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John Thomson (comedian)

John Thomson
Born (1969-04-02) 2 April 1969
Salford, Lancashire, England, UK
Medium Stand up, television
Nationality British
Years active 1989–present
Genres Character comedy, improvisation
Spouse Samantha Sharp (m. 2005)
Children 2

John Patrick Thomson (born Patrick Francis McAleer on 2 April 1969) is an English comedian and actor, best known for his roles in The Fast Show and Cold Feet.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • Comedy and television 2.1
    • Radio 2.2
  • Personal life 3
  • Filmography 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Thomson was born in 1969 in Salford, Lancashire to Mary McAleer, who gave him up for adoption six weeks later. He was adopted from the Catholic Children's Rescue Society[1] by Andrew and Marita Thomson, a businessman and a bookseller from Didsbury.[2][3] He has one younger brother, Ben (born to his adoptive parents).[4] He attended All Hallows Catholic High School near Preston, Lancashire, leaving with three O-levels. He then attended Runshaw College between 1985 and 1987, studying for four A-levels, including theatre studies. He was described as "clearly [having] a talent for comedy".[5]

Following this, he turned down a scholarship in America to study drama at Manchester Polytechnic.


Comedy and television

While at university, Thomson met Steve Coogan, who secured him a job on Spitting Image.[4] They would continue to collaborate on such programmes as The Dead Good Show, a 1993 Granada TV pilot also starring Caroline Aherne, Coogan's Run, the Paul and Pauline Calf video diaries (where he played 'Fat Bob') and Knowing Me, Knowing You... with Alan Partridge, which he also contributed to writing. He also appeared in Coogan's live shows as compère Bernard Righton and the two would be reunited in the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People. The two won the Perrier Comedy Award in 1992 for their act at the Edinburgh Fringe.[4]

Thomson also played supporting roles in the first series of the Stewart Lee and Richard Herring vehicle, Fist of Fun.

In 1994 Thomson appeared in the BBC sketch series The Fast Show, remaining with it until it ended in 2001. Thomson played memorable characters such as Chip Cobb, the deaf stuntman, and Roger the Nouveau football fan, but it is as "Jazz Club" host Louis Balfour that he is most remembered, with the catchphrase, "Nice!"[4][6] He also appeared in The Fast Show Live and the spin-off Ted & Ralph.

In 1996 he appeared opposite Maureen Lipman as Bob Acres in The Rivals at the Royal Exchange, Manchester.[7][8]

He made guest appearances on various series such as Soldier Soldier and Men Behaving Badly in the 1990s before being cast as Pete Gifford in the ITV comedy drama Cold Feet. Thomson was known to the producers, who had previously cast him in a one-off drama called The Perfect Match. A series was commissioned that ran until 2003 and earned him a nomination for Best TV Comedy Actor at the British Comedy Awards 2001. Granada Television filmed a comedy drama called Stan the Man in 2002 in which Thomson starred as Stanley Tully a would-be entrepreneur. Some of the filming was done in south Manchester suburbs.[9]

After Cold Feet wrapped, Thomson appeared in the Royal Exchange's production of Hobson's Choice (helped by his acclaimed performance in The Rivals[8]). The Independent described his performance as Willie as "an extremely well-judged performance. With the slightest physical gesture and merest facial expression he conveys disbelief, reluctance, panic and finally acceptance of his fate at the hands of manipulative Maggie".[10] His performance led to a Manchester Evening News Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.[11]

That same year he participated in the BBC series Comic Relief does Fame Academy, being was the fourth "student" to be "expelled".[12][13] and in 2004, he appeared in the musical drama Blackpool as Tony Corlette.

He has also lent his voice to the revived BBC children's series Bill and Ben and Mr Windfall in Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Another television series, New Street Law, about a Manchester chambers, started in 2006. Thomson plays "lovable rogue" barrister Charlie Darling alongside co-star John Hannah. The second series began in January 2007.[14]

In February 2007 he played Sir Alan Prentice, in Kombat Opera Presents... The Applicants, a spoof opera of the BBC series The Apprentice. The programme attracted 700,000 viewers according to unofficial overnights.[15] In March 2007 he appeared as hypnotherapist Ray Bould in the three-part ITV thriller, Mobile. The producers had Thomson lined up for the role of DI Fleming, but he wanted to read for Bould because he "was up against a friend for the same part".[16] Later that year he filmed a guest appearance as Nigel Pearson in a second series episode of Kingdom. He returned as a full-time cast member for the third series.[17]

In October 2008, Thomson filmed a three-episode guest stint on the ITV soap opera Coronation Street, playing electrician-cum-children's entertainer Jesse, which aired in December. In January 2009, it was announced that he would reprise the role for six months.[18] Jesse returned to Coronation Street in June, beginning a relationship with Eileen Grimshaw (Sue Cleaver). He left 2010, after his contract was not renewed.[19] Later that same year, he portrayed H.V. Kershaw in The Road to Coronation Street, a dramatisation of Coronation Street‍ '​s development in the 1960s.

In 2011, it was announced that Thomson would be joining the cast of the BBC television series Waterloo Road.[20]

Later in 2011, it was announced that Thomson would be appearing next to the original cast (with the exception of Mark Williams) in six online-only episodes of The Fast Show sponsored by lager brand, Foster's [21] due to launch on the 10 November 2011.

In 2011, John was a contestant on the ITV celebrity reality series 71 Degrees North.

Thomson was a contestant in the 2013 series of Celebrity MasterChef.

In 2015, John became one of the stars of The Keith Lemon Sketch Show playing various characters.

In September 2015 he became the new narrator of Police Interceptors.


In January 2008 he played Mike (Topaz) in BBC Radio 4's comedy drama series 'Pick Ups'.[22]

On 12 April 2008, Thomson began hosting the Saturday lunchtime slot on BBC Radio Manchester.[23] His stint ended on 22 November 2008.

Personal life

Thomson married longtime girlfriend Samantha Sharp in 2005 and they have two daughters; Olivia (born 2002) and Sophia Melody (born 2010).[24]



  1. ^ Catholic Children's Rescue Society.
  2. ^ BBC Northern Ireland (2004) Patrick Kielty Almost Live John Thomson Profile. Retrieved on 2007-02-17
  3. ^ Hockney, Karen (2002) "Everything is coming up roses for John the flowerpot man", The Sun. Retrieved on 2007-02-17
  4. ^ a b c d Cooke, Rachel (2003-05-11) "Infamy, infamy ...", The Observer. Retrieved on 2007-02-17
  5. ^ Shimmon, Katie (2006-06-06) "College days", Guardian Unlimted. Retrieved on 2007-02-17
  6. ^ Rampton, James (1999-01-02) "Staying In: Interview John Thomson: The very fast show", The Independent. Retrieved on 2013-01-31
  7. ^ Wainwright, Jeffrey (1996-02-17) "Theatre The Rivals, Royal Exchange, Manchester", The Independent. Retrieved on 2007-02-17
  8. ^ a b Bourke, Kevin (2003-04-25) "Thomson's Choice", Manchester Evening News. Retrieved on 2007-02-17
  9. ^ South Manchester Reporter; 22 March 2002, p. 9
  10. ^ Walker, Lynne (2003-05-27) "Theatre: A choice evening of comic charm", The Independent. Retrieved on 2007-02-17
  11. ^ Anonymous (2003-11-11) "Manchester Evening News Awards 2003", The British Theatre Guide. Retrieved on 2007-02-17
  12. ^ Press release (2003-03-03) "Comic Relief Does Fame Academy – celebrity students revealed", BBC Press Office. Retrieved on 2007-02-17
  13. ^ Press release (2003-03-10) "Comic Relief Does Fame Academy – John Thomson packs his bags", BBC Press Office. Retrieved on 2007-02-17
  14. ^ Press release (2006-04-25) "John Thomson plays Charlie Darling", BBC Press Office. Retrieved on 2007-02-17
  15. ^ Deans, Jason (26-02-2007, "ITV's Lewis tops Sunday night TV", Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved on 2007-04-19
  16. ^ Press release (undated) "Exclusive interview with John Thomson", ITV Dramas. Retrieved on 2007-03-15
  17. ^ "Stephen Fry returns to his Kingdom".  
  18. ^ Green, Kris (21 January 2009). "Thomson to make permanent Corrie return", Digital Spy. Retrieved on 21 January 2009.
  19. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (16 February 2010). "John Thomson leaving Corrie role". Digital Spy. Retrieved on 16 February 2010.
  20. ^ Daniels, Colin (29 May 2011). "'Waterloo Road' casts Paul Nicholls, John Thomson". Digital Spy. Retrieved on 31 May 2011.
  21. ^ Foster's - The Fast Show
  22. ^ BBC Radio 4 - Pick Ups
  23. ^ Plunkett, John (2008-03-31). "Fast Show star John Thomson gets BBC Radio show".  
  24. ^ Kilkenny, Daniel (31 March 2010). "John Thomson welcomes baby girl". Digital Spy. Retrieved on 2 April 2010.
  25. ^ [3]
  26. ^ [4]

External links

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