edit]