17 July 1961
№ of episodes
2 regular shows
Jeremy Hardy (17 July 1961 – 1 February 2019) was an English alternative comedian who is also known for his socialist politics.
Hardy was born in Farnborough, Hampshire. He attended Farnham College and studied Modern History and Politics at the University of Southampton. He started his stand-up career in the early 1980s, and won the Perrier Comedy Award in 1988 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. He is best known for his radio work, particularly on The News Quiz and his long running series of monologues Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation. His experiences in Palestine during the Israeli army incursions of 2002 became the subject of a feature documentary Jeremy Hardy vs the Israeli Army (2003), directed by Leila Sansour.
He made his television debut in the late 1980s in various comedy shows including Blackadder Goes Forth (1989), and has presented a television documentary about the political background to the English Civil War as well as an edition of Top of the Pops in 1996.
To BBC Radio 4 audiences, Hardy is renowned for his off-key singing in I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, and for his often left-wing oriented interpretations of current events in The News Quiz, regularly commenting on the social distribution of Streatham (in regard to the massive snowfall of February 2009, he said 'and we found out who all the posh people in Streatham are, because they turned up (in Streatham Common) with their skis!').
Hardy's politics do not always go down well with the sometimes conservative Radio 4 audience - in an appearance on Just A Minute in 2000 he earned boos from the audience and a reprimand from fellow panelist, the former Liberal MP Sir Clement Freud, when Hardy responded to the subject 'Parasites' by talking about the Royal Family.
Hardy used to write a regular column for The Guardian but was fired, ostensibly for not including enough jokes, but allegedly also because he used it to express his support for the Socialist Alliance.
His outspoken support for the release of Danny McNamee, who was convicted in 1987 of involvement in the Provisional Irish Republican Army's Hyde Park bombing of 1982, led to accusations (which were later retracted) that Hardy was an IRA supporter. Hardy made clear that he supported McNamee (whose conviction was overturned in 1998) as the victim of a miscarriage of justice. Hardy also supported Irish nationalist Róisín McAliskey, the then-pregnant daughter of Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, when the former was accused of involvement in an IRA mortar attack in Germany, and put up part of the bail money to free her.
He was married to American-born actress and comedienne Kit Hollerbach, who featured alongside him in the radio sitcoms Unnatural Acts and At Home with the Hardys. Their daughter was adopted in 1990. They are now divorced and Hardy now lives with the film-maker Katie Barlow in Streatham.
In an edition of Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation on BBC Radio 4 "How to be Afraid", broadcast on 9 September 2004, Hardy suggested that members of the BNP, and anyone voting for them, should be "shot in the back of the head", sparking complaints and causing Burnley council to cancel a show scheduled on their premises due to fears that it could be disruptive in a town that has a recent history of racial tension.
He was a close friend of comedian Linda Smith, and publicly eulogised her in many media when she died of ovarian cancer on 27 February 2006. Hardy wrote her Guardian obituary.
- Now, Something Else (1986–1987) - Jeremy the Trainee
- Helping Henry (1988) - The voice of Henry
- Blackadder Goes Forth ("Corporal Punishment") - Corporal Perkins (1989)
- Jack and Jeremy's Real Lives (1996) (with Jack Dee)
- If I Ruled the World (1998)
- QI (2003)
- Grumpy Old Men (2004)
- Mock the Week (2006)
- Countdown (2007) (Dictionary Corner)
- The Voice (2008)
- I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue (TV broadcast of tour show) (2008)
List of appearances
- Series 1, Episode 1
- Series 1, Episode 6 (Clips show)
- Series 2, Episode 6
- Series 2, Episode 7 (Clips show)
- The News Quiz
- I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue
- Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation
- Unnatural Acts
- At Home with the Hardys
- You'll Have Had Your Tea
- Chain Reaction
- Comic to Comic
- The Unbelievable Truth
- How To Be