John hails from Liverpool, though he now lives in Manchester with his wife and three sons. His comedy roots are still firmly in Merseyside though, and he remains passionate about the Liverpool Football Club.
His early life in Liverpool gives him a lot of material for his show, as he relives his experiences such as playing semi-professional football and working as a nightclub doorman. As a semi-pro footballer John played for Southport and Hyde United, and the highlight of his footballing career came when he subbed for the Liverpool Legends in the Hillsborough Memorial Game at the Anfield Stadium in 2009.
His first public performance in 2000 was quickly followed by a whole series of nominations for comedy awards: he was a finalist in So You Think You’re Funny, the BBC New Comedy Awards, The City Life North–West Comedian of the Year and The Daily Telegraph Open Mic Awards.
Following this great publicity his reputation soared: he became a broadcaster for Radio City 96.7, and has written a play – Happy Families – for Radio 4. When his marriage broke up he re-assessed his life and having had comedy success in a part-time capacity, John handed in his notice and became a full time touring comedian. Since then he hasn’t looked back.
His first Edinburgh Fringe tour was with a show entitled Freefall for which he received mixed reviews. By 2009 though, John was receiving recognition with an Edinburgh Comedy Award Nomination for his show Elvis Has Left The Building, which was a total ticket sell out. The same year he appeared in his first film, Ken Loach’s Route Irish. Will this lead him to a film career? He doesn’t think so, as stand-up is still his big passion.
There have been two John Bishop DVDs released this year – John Bishop Live, and Channel 4’s Comedy Gala.
Accused II BBC1, My First Ton Sky One, John Bishop’s Britain (Series 1 and 2) BBC1 Chris Moyles Quiz Night Channel 4, Comedy Gala Channel 4, Have I Got News For You (Host) BBC2, QI BBC1, The Comedy Annual (2010) ITV1, Help For Heroes BBC1, Edinburgh Comedy Fest Live BBC3, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross BBC1, A League of Their Own (Series 1, 2 , 3 and 4) Sky One, What do Kids Know WATCH Mock The Week BBC2, 8 Out of 10 Cats Channel 4, Live At The Apollo BBC1, The Byrne Ultimatum RTE, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow BBC1, The Increasingly Poor decisions of Todd Margaret Channel 4, The Late Late show RTE1, Skins (Series 3 and 4) E4, For One Night Only ITV1, Comedy Cuts (series 3) ITV 2, The Panel RTE, Comedy Store (Series 4 & 6) Paramount.
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Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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