Jon Culshaw

For the Decca/London record producer, see John Culshaw.
Jon Culshaw
Birth name Jonathan Peter Culshaw
Born (1968-06-02) 2 June 1968
Ormskirk, Lancashire, England, UK
Nationality British
Years active 1980s–present
Genres Impressions, sketch comedy
Notable works and roles Dead Ringers (2000–07, 2014–)
2DTV (2001–04)
The Impressionable Jon Culshaw (2004)
The Sky at Night (2007—)
Headcases (2008)
The Impressions Show (2009—)
Newzoids (2015—)

Jonathan Peter "Jon" Culshaw (born 2 June 1968) is an English impressionist and comedian, best known for his work on the radio comedy Dead Ringers since 2000.

Culshaw has voiced a number of characters for ITV shows including 2DTV (2001), Spitting Image (1994–96) and Newzoids (2015–present), as well as appearing in The Impressions Show alongside Debra Stephenson since 2009.

Early life and career

Culshaw was born in Ormskirk, Lancashire[1] and educated at St Bede's RC High School[2] and St John Rigby College, Wigan.

Culshaw's radio career began in hospital radio in Ormskirk. His first job was at Red Rose Radio (now Rock FM) in Preston in 1987, where, even then, he used to occasionally read the weather in the voice of Frank Bruno. He did voice-over work, then was catapulted to prominence with Spitting Image, where he voiced around forty characters, including John Major, then the Prime Minister.

Culshaw is also a former student of Canterbury Christ Church University.[3]

For around four years in the late 1980s, Culshaw was a DJ on commercial radio station Viking FM,[4] based in Hull, and also had a breakfast show on Pennine Radio (now the Pulse of West Yorkshire) and Radio Wave in Blackpool. It was a receptionist at Viking FM who persuaded Culshaw that he should go onstage with his impressions and make it his living. Culshaw later appeared on BBC Radio 2's It's Been a Bad Week, appeared as a guest on the BBC Two Star Trek Night quiz in August 1996, and was also a regular guest on the Chris Moyles afternoon show on BBC Radio 1 from 1998 to 2002, where he would phone up commercial organisations such as a Kwik-Fit garage in the voice of Patrick Moore or Obi-Wan Kenobi politely requesting whether they could service his X-wing fighter and how much time it would take.



Culshaw rose to fame in January 1998 while working with Steve Penk on Capital Radio, by impersonating William Hague and succeeding in contacting Number 10 Downing Street. He was put through to Tony Blair who, despite instantly discovering the ruse, had a lengthy conversation with him until a member of Blair's staff ended the call.[5]

Culshaw was one of the stars of the BBC Radio 4 comedy series Dead Ringers, which ran from 2000 to 2007 as well as the BBC Two television series of the same name, from 2002 to 2007. The radio series of Dead Ringers made a return to BBC Radio 4 in 2014.


Between 2001 and 2002, Culshaw hosted a programme on ITV called Alter Ego, where he interviewed male celebrities in their own style of speaking, a form of simultaneous translation. Culshaw also appeared on 2DTV, a cartoon version of Dead Ringers. In early 2004, using the same production team, he had his own programme, The Impressionable Jon Culshaw commissioned for ITV.

Culshaw also appeared in the Doctor Who webcast "Death Comes to Time" and audio drama The Kingmaker. In the latter, he got to perform his Tom Baker impression "for real" (voicing tape recordings of the fourth Doctor), although his nominal part was that of Earl Rivers.

In 2005, Culshaw was a celebrity contestant on Comic Relief Does Fame Academy and was the fourth person to become eliminated. In the same year, he also appeared in the BBC General Election coverage, in the guises of Tony Blair and George W. Bush.

In January 2006, Culshaw presented one series of the BBC programme Jon Culshaw's Commercial Breakdown. In November 2007 and December 2008, Culshaw, a keen amateur astronomer, appeared on The Sky at Night impersonating a young Sir Patrick Moore. In March 2011, he appeared again on the 700th episode of The Sky at Night, reading viewer questions to the panel of experts. Culshaw later appeared two months later reporting on the Northern Lights.

In January 2008, he appeared on Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack, as part of a pub-quiz team with Chris Moyles.

In May 2008, Culshaw appeared in the BBC documentary series Comedy Map of Britain.

Since 2009, Culshaw has starred in the BBC One comedy sketch show The Impressions Show alongside Debra Stephenson.

On 13 March 2010, Jon was a guest judge on the BBC One charity programme Let's Dance for Comic Relief. In 2013, he appeared as a contestant on the show, where he performed a routine to "Praise You" by Fatboy Slim. However, he was eliminated by the public vote.[6][7]

In 2010, Culshaw appeared in the television series, Missing as Des Martin. In November 2013, Culshaw appeared in the one-off 50th anniversary comedy homage The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.[8]

Since 2015, he has voiced a number of characters alongside Debra Stephenson for the ITV sketch show Newzoids. A second series aired in 2016.[9][10][11]


He also voiced Piston Pete in the 2008 film Agent Crush.


Some of Culshaw's most famous impressions include former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Obi-Wan Kenobi (in the Alec Guinness persona), Russell Crowe, President George W. Bush, Ozzy Osbourne, former Mayor of London Boris Johnson, comedian Michael McIntyre, presenter Dale Winton, newsreader Brian Perkins, Sir Patrick Moore, Tom Baker and Les Dawson.

Awards and honours

In 2006, Culshaw received an honorary fellowship from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston.[12] In December 2010, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Edge Hill University.[13] In July 2013 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Leicester.[14]


Culshaw is a celebrity ambassador for the charity Trekstock.[15]

Culshaw also supports the Starlight Children's Foundation.[16][17]

Culshaw regularly presents Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Awards as part of his support for the charity.[18]

In 2016 he participated in the Great North Run to raise funds for the Jon Egging Trust, a charity set up in memory of the Red Arrows Flight Lieutenant who lost his life while flying at the Red Arrows Display at the Bournemouth Air Festival.[19]


Year Title Role Channel
1994–1996 Spitting Image Various voices ITV
2001 Alter Ego Starring ITV
2DTV Voice ITV
2002 Room 101 Patrick Moore BBC Two
2002–2009 Dead Ringers Starring BBC Two
2004 The Impressionable Jon Culshaw Starring ITV
Little Britain Guest BBC One
2006 The Slammer Guest BBC One
The Secret Policeman's Ball 2006 Guest Channel 4
2007 The Sky at Night Young Patrick Moore BBC One
Red Nose Day 2007 Various BBC One
Kombat Opera Presents Guest BBC Two
2008 Headcases Voice ITV
2008-present Horrible Histories Various characters CBBC / BBC One
2009–2011 The Impressions Show with Culshaw and Stephenson Starring BBC One
2013 Let's Dance for Comic Relief Contestant BBC One
The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot Tom Baker (voice) BBC Red Button
2015–present Newzoids Various voices ITV
Guest appearances
Year Title Role
2004 Churchill: The Hollywood Years Tony Blair
2008 Agent Crush Piston Pete (voice)


  1. "Results for England & Wales Births 1837-2006". Find My 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  2. St Bede's Archived 15 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. "Canterbury Christ Church University". The Independent. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  4. Tellytunes: DJ photocards: Viking FM DJ photographs Archived 15 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. Gilbert, Jenny (11 August 2002). "Jon Culshaw: A very good impression of a man who wants to outdo Rory Bremner". The Independent. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
  6. "Let's Dance for Comic Relief, Jon Culshaw performs "Praise You"". BBC One. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  7. "Corrie Star Antony Cotton Breezes Into Let's Dance Finals". The Huffington Post UK. 24 February 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  8. "The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot". BBC. 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  9. Love, Ryan (11 February 2015). "ITV commissions Jon Culshaw, Debra Stephenson puppet sketch show Newzoids". Digital Spy. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  10. Zayn Malik and Adele will get the puppet treatment as Newzoids returns for season two
  11. Newzoids returns for second series
  12. "Honorary Fellows". University of Central Lancashire. 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  13. "Jon Culshaw makes an 'impression' on University". Edge Hill University. 13 December 2010. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  14. "University of Leicester to honour distinguished individuals from public life". University of Leicester. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  15. "Patrons & Ambassadors". Trekstock. 2016. Archived from the original on 25 January 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  16. "Charity Polo Day in Aid of Starlight". Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  17. "Have a Heart Appeal raises £202,967 to help seriously ill children". Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  18. "Gold Award Presentations". 13 January 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  19. "Great North Run". Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  20. Martin, Liam (25 July 2014). "Pat Sharp teams with Dave Benson-Phillips for Pointless Celebrities". Digital Spy. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  21. "The Chase ITV Bradley Walsh". ITV Press Centre. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  22. "Tipping Point: Lucky Stars". ITV Press Centre. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  23. "Pointless Celebrities, Series 6, Mixed Bag 2". BBC One. 1 November 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  24. "Holiday of My Lifetime with Len Goodman, Series 1, Episode 13". BBC One. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  25. Fletcher, Alex (31 October 2014). "Bruce Forsyth returning to primetime BBC One with Hall of Fame show". Digital Spy. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  26. "All Star Family Fortunes". ITV Press Centre. Retrieved 8 February 2016.

Audio clips

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