Who Do You Think You Are?

John Bishop

Series 9 - Episode 10 John Bishop



John Bishop is fascinated by a faintly mysterious figure in his family’s history, his great-great-grandfather, a lay vicar. Who was this man and what on earth, asks Bishop, is a lay vicar?

Bishop unearths a remarkable story of a man who joined the Army as a bandsman at the age of just 14 before embarking on a career that eventually led to the stage. Bishop finds parallels between his own and his ancestor’s chosen life, discovering they even “gigged” at the same provincial theatres. And he listens, rapt and moved, as a pianist plays one of his great-great-grandfather’s compositions: “I’ve had me breath taken, it’s like hearing his voice.”


John Bishop was once a pharmaceuticals sales director, but changed career to become a stand-up comedian. As he traces his family tree, he is surprised to discover he is not the only one in his family to have ended up on the stage - although what his great-great-grandfather Charles Bishop did gives him something to think about. He also explores what happened to his other great-great-grandfather, who spent time as a prisoner of war in Crimea.

Cast & Crew

Contributor John Bishop
Director Sarah Aspinall
Series Producer Colette Flight