Only Jo Brand and Bill Bailey have appeared in more QI episodes than Phill Jupitus. His debut was the Christmas show in the very first series where he created an iconic QI moment by railing at Stephen, ‘What kind of hellish quiz is this?’ upon discovering that the none of the four multiple choice options offered were, in fact, correct. Outrage of the ‘I hate this show!’ type is just one of the things that Phill brings to the party. He is QI’s Falstaff – not just because of his size and booming presence – but because of his capacity for pathos and his tremendous warmth on set. A lot of QI guests are funny, but to do so while being unfailingly generous to other panellists is a trick that Phill manages every time he appears.
Much of this explained by his remarkable CV. If QI is the product of people with abnormally low boredom thresholds, it’s hardly surprising Phill Jupitus feels at home. After leaving his job in a Job Centre in 1983 he reinvented himself as Porky, a performance poet and then drifted into music, supporting Billy Bragg on tour and working as a press officer for the Housemartins. A successful career in stand-up followed, then in radio at BBC's London radio station GLR (now BBC London) and the breakfast show at BBC 6Music. In 1996 he was a team captain in the first series of Never Mind the Buzzcocks, a position he has held for 17 years and 26 series. He’s also a regular guest on all the best radio and TV panel shows, has performed with the Blockheads, Madness and the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band; appeared in music videos with Billy Bragg and Kirsty MacColl; played Edna Turnblad on stage in Hairspray and King Arthur in Spamalot. Later this year he stars in a 52 part children’s series for ITV called Bottom Knocker Street. Oh, and last year he took a sell-out one-man improv show up to Edinburgh and started performing poetry again.
This would be enough for half dozen regular performers but Phill’s modesty remains undented. ‘I’m like Squeeze. Everyone knows what they get with Squeeze. “Oh it’s Squeeze”. I reckon people think, "Oh, it’s Phill". I’m like that. I’m like an old family acquaintance.’
Stephen doesn't have beer goggles, he has Madeira pince-nez.
What kind of hellish quiz is this?
Fry, put on the 15 denier and see me in my study!
Phill Jupitus Live
Stand-up (DVD) - Amazon.co.uk
Good Morning Nantwich
Adventures in Breakfast Radio
Book - Amazon.co.uk
Splat the Cat
Audiobooks read by Phill Jupitus
Book Series - Amazon.co.uk
TV Series (DVD) - Amazon.co.uk
The Perfect Ten
With Phill Jupitus and Phil Wilding
Radio Series (CD) - Amazon.co.uk
A Comedy Musical Story for Children
Audio (Download) - Amazon.co.uk