As a freelance travel writer – amongst many other passport bashing adventures - Jon has learned to scuba dive on the SS Thistlegorm under the Red Sea, biked the Tiger corridor of Northern India, trekked the Himalayas, been swimming with blue whales in Sri Lanka, spent time with mountain gorillas on the Rwandan / Congolese border, photographed jaguars in the Pantanal and the Northern Lights above the Arctic Circle, ‘enjoyed’ crocodile hunting with the natives of Papua New Guinea, been unnerved by giant spiders in the rainforests of Costa Rica and was hospitalised by a colony of sea urchins off the coast of Puerto Rico.
He’s also came very close to drowning in a Class 4 rapid, was threatened with jailtime in Texas, got escorted from the mysterious Area 51 in the USA by sinister men with guns and sunglasses and, perhaps most dangerously of all, tried (and failed) to learn to perform a Punch and Judy show on Brighton beach in front of an audience of increasingly angry children.
He's been twice nominated for Travel Writer of the Year, and twice for Travel Broadcaster of the Year. He then won Travel Writer of the Year, and has a heavy bit of glass to prove it.
When logistics permit, Jon also lugs camera gear round the world with him, and his photographs have been published in actual newspapers. He is a licensed drone pilot.
“He loves playing with words and formats. Holmes’s mind works more quickly and more weirdly than almost anyone else on radio; only Danny Baker comes close”
- Miranda Sawyer, Observer
JON HOLMES is a double Bafta award-winning and nine-time Radio Academy award winning writer, comedian and broadcaster.
He’s hosted his own shows on BBC Radios 1, 2, 4, 5Live and BBC 6 Music, written for the likes of Harry Hill, Graham Norton and Stephen Fry, thrown week-mocking jokes at Mock The Week, helped to develop the CBBC hit Horrible Histories from its journey from book to screen, (along with co-writing the first 5 series) and worked alongside Armando Iannucci on both radio and TV. His recent Radio 2 show Jeremy Vine: Agony Uncle' was a huge hit with critics and listeners. He's also the host of the podcast The The One Show Show which is very silly as it analyses TVs The One Show as though it was The Walking Dead or Westworld or some such.
His new show The Skewer, "a dizzying, dazzling, disorientating satirical river of sound" is a multi-award winning hit for Radio 4. Among many others, it's won numerous Radio Academy Awards, alongside gongs for Comedy, Sound Design, and Innovation at the New York Festival. Jon is also a three-time 'Best Producer' winner in the Audio Production Awards, and The Skewer was Best Comedy in the 2021 British Podcast Awards.
Also on TV, Jon hosted Channel 4’s 11 O’Clock Show (after the other bloke left), occasionally crops up on things like Newsnight or The Wright Stuff and recently made acting debuts in Crackanory and Channel 4’s controversial drama 100 Days of Ukip.
His BBC Radio 4 series Listen Against (2008-2012) is 'sublime, glorious', 'a worthy successor to On The Hour' or 'so funny that it rearranges everything you thought you knew' depending on whch newspaper you read, he co-created the multi-award winning Dead Ringers and you may know him as the short one from off of BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show. He also regularly hosts the BBC Radio 4 Extra Comedy Club.
Alongside all this, he hosted the Xfm Breakfast Show in London for 3 years (where he was twice nominated for Presenter of the Year’), and hosted the weekday afternoon show on talkRADIO, which brought a daily satirical take on current affairs mixed with hard news and political interviews, yet seamlessly segued into spinning stories around deliciously surreal flights of fancy. Jon’s coverage of the Westminster Bridge terror attack, live on air as it unfolded, was widely praised.
Jon is the author of four books, the latest ‘A Portrait Of An Idiot As A Young Man' ("Poignant, charming... a masterclass in comedy writing" - Press Association) is was published in paperback by Orion.
He is also an award-winning freelance travel writer, most regularly for the Sunday Times for whom he travels all over the world to look at it and write about it.
His radio documentary Saving Mountain Gorillas recorded in the jungle on the Rwandan / Congolese border earned him a ‘Best Broadcast’ nomination at the Travel Media Awards. His BBC report from the St Kitts Music Festival saw him nominated in the same category. He is 'Highly Commended' as Travel Writer of the Year 2020 and winner of 'Best Feature' for his attempts to help rebuild an ancient wall in Portugal. He is nominated again for both 'Best Worldwide Feature' and 'Best Travel Writer' 2021 in the British Guild of Travel Writers' Awards.
Once, he had to get into a four poster bed with the late actor Stratford Johns in order to wire him up to a car battery. Long story.
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