Graham Fellows is best known for his comic creation, John Shuttleworth, who has starred in the hit series 500 Bus Stops (BBC 2) as well as Celebrity Antiques Roadshow, Pointless and most recently, Count Arthur Strong, all on BBC1.
Graham was already well known as an actor and creator of the hit single, Jilted John which reached number 4 in the UK charts in 1978, while Graham was still at drama college (Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre). As John Shuttleworth Graham continued his pop association when he supported the likes of Robert Plant at the Marquee Club and Blur at the Mile End Stadium.
Graham has starred in five series of The Shuttleworths plus several Specials (all for BBC Radio 4) from 1992 to 2010 and the show has been nominated for a Sony Award and Writer’s Guild Award. A spinoff series featuring live guests, Radio Shuttleworth (also BBC Radio 4) ran for two series in ‘98 and 2000 and was also nominated for a Sony Award. A new series in 2006, co-created by Dean Wilkinson, John Shuttleworth’s Open Mind, was nominated for Best Radio Comedy at the North-West Comedy Awards and is repeated regularly on BBC 4Extra, as are many of the other radio shows. A one off 6-part series Guide To Stardom was aired in 1994 on BBC Radio 1.
Other TV credits as John Shuttleworth, include a Eurovision Special, Europigeon, (BBC 2) Vic and Bob’s Xmas Special (BBC 2), Packin Em In, Saturday Zoo, and Later With Jools Holland (all Channel 4).
In 1992 Graham was nominated for the prestigious Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe for his live show, John Shuttleworth’s Guide To Stardom. Many live tours have followed, including 2000 & John for which Graham won the Manchester Evening News Comedy Award. Other successful national tours include One Foot In The Gravy, Pillock of the Community, Out Of Our Sheds, and The Minor Tour and Other Mythological Creatures.
At the 1999 Edinburgh Fringe, Graham introduced a new character – failed rocker and multi-media lecturer, Brian Appleton in Brian Appleton’s History of Rock n Roll. (“An inspired creation. Spinal Tap, watch your back!” The Irish Times.) A radio series based on the show was later broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Graham has also toured as Brian with the pop band Belle & Sebastian and presented a short series for Channel 4 – Elvis Lives. In 2002 a new Brian Appleton show - Let’s Look at Sound, was nominated for the Manchester Evening News Comedy Award. On Christmas Day 2003 he presented Brian Appleton’s Christmas Single and in 2005 a new 6 part series, Brian Appleton’s Unofficial Multimedia Lecture (both for BBC Radio 4) Another of Graham’s comedy characters, Goole concreter (laserscreening a specialty”), and aspiring after-dinner speaker, Dave Tordoff (“His ignorance is comical bliss”, Evening Standard) has made guest appearances in several Shuttleworth and Appleton tours and made his Edinburgh debut in Neighbours From Hull.
As an actor, Graham has featured as Les Charlton in Coronation Street (ITV), Comics (Channel 4) Coogan’s Run (BBC 2), Time Gentlemen Please (Sky), Heartbeat (ITV) and Ideal (BBC 2). He provided all the voices for Aardman’s Bafta Award winning short film Stage Fright. He has recorded two children’s drama series for television – Dangerville for ITV and Bad Penny for BBC. Theatre parts include Paul McCartney in Bob Eaton’s musical Lennon (Liverpool Everyman) Geoffrey in A Taste Of Honey (Manchester Royal Exchange), and all the male roles in Jim Cartwright’s play TWO at the Dukes Theatre, Lancaster. Graham’s film work includes appearances in Morons From Outer Space, and Cheeky, starring and directed by David Thewlis. More recently, Graham portrayed Eric Sykes in Hattie – the acclaimed biopic drama (BBC 2)
Graham wrote and directed (and starred in as Shuttleworth) two feature films Southern Softies on location in the Channel Islands, the sequel to the hit film It’s Nice Up North, filmed and co-directed with the legendary photographer, Martin Parr. Both movies enjoyed theatrical releases (through the Picturehouse chain) and were broadcast several times on Sky Arts.
Graham (with agent Richard Bucknall) now runs a production company, Chic Ken, who co-produced the feature films and an ad campaign for Yorkshire Tea with Willy Smax in collaboration with the award winning BMB Agency.
Chic Ken’s first radio production was recently aired on BBC radio 4 - the critically acclaimed John Shuttleworth’s Lounge Music, featuring guest stars such as, Heaven 17, Chas and Dave, Toyah Wilcox and Lee John, not to mention Anita Harris! Last summer John headlined at No 6 and Port Elliot Festivals and has recently completed his biggest UK tour to date. He recently appeared at The London Palladium in a night to raise money for MS and hosted a night with amongst others Toyah Wilcox, Chas (Chas and Dave),Sooty and Sweep and Imagination.
He completed the second series of John Shuttleworth’s Lounge Music on BBC Radio 4 shortly before heading out on tour with My Last Will and Tasty Mint in 2017.
To celebrate the 40th birthday of one of his best known creations, Jilted John, Graham headed out on tour with John Otway
Then in early 2018, Graham, in an unprecedented move from the godfather of character comedy, decided to go out on tour as himself with his latest offering, Completely Out Of Character in early 2018.
Graham has been doing previews of his show Father Earth in preparation for a tour in 2022
'Graham has performed as John Shuttleworth for over 25 years on stage, TV and Radio, delighting audiences throughout the UK with his comedy songs and quirky take on everyday life. Now Graham, minus brown leather jacket and fawn slacks (though fully clothed!), steps out from behind the keyboard to plug in his guitar and sing his own songs - some humorous, some sad, but all totally out of character, and still using "the finest lyrics known to man".
“The man who does for the Bon Tempi organ what Jimi Hendrix did for the guitar”
“The finest lyrics known to man”
“Contemporary character comedy at its finest”
John Shuttleworth’s Back Tour
Sat 04 BARTON UPON HUMBER The Ropewalk
Mon 06 CAMBRIDGE Junction
Thu 09 LOUTH Riverhead Theatre
Fri 10 NOTTINGHAM Playhouse
Sat 11 STRATFORD Playhouse
Thu 16 STAMFORD Arts Centre
Fri 17 EDINBURGH Queen’s Hall
Wed 22 BURY ST EDMUNDS Theatre Royal
Thu 23 HASTINGS St Mary in the Castle
Wed 29 SHEFFIELD City Hall
Thu 30 LONDON UCL Bloomsbury
Wed 13 NORWICH Playhouse
Wed 03 EXETER Phoenix
Wed 10 WIMBORNE Tivoli Theatre
Fri 12 NEWCASTLE UNDER LYME New Vic
Sat 13 BARNSLEY Civic Theatre
Sun 14 BRISTOL Old Vic
Tue 30 WORCESTER Huntingdon Hall
Tue 22 KENDAL Kendal Brewery (Preview)
Wed 23 GLASGOW Kings Theatre
Thu 24 ABERDEEN Arts Centre
Wed 13 SALFORD Lowry
Thu 14 NEWCASTLE Theatre and Opera House
Wed 20 LIVERPOOL Playhouse
Thu 21st HULL Truck
Wed 27th SHREWSBURY Theatre Severn
Sat 30th MACCLYNETH Comedy Festival
Mon 2 BELFAST Black Box
Wed 4th BIRMINGHAM Town Hall
Fri 6th ILKLEY Kings Hall
Sat 7 LEICESTER Little Theatre
Fri 13 ST IVES Guildhall
Mon 16th ISLINGTON Union Chapel
Wed 18 LEEDS City Varieties
Thu 19 CASTLETON Peak Cavern
Sat 21 WINCHESTER Theatre Royal
Tues 24th MILTON KEYNES The Stables
Wed 25th HOVE The Old Market