Record office helps comedian John Bishop uncover his past

John Bishop at the Record Office.
John Bishop at the Record Office.

West Sussex County Council archivists have helped top comedian John Bishop discover his family ancestry.

He visited the Record Office in Chichester to film scenes for BBC One’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’

The popular documentary series, produced by Wall to Wall (a Shed Media company), delves into the ancestry of some of Britain’s most famous faces, taking them on personal journeys to discover remarkable family secrets.

John Bishop - a regular panellist on ‘A League of Their Own’ and host of stand-up/sketch show, ‘John Bishop’s Britain’ - finds himself in Chichester as he uncovers his great-great-grandfather’s intriguing past for the episode, which is set to air on Thursday December 6 on BBC One at 9pm.

Nichola Court, Searchroom Archivist at West Sussex’s Record Office, was involved in helping him find out more.

She said: “It was an interesting story and John was really keen to find out about his family background.

“He asked lots of questions about the relative who brought him to Chichester.

“We were only able to do a very narrow bit of research on this particular ancestor but it’s a quirky story.”

Lionel Barnard, County Council Deputy Leader responsible for the Record Office, said: “We were delighted to be able to help John Bishop to discover more about his ancestry.

“It sounds like some fascinating discoveries were made and I’m looking forward to seeing how the tale unfolds.”

The Record Office helps thousands of people to trace their family history and hosts regular genealogy events and workshops. For more information, contact the Record Office on 01243 753602 or visit