Rob Brydon

Rob Brydon

Brydon at the EG Awards, 2009
Born Robert Brydon Jones
(1965-05-03) 3 May 1965
Baglan, Glamorgan, Wales
Nationality Welsh
Occupation Actor, comedian, writer, radio and television presenter
Years active 1992–present
Television Marion and Geoff
The Keith Barret Show
Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive
Gavin & Stacey
Would I Lie to You
The Trip
The Rob Brydon Show
The Guess List
Human Remains
Spouse(s) Martina Jones (? - ?) (divorced)
Claire Holland (2006–present)
Children 5
Parent(s) Howard Jones
Joy Jones (née Brydon)
Rob Brydon's voice
from the BBC programme Front Row, 18 March 2012.[1]

Robert Brydon Jones, MBE (born 3 May 1965), known professionally as Rob Brydon, is a Welsh actor, comedian, radio and television presenter, singer and impressionist. He played Dr Paul Hamilton in the Australian/British comedy series Supernova, Bryn West in the sitcom Gavin & Stacey and Keith Barret in the BBC comedy series Marion and Geoff and its spin-off The Keith Barret Show.

He has appeared in a number of shows for the BBC with Steve Coogan, including The Trip series in 2010, released as a feature film later that year; and The Trip to Italy in 2014, also edited and released as a feature film.

Since 2009, Brydon has presented the BBC One comedy panel show Would I Lie to You? He played himself in Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive, a satirical series about a fictional panel show, which ran on BBC Three from 2006 until 2007. Between 2010 and 2012, Brydon presented his own BBC Two late-night chat show called The Rob Brydon Show. Since April 2014, Brydon has hosted the Saturday-night game show The Guess List for BBC One.

Early life and studies

Robert Brydon Jones was born on 3 May 1965 in Baglan, Port Talbot (now the county borough of Neath Port Talbot), Wales.[2][3] His mother, Joy Jones (née Brydon), was a school teacher, and his father, Howard Jones, was a car dealer. He grew up in Baglan, with his younger brother Peter (born 1973).[4]

Brydon was educated at two independent schools: St. John's School in Porthcawl, which Eddie Izzard also attended, and Dumbarton House School in Swansea until the age of 14. This was followed by Porthcawl Comprehensive School, where he met Ruth Jones (with whom he later worked in Gavin and Stacey) and became a member of the school's youth theatre group. While at Dumbarton, he once stole the lunch money of fellow pupil Catherine Zeta-Jones (which he admitted while participating in a series 4 episode of Would I Lie To You?).[5]

Brydon has said that his primary childhood influences in comedy were Barry Humphries, Frankie Howerd and Woody Allen. He has also said that he used to memorise entire sketches by Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Peter Sellers.[6][7]


Brydon attended the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Cardiff. He left after a year, to join Radio Wales at the age of 20.[3] His early broadcasts included work as a disc jockey on BBC Radio Wales, when his Saturday morning shows included contributions from stand-up comedian Pete Park-Walker. Between 1992 and 1994, on Radio Wales (where he stayed for six years) he was the main presenter of Rave, one of BBC Radio 5's youth magazine and music programmes, with Alan Thompson. He developed his Marion and Geoff story from this.[8]

In 1994 and 1995 Brydon appeared in numerous episodes of the original Radio Wales version of the cult comedy Satellite City with Boyd Clack. Although he has stayed with radio as a comedy performer on BBC Radio Five Live's The Treatment, Brydon also does occasional stints as a stand-in presenter on BBC Radio 2. He has stood in for Ken Bruce, one of the people whom he impersonates. On 1 April 2011 he appeared in Ken's place on his show as an April Fools' Day joke.[9][10]

Between September and October 2011, Brydon starred alongside Sir Kenneth Branagh in Francis Veber's play The Painkiller at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast. He will reprise his role with Branagh in March and April 2016 at the Garrick Theatre in London's West End.[11]

Voice-over artist

Brydon was first known nationally as a voice artist. He provided several voices for the Discworld computer games and continuity announcements for BBC 1.[12] He is also known for voice-over work in television advertising, including for Renault, Tango, The Times, Tesco, Abbey National, Sainsbury's, McDonald's, Toilet Duck, Cahoot, Mint Card, Pot Noodle, Domino's Pizza, Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, The Observer and Fairy Liquid. He voiced the main character, Lewton, in the Discworld computer game Discworld Noir,[13] and provided voices in animated films such as The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo's Child and Room on the Broom.

Writing breakthrough

For a brief period in the early 1990s Brydon was a presenter for the Home Shopping Network.[14] He began to find small roles in several successful films and television series. In 2000 he made his mark in television comedy, with two series which he co-wrote and performed for the BBC: Human Remains, co-written by Julia Davis; and the commercially successful Marion and Geoff.

Since these series Brydon has developed a career path as a character actor, in both comedic and serious roles. He portrayed controversial theatre critic Kenneth Tynan in the BBC Four film Kenneth Tynan: In Praise of Hardcore (2005), opposite Julian Sands as Laurence Olivier.

His character Bryn West in Gavin and Stacey, written by Ruth Jones and James Corden, allowed him to return to his South Wales roots. In this role Brydon performed the 2009 Comic Relief charity single, "(Barry) Islands in the Stream", with Ruth Jones (both actors appearing as their characters from Gavin & Stacey) and singer Tom Jones. It reached No.1 in the UK singles chart on 15 March 2009.

In 2010 Brydon starred alongside Steve Coogan in Michael Winterbottom's partially improvised BBC Two sitcom series The Trip, in which both actors played fictionalized versions of their public personas (Brydon, optimistic and always ready to slip into an impression; and Coogan, misanthropic and angry not to be the major international star he believes he should be).[15]

Brydon's book Small Man in a Book (the title a play on his "small-man-in-a-box" impression) was published in November 2011.[16]


In 2006 Brydon first appeared on the BBC Radio 4 comedy panel game I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. His singing voice earned the unprecedented accolade from the erstwhile host, Humphrey Lyttelton, of being "not bad". When the team went on a tour of non-broadcast stage shows, Brydon filled in as chairman when Lyttelton was in hospital to repair an aortic aneurysm. Lyttelton died in hospital after surgery.

In February 2009, it was announced that Brydon would be one of three people to replace Lyttelton as chairman of the 51st series of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue (the others being Stephen Fry and Jack Dee).[17][18] Brydon also appeared as guest panellist in the first two episodes of series 52, chaired by Jack Dee. He returned as a guest panellist in the last two episodes of series 54 in January 2011.

Additionally, he took over in 2009 from Angus Deayton as host of Would I Lie To You?.[19] Brydon has presented an episode of Have I Got News for You[20] and has appeared on BBC Radio 4's panel game Just a Minute.[21] [22]

Brydon narrated a two-part programme on BBC Radio 4, The Pain of Laughter: The Last Days of Kenneth Williams. It explored the latter part of Williams's life, featuring many of the performer's friends and contemporaries. In other radio work Brydon sat in for Ken Bruce on BBC Radio 2 for one day only on 25 August 2008. In addition to this, on 1 April 2011, Brydon impersonated Bruce for the entire two-hour and thirty minutes show. Bruce came on the air at the end of the show to reveal the prank.

Brydon has appeared on the TV comedy quiz QI. In his first appearance (Series A, episode 5), his talent for mimicry was displayed with impressions of Sir Alec Guinness, James Dean, and Michael J. Fox. In the 2008 Christmas special, he provided impressions of Richard Burton and Sir Tom Jones.

Stand-up comedy

In 2009/10 Brydon had his first stand-up tour in the UK as Rob Brydon (rather than as a differently named character). The resulting DVD of the 2009/10 show, Rob Brydon: Live, was released on 23 November 2009.[23] Brydon appeared as a host on episode two of series five of the BBC series of Live at the Apollo.

In 2010 Brydon took part in Channel 4's Comedy Gala, a benefit show in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, filmed live at the O2 Arena in London on 30 March. He was one of six compères for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert held outside Buckingham Palace on 4 June 2012.

Personal life

From his first marriage Brydon has two daughters, Katie, born August 1994 and Amy, born July 1999, and a son Harry, born October 1996.[24][25]

After being divorced, on 6 October 2006 Brydon married Claire Holland,[26] a former producer on The South Bank Show, at Windsor church. They live in Strawberry Hill in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. They have two sons, Tom, born in April 2008, and George, born in June 2011.[27] A fanatical golfer, Brydon is also a Swansea City fan and is an ambassador to their 1912 foundation.[28]

Brydon has often been mistaken for comedian Ben Miller (and vice versa).[29] As a reference to that mix-up, they dressed in similar outfits and shared a narcissistic kiss in the QI episode "Future", first broadcast on 20 February 2009.[30]

Honours and awards

Brydon was made an honorary fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where he previously studied.[31] Brydon was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to comedy and broadcasting and for charitable services.[32][33]

Political views

In August 2014, Brydon was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.[34]


Year Title Role Notes
1994 The Healer Sean
1995 First Knight Man in crowd
1996 Lord of Misrule Cornish policeman
1998 Martha – Meet Frank, Daniel and Laurence Bus driver
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Traffic warden
2001 A Small Summer Party Keith Barret
A Knight's Tale First Villager
2002 24 Hour Party People Ryan Letts
Cruise of the Gods Andy van Allen
2004 Shaun of the Dead Football commentator/'Zombies from Hell!' presenter (voice)
2005 MirrorMask Morris Campbell/Prime Minister
A Cock and Bull Story Capt. Toby Shandy/ himself
Kenneth Tynan: In Praise of Hardcore Kenneth Tynan
2009 The Gruffalo Snake (voice)
2011 The Trip (US Film Edit) Rob Brydon
The Gruffalo's Child[35] Snake
2012 The Best of Men Corporal Wynne Bowen
Room on the Broom Cat (voice)
2013 Gangsta Granny Mr. Parker
The Unbeatables Rico (voice) UK version
2014 The Trip to Italy Rob Brydon
2015 Cinderella Painter Uncredited
2016 The Huntsman: Winter's War Gryff


Year Title Role
1993 The Legends of Treasure Island Long John Silver (Series 2)
1996 Cold Lazarus Karl
2000 Human Remains Peter Moorcross, Gordon Budge, Stephen, Tony, Barne Willers, Les
2000–2003 Marion and Geoff Keith Barret
2001 The Way We Live Now Mr Alf
2002 I'm Alan Partridge Baptist fan (series 2, episode 6)
Black Books B Nugent
Murder in Mind Barry Coates
Legend of the Lost Tribe Prison guard
2003 Top Gear Himself
2003–present QI Himself
2004 Director's Commentary Peter de Lane
The Big Fat Quiz of the Year Himself – panellist
2004–2005 The Keith Barret Show Keith Barret
2005 Supernova Dr Paul Hamilton
Little Britain Roman de Vere (series 3)
Jack Dee Live at the Apollo Keith Barret
The Big Fat Quiz of the Year Himself – panellist
2006 The Big Fat Quiz of the Year Himself – panellist
Have I Got News for You Guest Presenter
100 Greatest Funny Moments Narrator
2006–2007 Annually Retentive Himself
2007 Dawn French's Boys Who Do Comedy Himself
The Big Fat Quiz of the Year Himself – panellist
2007–2010 Gavin and Stacey Bryn West
2007 Heroes and Villains: Napoleon Stanislav Fréron
2007 Oliver Twist Mr Fang
2008 Top Gear Himself
2009 Horne & Corden Narrator to olympic sketches
Live at the Apollo Compere/stand-up
The Big Fat Quiz of the Year Himself – panellist
2009–present Would I Lie to You? Presenter, since Series 3
2010–2012 The Rob Brydon Show Himself (Host)
2010 Ronnie Corbett's Supper Club Himself (Guest)
The Trip Himself
2011 A Quiet Word With ... Himself (Guest)[36]
Michael McIntyre's Christmas Comedy Roadshow Father Christmas/himself
2014 This is Jinsy Rex Camalbeeter (series 2)
The Trip to Italy Himself
The Guess List Himself
2015 The Brink Martin

Radio appearances

Year Title Role
1992–1994 Rave himself – presenter
1994 Satellite City himself – radio show
1995 Eleven Men Against Eleven radio commentator
The Treatment himself – radio show
2004 Just a Minute himself
2005 Flight of the Conchords (radio series) narrator
Just a Minute himself
2012 Best of Men himself

Other appearances



Year Single Chart positions
2009 "(Barry) Islands in the Stream" 1 48 7


  1. "Rob Brydon". Front Row. 18 March 2012. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. "Rob Brydon". BBC Cymru Wales. 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  3. 1 2 "Mark Lawson talks to ... Rob Brydon". BBC Four. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  4. "Ask Rob Brydon". 29 January 2003. Archived from the original on 29 January 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  5. "Would Rob Brydon lie to you?". Daily Post North Wales. 8 August 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  6. Quark. "Quark interviews Rob Brydon". Quark. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  7. "Quark interviews Rob Brydon". Quark Online. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  8. "South West Wales – Hall of Fame". BBC. February 2009. Archived from the original on 5 February 2006. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  9. "Rob Brydon impersonates Radio 2's Ken Bruce", BBC News, retrieved 1 April 2011
  10. "Rob Brydon fools Ken Bruce's Radio 2 fans", The Independent, retrieved 1 April 2011
  11. "Branagh Theatre Company". 17 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  12. Larman, Alexander. "BFI Screenonline: Brydon, Rob (1965–) Biography". Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  13. "Discworld Noir (1999) Windows credits". MobyGames. 20 June 2004. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  14. "Other works for Rob Brydon". IMDb.
  15. Wollaston, Sam (2 November 2010). "TV review: The Trip, Coppers, The Little House, Twitchers: A Very British Obsession, Extreme Fishing with Robson Green". The Guardian. London.
  16. Gordon, Bryony (7 November 2011). "Rob Brydon: 'I used to be ambitious, but now I'm more like JR Hartley'". London: Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  17. 25 February 2009, 17:10 GMT (25 February 2009). "Fry, Brydon, Dee to host 'Clue' return". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  18. Foster, Patrick (26 February 2009). "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue panel game to return to Radio 4". The Times. London. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  19. Parker, Robin (11 March 2009). "Brydon to host BBC1 quiz". Broadcastnow. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
  20. "Have I Got News for You: Rob Brydon, Frankie Boyle, Claudia Winkleman Episode Summary". 3 April 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  21. "Wales – Arts – Rob Brydon". BBC. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  22. Raphael, Amy (24 February 2008). "Look who's laughing now". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  23. "Rob Brydon: Live – ''''". Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  24. Swann, Yvonne (22 January 2010). "My perfect weekend: Rob Brydon". Daily Telegraph. London.
  25., England & Wales Birth Index: 1916–2005.
  26. "Rob Brydon's Wedding Day – Gallery – Mail Online". Daily Mail. London.
  27. Swann, Yvonne (22 January 2010). "My perfect weekend: Rob Brydon". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  28. "Rob Brydon signs for Swans". Swansea City Football Club official site. 12 November 2008. Archived from the original on 23 May 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
  29. Robins, Derek (17 May 2007). "Double trouble for Ben". The Sun. London.
  30. QI, Episode 6.9, BBC1, 20 February 2009
  31. "Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama – Honorary Fellows". Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
  32. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60534. p. 15. 15 June 2013.
  33. "Birthday Honours: Adele joins Blackadder stars on list". BBC News. 14 June 2013.
  34. "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  35. "The Gruffalo's Child". BBC One. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  36. "A Quiet Word With Rob Brydon". Official site. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  37. "Jenkins featuring West, Jones and Gibb – Islands In The Stream – Music Charts". Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  38. "Ireland Singles Top 50 – Music Charts". Retrieved 19 August 2011.

External links

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