Sean Hughes (comedian)

Sean Hughes
Born John Hughes
(1965-11-10) 10 November 1965
London, England
Occupation Comedian, writer, actor

Sean Hughes (born John Hughes; 10 November 1965) is an English-born Irish stand-up comedian, writer and actor.


Hughes was born in London, but spent most of his youth in Firhouse, Dublin. He attended Coláiste Éanna in Ballyroan. In 1987 he began appearing at the Comedy Store, and with his show, A One Night Stand With Sean Hughes he won the prestigious Perrier Comedy Award.[1]

He marked his 30th birthday with the Sean Hughes is Thirty Somehow tour, which was broadcast on Channel 4, in 1995. Hughes returned to stand-up, touring the UK and Australia in 2007 with his show, The Right Side of Wrong.[2]

As well as comedy, he has also written collections of prose and poetry and worked on a number of films. He also presented weekend radio shows on the BBC's London radio station BBC GLR, and in 2002 joined BBC 6 Music, presenting the Sunday morning programme. He left the station a year after its launch, proclaiming it had turned into everything he had wanted it to be. He has also written two novels, The Detainees (1998) and It's What He Would Have Wanted (2000).

It has been reported that Hughes was a close friend of the late American comedian Bill Hicks, but Hughes has stated this is untrue and that he knew Hicks only slightly.[3] Hughes wrote the foreword to Cynthia True's biography, American Scream. The Bill Hicks Story. Hughes wrote about Hicks, "being a genius is a heavy burden and he's the only one I'm ever likely to meet. I still miss you Bill."[4]

Film and television

Hughes had a small role in the 1991 film The Commitments, playing a record producer. In 1992 he had his own TV show, Sean's Show, ostensibly set in his own home. It received a nomination for the 1992 British Comedy Award for Best Channel 4 Sitcom. Series one of Sean's Show has been released on DVD by Channel 4. He later recorded a series of brief programmes called Sean's Shorts, in which he toured England, visiting many of the country's towns and cities, visiting local places of interest and meeting local people. He appeared in the film Snakes and ladders shot in Dublin, and released in 1996.

From 1996 to 2002 he was a team captain on the BBC 2 comedy quiz show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, alongside Phill Jupitus and Mark Lamarr. He can be seen during Terrorvision's music video for their single Tequila from 1999 [5] and in the video for The Cure's 1996 single, The Thirteenth. He appeared in the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe.[6]

In ITV's series The Last Detective, featuring "Dangerous" Davies, Hughes plays his friend, the perpetually unemployed and well-read "Mod Lewis" (he spends all his time at the library to save on heating). He played Eileen Grimshaw's love interest Pat in the British soap Coronation Street.[7]

Hughes voices the part of Finbar the Shark, one of a number of plastic bath toys which come to life when no-one is watching in the children's TV series Rubbadubbers, shown on the BBC's 'CBeebies' channel in the UK for pre-school children.

He played Sergeant Lake in the ITV Agatha Christie's Marple production of They Do It with Mirrors, which was broadcast on 1 January 2010.[8]

Hughes played "Brendan" in the 2010 British film version of Tony Hawks' best selling book, Round Ireland with a Fridge that was released in September 2010 and on DVD on 8 November 2010. He also played the lead in the film adaptation of Spike Milligan's comic novel, Puckoon. Hughes also voices Tapir in the three Robbie the Reindeer films. He appeared in Casualty in 2015.


In November 2013, Hughes started a new comedy podcast called Under The Radar with BigFings Productions.[9]


Hughes took over the role of stationmaster Mr Perks in the musical The Railway Children at King's Cross Theatre in March 2015[10]


  1. "Past Comedy Award Winners,; retrieved 29 April 2008.
  2. "Mick Perrin for Just for Laughs Live in Association with PBJ Management and Gilded Balloon Productions presents Sean Hughes: The Right Side of Wrong" (PDF). Gilded Balloon Teviot. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 May 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  3. Williams, Ben (25 March 2014). "Stand-up countdown Sean Hughs". Time Out. London. It says on my Wikipedia page that I was good friends with him. I wasn't! We were in Australia together, so we hung out. I did get to know him a little bit, which was a real pleasure. When I saw him I just went, "That's the best comic I'm going to see in my lifetime."
  4. "American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story",; retrieved 29 April 2008.
  5. "Never Mind the Buzzcocks episode showing Sean in Terrorvision video". Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  6. "BBC News - Fringe's funniest joke prize awarded to Tim Vine". 23 August 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
  7. "Sean Hughes joins Corrie cast", 16 May 2007
  8. "Press packs | Agatha Christie Marple They Do It With Mirrors - ITV Press Centre". Retrieved 21 September 2010.
  9. iTunes
  10. Mitford, Oliver (23 February 2015). "Comedian Sean Hughes joins The Railway Children". London Box Office. London, UK.
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