Lee Hurst

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Lee Hurst
Birth name Lee Hurst
Born (1962-10-16) October 16, 1962 (age 59)
Tower Hamlets, London, England[1]
Nationality British
Notable works and roles They Think It's All Over

Lee Hurst (born 16 October 1962) is an English stand-up comedian.[1] He is perhaps best known as a panellist on the comedy sports quiz They Think It's All Over, where he was a regular from 1995 to 1998.

Hurst grew up in east London, and attended Central Foundation Boys' School in Cowper Street, Islington. Along with other famous ex-pupils, a large photo of him adorns a wall of fame at the school.

In 1999, Hurst was voted no. 48 in Company magazine's "100 Millennium Men" – tagged as a list of 'The Sexiest Men of the Century'.[2]

In 2003, he was considering standing as a candidate in the 2004 London mayoral election. One of the factors behind his decision was a proposed redevelopment, which would have seen his club demolished.[1]

After his comedy club, Lee Hurst's Backyard Comedy Club, closed in November 2007, it since reopened under the name The FymFygBar, with Hurst compèring most Saturday evenings. Lee Hurst also had a brief stint as the resident compère of Southend-on-Sea based 'Funny Bunnys Comedy Club.'

The website chortle.co.uk reported in May 2010 that the club may be demolished and rebuilt as part of a new development proposed by Travelodge hotel chain. In April 2013, Lee Hurst opened the newly built Backyard Bar & Kitchen in its original position in Bethnal Green, with the new developments containing a permanent bar and kitchen as well as a 300-seat purpose-built comedy venue, as announced on backyardbar.co.uk

Hurst suffers from a severe form of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis, a condition which causes acute back and joint pain.[3]


Television work

They Think It's All Over

Hurst first became known to television viewers as a regular team member on the BBC Two comedy sports quiz They Think It's All Over. He appeared alongside David Gower in 42 episodes over the first six series, from the first episode on 14 September 1995 until 1998.

In his 1997 stand-up tour, he openly admitted to not knowing anything about football, but is a supporter of east London football club West Ham United[citation needed].

He reduced his TV appearances to allow more time for running his comedy club, Lee Hurst's Backyard Comedy Club[1] (which closed in November 2007). He has returned for two appearances as a guest on They Think It's All Over towards the end of its run for series 17 in 2004, and for the Comic Relief 24 Hour Panel People Special on 6 March 2011.

Other television credits

Hurst's other TV credits include presenting Shark Tank, Salvage Squad and The Warehouse, and guest appearances on That’s Showbusiness, The Stand Up Show and Have I Got News for You. He has also appeared as a regular panellist on Don’t Give Up Your Day Job. He also fronted ITV's short-lived revival of the entertainment show Saturday Live.


Hurst has also written for other comedians. He was one of a number of writers for a one-off programme, in 1984, featuring David Copperfield, The Copperfield Comedy Company.[5]

Hurst was the creator of Bring Me the Head of Light Entertainment, which ran for five series on Five between 1997 and 2000

Radio work

On radio, Hurst has guested on The Steve Wright Show, Euromix, Two Men and a Transmitter and The Robert Elms Show. He was team captain on Hold The Front Page. He also presented Wriggling with Eels, a study of Cockney comedians for BBC Radio 4.[6]

Awards hosting

Hurst also enjoys work as an awards host, his agency JLA state he has "hosted awards ceremonies for the travel, IT, printing, commercial vehicle and, perhaps surprisingly, the beauty industry."[7]

Conviction for criminal damage

Hurst pleaded guilty to criminal damage in February 2009 after an incident in September[8] or December[9] 2008. He allegedly ran through the crowd at a stand-up comedy show he was performing at the Stoke Pub in Guildford, and snatched a mobile phone from a member of the audience, then took it on stage and hurled it to the floor, shouting "I’m fed up with you fucking people filming me and putting it on YouTube.”

Hurst was fined £60, and ordered to pay compensation of £80 and £87 costs in February 2009.[10]

Stand-Up videos

  • Live (3 November 1997)
  • Live At The Backyard Comedy Club (16 November 1998)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Comedian's mayoral ambition". BBC News. 3 October 2003. Retrieved 2007-09-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Company's Top 100 Men". ('The Sexiest Men of the Century'). BBC News - Entertainment. 28 May 1999. Retrieved 2007-09-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Probe into arthritis pain". BBC News. BBC. 24 August 2002. Retrieved 2007-09-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Lee Hurst - Speakers UK
  5. "The Copperfield Comedy Company". BBC - Comedy Guide. 2003. Retrieved 2007-09-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Wriggling with Eels". BBC - Radio 4. 2006. Retrieved 2007-09-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. http://www.jla.co.uk/cabaret-and-dance-bands/lee-hurst
  8. Mayer, Nissim (16 February 2009). "Hurst 'pleads guilty to smashing phone'". Digital Spy Limited. London W1K 7LL, United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2009-12-29. Retrieved 29 December 2009. Lee Hurst has pleaded guilty to smashing a fan's mobile phone at a gig at the Stoke Pub in Guildford, Surrey. The comedian, 46, admitted a charge of criminal damage and was fined £60 by Guildford magistrates. He was also ordered to pay £80 in compensation and £87 in costs for the incident, which happened last September. ... At the time, Hurst reportedly said: "I'm fed up with you f***ing people filming me and putting it on YouTube."CS1 maint: location (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Lee Hurst bust my £300 phone". The Sun Online. London E98 1SN, United Kingdom: News Group Newspapers Ltd. 24 December 2008. Archived from the original on 2009-12-29. Retrieved 29 December 2008. STAND-UP comic Lee Hurst was charged with criminal damage yesterday for grabbing a phone from an audience member and smashing it. ... He raced through the crowd and snatched the £300 handset, then took it on stage and hurled it to the floor. Bald Hurst, 46, told the stunned audience: "I'm fed up with you ******* people filming me and putting it on YouTube."CS1 maint: location (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Comic Hurst fined for phone smash". BBC News. United Kingdom: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). 2009-02-16. Archived from the original on 2009-12-29. Retrieved 2009-12-29. Comedian Lee Hurst has been fined for smashing a mobile phone belonging to an audience member during a stand-up gig. Hurst, 46, who lives in Limehouse, east London, admitted a charge of criminal damage at Guildford Magistrates' Court. ... The former star of TV quiz They Think It's All Over was fined £60, and ordered to pay compensation of £80 and £87 costs.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links