Jack Whitehall

Last updated

Jack Whitehall
Jack Whitehall (cropped).jpg
Whitehall in 2015
Born
Jack Peter Benedict Whitehall

(1988-07-07) 7 July 1988 (age 32)
Marylebone, London, England
Alma mater University of Manchester
Occupation
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • presenter
  • writer
Years active1993–present
Relatives Michael Whitehall (father)
Website jackwhitehall.com

Jack Peter Benedict Whitehall (born 7 July 1988) is an English actor, comedian, presenter and writer. He is best known for starring as JP in the series Fresh Meat (2011–2016) and Alfie Wickers in the series Bad Education (2012–2014) and its spin-off film The Bad Education Movie (2015). He also co-wrote the latter two. From 2012 to 2018, Whitehall was a regular panellist on the game show A League of Their Own . In 2017, he appeared with his father in the Netflix comedy documentary series Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father and starred in the television series Decline and Fall . Since 2018, he has been the host of the Brit Awards.

Contents

Early life

Jack Peter Benedict Whitehall was born at Portland Hospital in London's West End on 7 July 1988, [1] [2] the son of actress Hilary Amanda Jane Whitehall (née Isbister; stage name Hilary Gish) and television producer Michael John Whitehall. His father was also an agent for Judi Dench, Colin Firth, and Richard Griffiths. [3] Whitehall is a descendant of Welsh lawyer Thomas Phillips, who was a major opponent of the Newport Rising of 1839. [4] [5] He had two godfathers: actors Nigel Havers and Richard Griffiths. [6] He attended Tower House School in London's East Sheen area, where he was a classmate of actor Robert Pattinson. [7] He has often joked that he resented Pattinson for taking all the best acting roles in the school plays. [8] Whitehall auditioned for the role of Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001), but the casting director was unimpressed with him because he had not read the book. [9] His parents sent him to boarding school at the age of eight. [9] He attended the Dragon School in Oxford and then Marlborough College, a public school in Marlborough, Wiltshire. He took a gap year in which he decided to pursue a career in stand-up comedy. He attended the University of Manchester to study History of Art, dropping out after two terms. [10] [11]

Career

Television and radio career

Whitehall playing in a charity football match in May 2014 Jack Whitehall, charity football match.jpg
Whitehall playing in a charity football match in May 2014

In 1997, Whitehall (then aged nine) appeared in the series Noah's Ark . In June 2008, Whitehall presented the first week of Big Brother's Big Mouth on E4, returning in August to present the twelfth week. In September and November, Whitehall made his first and second of many appearances on Channel 4's 8 Out of 10 Cats . [12]

In January 2009, he presented Celebrity Big Brother's Big Mouth and appeared on The Sunday Night Project . On 5 June, his third appearance on 8 Out of 10 Cats was broadcast. [13] In June 2009 Whitehall co-presented topical-satire series The TNT Show with Holly Walsh on Channel 4. [14] In August, he appeared on Charlie Brooker's Channel 4 panel show You Have Been Watching , [15] followed in September by his first appearance on Would I Lie to You? . [16] He made his first of many appearances on BBC Two satirical panel show Mock the Week , [17] and in October, he guest-presented an episode of Never Mind the Buzzcocks . [18]

In January 2010, Whitehall made his fourth appearance in 8 Out of 10 Cats, [19] followed in February by his second appearance on Mock the Week, [20] and a first appearance in Argumental on Dave. [21] In April, he featured on Channel 4's Comedy Gala , a benefit show held in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, which had been filmed live at The O2 Arena in London in March. In April, he appeared on James Corden's sport show A League of Their Own , [22] and on 11 June made his fifth appearance on 8 Out of 10 Cats, [19] followed in June by his third appearance on Mock the Week. [23] In June and July 2010, Whitehall was a regular performer on the first series of Channel 4's Stand Up for the Week alongside Andi Osho, Kevin Bridges, Rich Hall and presenter Patrick Kielty. [24] In September he made his sixth appearance on 8 Out of 10 Cats, [25] and in September and October, his fourth and fifth appearances on Mock the Week. [23] In October, he appeared on a second episode of Argumental, [21] and he honoured Big Brother presenter Davina McCall on the Channel 4 show A Comedy Roast . [26] In October, he headlined the second episode of Dave's One Night Stand , [27] followed by his second appearance on A League of Their Own, [28] and on 1 November he appeared on Ask Rhod Gilbert . [29] In December, he appeared on the Royal Variety Performance 2010, and in December he appeared on the sixth series of Live at the Apollo , [30] which had been filmed on 27 September.

In February 2011, Whitehall was featured on Comedy Central Presents Jack Whitehall in the United States. [31] In March, he appeared on the BBC football programme Final Score , reporting on Arsenal's 0–0 draw with Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium. From March until May, Whitehall returned as a regular performer for the second series of Channel 4's Stand Up for the Week together with Andi Osho, Kevin Bridges and Rich Hall, joined for the new series by Jon Richardson. [24] In March, Whitehall and Bridges presented Jack and Kevin's Comic Relief Lock-In, which took the Comic Relief show through to the early hours of the morning with a selection of the best comedy clips of the last couple of years. In May 2011, he made his début appearance on a U.S. chatshow, interviewed by Ellen DeGeneres, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show . In June, Whitehall featured on the second annual Channel 4's Comedy Gala , which had been filmed in May. In June, he made a seventh appearance on 8 Out of 10 Cats. [22]

In July 2011, Whitehall appeared alongside Lorraine Kelly on the Channel 4 show King Of... , presented by Claudia Winkleman. [32] In July 2011, he made a sixth appearance on Mock the Week, [33] and he appeared on the British version of The Marriage Ref with Jack Dee and Katherine Kelly. He was a guest on the Channel 4 show Chris Moyles' Quiz Night , presented by BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles, [34] and in September made his second appearance on Would I Lie to You? [35] Whitehall made his acting début in the Channel 4 comedy drama Fresh Meat , from the creators of Peep Show . In the series, Whitehall plays the role of J.P., a public school boy who failed to get into a "proper" university. [36] The first series, in which he co-stars alongside Joe Thomas, ran until November 2011 and received critical acclaim. A second, third and fourth series aired on Channel 4 in the UK. [37] In September, he and his father Michael appeared on The Million Pound Drop Live , presented by Davina McCall. [38] On 30 November it was announced he would write and star in new BBC Three comedy Bad Education. [39]

He landed a six-part entertainment series on Channel 4, called Hit The Road Jack, which started airing on 20 March 2012, following Whitehall on a comedy tour of the country. [40] He became a regular panelist for the fifth series of A League of Their Own on Sky1 in 2012. [41]

In 2012, Whitehall starred in a self-penned comedy drama series Bad Education on BBC Three, which began on 14 August, in which he plays Alfie, a teacher who is "the worst teacher ever to grace the British education system and is a bigger kid than the kids he teaches". The series also stars Mathew Horne as Fraser, the headmaster, Sarah Solemani as Miss Gulliver, the biology teacher, and Michelle Gomez as Miss Pickwell, the deputy head. In 2015, Whitehall starred in a feature-film version of Bad Education, about a school trip to Cornwall. The film was provisionally entitled The Bad Education Movie.

On 30 November 2012, Whitehall was guest chairman of Have I Got News for You (season 44, broadcast 7). On 3 January 2013, he promoted his first DVD in an interview with Mark Lawson on BBC Radio 4's Front Row. On 24 November 2013 he acted in the Old Vic's charity gala '24 Hour Plays', where a series of ten-minute plays are written, rehearsed and performed within 24 hours. Also in 2013, Whitehall lent his voice to the Disney animated film Frozen as a troll priest named Gothi. However, Whitehall claims that his lines were cut from the film. [42]

In February 2014, Whitehall guest starred on Top Gear , having only driven a car once before, and drove on the Top Gear Test Track. In December 2014, he made a guest appearance in the second series of the Peter Gabriel spoof The Life of Rock with Brian Pern , broadcast on BBC Two. In 2015, he starred as posh backpacker Hugo in "La Couchette", the first episode of the second series of anthology series Inside No. 9 .

On 24 October 2014, Whitehall was the presenter of the Feeling Nuts Movement's inaugural event called The Feeling Nuts Comedy Night on Channel 4, raising awareness of testicular cancer. [43]

In 2017, Whitehall presented Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father , a travel documentary/road trip series in which he and his father Michael Whitehall spent five weeks in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The show was released on Netflix. [44] On 8 December 2017, Whitehall was announced as the next host of the BRIT Awards, taking over from 2017's hosts Dermot O'Leary and Emma Willis.

In May 2019, during the professional wrestling PPV AEW Double or Nothing, Whitehall introduced wrestling legend, Bret Hart, to the ring to unveil the new AEW World Championship.

Stand-up comedy

Whitehall started stand up comedy performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe at the Pleasance Theatre's Comedy Reserve showcase. He had previously taken a sketch show to the Fringe called Comic Abuse. Whitehall won the Amused Moose Laugh Off 2007, and was runner-up in the Laughing Horse New Act of The Year competition, a finalist in So You Think You're Funny? , [45] and winner of the Charlie Harthill Special Reserve in the same year. He was also nominated for 'Best Newcomer' in the 2008 Chortle Awards, and was a finalist in the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year.

In August 2009, Whitehall performed his first solo stand-up show, Nearly Rebellious, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The same year, he was nominated for 'Best Newcomer' at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards. [46] In September 2009, Whitehall was accused of stealing one of Stewart Lee's stand-up routines for his critically acclaimed Nearly Rebellious show. [47] [48] Lee had performed the joke, which deals with the subject of life after walking in space, at the Montreal Just for Laughs comedy festival in the 1990s, and was filmed for TV by the Comedy Network. [49] When Whitehall recited his version of the routine at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2009, he was described by an otherwise favourable review for Metro as "repeating" Lee's sketch "almost verbatim". [50]

On 20 October 2009, Robbie Williams was accused of stealing one of Whitehall's jokes in his much-publicised "comeback" performance as part of the BBC's electric proms at the Camden Roundhouse. [51] When Whitehall originally performed the one-liner, which plays on the phrasal verb "to look down on someone", it was voted the fifth best joke of the year's Edinburgh Fringe in a poll conducted by TV channel Dave. [51]

On 20 June 2010, a photograph of Whitehall appeared in the News of the World , purportedly showing him in possession of cocaine in Manchester. [52] [53] [54] He quickly issued an apology for his behaviour, but did not confirm or deny the allegations. [52] [53] Later that same week, Whitehall appeared on the debut episode of Stand Up for the Week [52] alongside fellow comedian Patrick Kielty, [53] who took the opportunity to mockingly refer to the article. [55]

On 30 March 2010, Whitehall took part in Channel 4's Comedy Gala , a benefit show held in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, filmed live at The O2 Arena in London and broadcast on 5 April. Whitehall then appeared at the Montreal Just for Laughs comedy festival in July, and returned to the Edinburgh Fringe in August with his second solo show, entitled Learning Difficulties. On 27 September, Whitehall appeared at the Apollo, Hammersmith in front of a full audience for a recording of the sixth series of Live at the Apollo , which aired on 17 December. Also in 2010, he was picked out by Variety as one of their prestigious ten stars of the future.

In January 2011, Whitehall was nominated by the British Comedy Awards for 'Best Comedy Breakthrough'. [56] On 12 March, he set a new Guinness World Records title together with Dara Ó Briain and Jon Richardson, for hosting the 'Highest stand up comedy gig in the world', on a British Airways flight in support of Comic Relief. [57] On 24 May, Whitehall took part in the second annual Channel 4's Comedy Gala , which aired on 10 June.

In August 2011, Whitehall performed two shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. His third solo stand-up show in succession, Let's Not Speak of This Again. He also performed a series of four stand-up shows with his father Michael Whitehall, called Backchat , [58] which was also completely sold out. Both received very favourable reviews.

He appeared in the first series of Dave's One Night Stand for the comedy network Dave. Recording a stand up performance at London's Haymarket Theatre. The show featured special guests as support.

In November 2011, Whitehall performed two sell out solo shows at the Hammersmith Apollo. These shows completed his debut national tour Let's Not Speak of This Again. Both shows again received highly favourable reviews. [59]

On 30 December 2012, Whitehall appeared on The Big Fat Quiz of the Year , during which he made a joke about Queen Elizabeth II. On the next day, complaints were submitted about the joke to Ofcom. [60] Ensuing media speculation led to the National Television Awards stating publicly that Whitehall would not be forced to resign from presenting the awards a short time later. [61]

Personal life

Whitehall met actress Gemma Chan in 2011, when she guest starred on his series Fresh Meat . They dated until December 2017.[ citation needed ] Since 2020 he has been in a relationship with model Roxy Horner. [62] Whitehall is an avid supporter of Arsenal F.C. [63]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
2013 Frozen Gothi – Troll Priest (voice)Uncredited, unused in final cut of film.
The Houdini GirlShort
2015 The Bad Education Movie Alfie WickersAlso writer
2016 Mother's Day Zack Zimm
Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods Asterix (voice)English dub
2018 The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Harlequin
2019 The Queen's Corgi Rex (voice)
LugerTomShort
2021 Jungle Cruise McGregor HoughtonPost-production
Clifford the Big Red Dog Uncle Casey

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1993 The Good Guys Guy McFadyean Jr.Episode: "Old School Ties"
1997 Noah's Ark Ben WistonEpisode: "Paying the Price"
2002 Bertie and Elizabeth Little boyTelevision film; uncredited
2005 Have I Been Here Before? James Porter1 episode
2008 Ruddy Hell! It's Harry and Paul Office worker
Jesus Boy and the GoatherdJackTelevision film; also writer
Beehive Various characters3 episodes
2009The TNT ShowHimselfPresenter, 2 episodes
2009–11 Mock the Week Guest panellist, 7 episodes
2010–17, 2019 A League of Their Own Regular Panellist, Guest Presenter (1 episode)
2011 Little Crackers RobinEpisode: "Jack Whitehall's Little Cracker: Daddy's Little Princess"; also writer
2011–16 Fresh Meat J.P.Main role, 30 episodes
2012–14 Bad Education Alfie WickersMain role; also creator, writer (17 episodes), Associate Producer (4 episodes)
2013–14 Psychobitches Maria Von Trapp
Sleeping Beauty's Prince
Diana Spencer
3 episodes
2013–15 Backchat HimselfPresenter, 12 episodes
2014 Top Gear "Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car"
The Life of Rock with Brian Pern Young Tony PebbleEpisode: "Jukebox Musical"
An American Education Alfie WickersTelevision movie pilot; also Executive Producer
2015 Inside No. 9 HugoEpisode: "La Couchette"
CockroachesOscar4 episodes
2015–16 Thunderbirds Are Go Francois Lemaire (voice)3 episodes [64]
2016 Drunk History Sir Walter Raleigh Episode: "Sir Walter Raleigh / Robin Hood & Maid Marian"
Walliams & Friend VariousEpisode: "Jack Whitehall"
2017 Decline and Fall Paul PennyfeatherMiniseries, 3 episodes
Jack Whitehall: At LargeHimselfStand-up Special
2017–20 Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father Presenter; also Executive Producer, 3 series
2017–19 Bounty Hunters Barnaby WalkerMain role, 7 episodes
2018 2018 Brit Awards HimselfPresenter
Jack Whitehall: Training Days
Urban Myths Mark FeldEpisode: "David Bowie and Marc Bolan"
Horizon HimselfNarrator, episode: "Teenagers vs Cancer: A User's Guide"
The Sidemen Show Episode: "The Great Sidemen Race"
2019 2019 Brit Awards Presenter
The Graham Norton Show Guest presenter
Good Omens Newton Pulsifer, Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery PulsiferMiniseries, 5 episodes
Who Do You Think You Are? HimselfAlongside his father Michael, explores his ancestry
Jack Whitehall: Christmas with My FatherPresenter
2020Jack Whitehall: I'm Only Joking [65] Netflix Comedy Tour Special
2020 Brit Awards Presenter
Jack Whitehall's Father's Day
Jack Whitehall's Sporting Nation [66]
2021 2021 Brit Awards
A League of Their Own Roadtrip: Loch Ness to London

Awards

DVD releases

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