Comedian, TV presenter and actor John Bishop took a less travelled route into show business. Born and raised in Liverpool, the younger Bishop was a semi-professional footballer for Southport and Hyde United, following in the footsteps of older brother Eddie, who played professionally for Tranmere Rovers, Chester City and Crewe Alexandria.
Off the pitch, John Bishop worked as a sales rep for a pharmaceutical company for 16 years, finally giving up the job in 2006 when his comedy career properly took off. Following his debut as a stand-up in 2000, Bishop quickly started to get noticed. In 2001, he was a finalist in the BBC New Comedy Awards, The Daily Telegraph Open Mic Awards and So You Think You’re Funny, winning the North West Comedian of The Year Award. The following year he won best newcomer from BBC Radio Merseyside.
Bishop continued on a steep uphill trajectory, but 2009 was to be his year. Not only was he nominated for an Edinburgh Comedy Award for his show Elvis Has Left The Building, he also appeared on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Live At The Apollo, Celebrity Mastermind, Channel 4’s Comedy Showcase and BBC Three series Lunch Monkeys. Bishop also appeared in a supporting role in E4’s Skins.
This momentum carried through into an equally successful 2010, notably appearing in Ken Loach’s film Route Irish and on the panel shows Would I Lie To You, QI, A League Of Their Own and as both host and guest on Have I Got News For You?.
His 2011 tour Sunshine was followed by a DVD recorded live at the Liverpool Echo Arena. That same year, he hosted a BBC series John Bishop’s Britain and found himself in the coveted spot at the top of the leaderboard on Top Gear’s “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car”. He was on the road again in 2012 with his Rollercoaster tour.
An autobiography arrived in 2013, followed by a slot hosting the Royal Variety Performance. After another spell on the road in 2014, Bishop was given his own BBC variety show, The John Bishop Show, which featured guests such as Leona Lewis, Paul Weller and Jessie Ware.
In between tours, Bishop has continued to be a regular on the small screen, hosting four seasons of his intimate chat show John Bishop: In Conversation With… as well as Amazon Prime’s football programme Back Of The Net, alongside ex-footballer Peter Crouch and presenter Gabby Logan. He also went on a road trip around Ireland in 2019 for his ITV series John Bishop’s Ireland.
In 2020, Bishop announced a series of warm-up shows previewing new material. These shows were rescheduled to September 2021. He also announced his eighth stand up show, Right Here Right Now, touring across the UK in 2021 and 2022.