John Bishop has sat down for in-depth chin wags with the likes of James Corden, Charlotte Church, Lindsay Lohan and Russell Brand – but how much do you know about the man himself?
As his chat show returns to W for a third series, we take a look at just who the funnyman host is.
1. His first day job wasn’t quite so funny
Bishop actually started out as a rep for a pharmaceutical firm, which he worked for from the 1990s until 2006 when he decided to quit and become a full-time comedian.
2. Comedy wasn’t his only possible route to stardom
You may well have got to know Bishop as a footballer if the cards had fallen slightly differently. In the past, he has played as a semi-professional for non-league sides Hyde and Southport, while his brother Eddie is a former professional player for Tranmere Rovers and Chester City.
3. He’s one of Skins’ famous cast of parents
The comedian played the father of Emily and Katie Fitch in series three and four of Skins, joining the likes of Danny Dyer, Harry Enfield and Peter Capaldi as parents in the teen drama. His screen wife was fellow comedian Ronni Ancona.
4. He loves to raise money for good causes
OK, if you know anything about Bishop, you’ll probably be familiar with this one. But the £4.2 million he raised for Sport Relief is worth bringing up again, and that’s before you even take into account his good work for Unicef’s Soccer Aid and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
5. He made a large donation to the Hillsborough victims’ families
Big-hearted Bishop was so moved by the statements of those affected by the tragedy when it came to their relatives’ inquests that in 2014 he made a donation of £96,000 to the Hillsborough Family Support Group.
6. He’s a committed vegetarian
Bishop has been vegetarian for around 30 years and animal rights group Peta even named him one of their “Sexiest Vegetarians of the Year” in 2013.
7. He’s practically a double act with Olly Murs… sort of…
The comedian was one of the guests in the 2015 TV special A Night In With Olly Murs, where he took on the X Factor star for a lip-sync battle. Bishop’s performance skills obviously made a big impression, as in 2015 he took the stage at the Liverpool date of Murs’ tour to duet with him on Troublemaker.
8. He’s pretty much a rock star
Well, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but he has appeared in two music videos – Take That’s Comic Relief single Happy Now in 2011, and 2012’s charity single in aid of victims of the Hillsborough disaster, a cover of He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother performed by a group of famous faces including Paul McCartney, Shane MacGowan and Robbie Williams calling themselves The Justice Collective.
9. He’s doing seriously well out of being funny
No offence to Bishop, but if most people had to name the UK’s most successful comedian, they might say Jimmy Carr, Michael McIntyre or David Walliams. However, Forbes revealed last year that Bishop placed 10th on their Top 10 Highest Paid Comedians list, commanding £5.4 million a year. That makes him the UK’s highest-earning comedian.
10. His new line-up of guests is making us press Series Record
Think he’s had a stellar list of stars on his talk show so far? Wait until you hear who’s signed up to the third series. Katie Price, John Cleese, Dame Joan Collins, Jimmy Carr, Nadiya Hussain, Craig Charles, David Walliams, Mel C, Professor Brian Cox and Samantha Womack will all be opening their hearts to the comedian.
John Bishop: In Conversation With… returns to W on Thursday September 14.
Watch W on BT TV channel 311 and catch up on the BT Player and BT TV App.