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John Bishop’s childhood struggles aged 6 after ‘injustice’ of dad going to prison

John's dad, Ernie, was defending his wife before he was arrested

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Comedian John Bishop is usually seen making people laugh, but he has a tragic backstory too.

The star, who hosts The John Bishop Show on ITV tonight, revealed childhood struggles after seeing his dad in jail.

Speaking to The Mirror in 2014, John said his dad going to jail has had a huge impact on his life.

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In the interview, John recalls being told the devastating news just before Christmas in 1972.

He remembers an uncle telling him, “You’re dad’s gone to prison.”

John goes on to say that, at just six-years-old, he didn’t understand the full significance of what he was hearing.

Why was John Bishop’s dad in jail?

But he recalls knowing it was bad, because his mum, Kathleen, and siblings were distraught.

He remembers his uncle telling them: “Some people may say bad things to you but never forget your dad did the right thing. You need to be proud – and you boys have to stand up for your mum and your sisters.”

John’s dad, Ernie, had been arrested after defending Kathleen after a man pushed her against a car bonnet.

Ernie, who was just 30 at the time, reacted by punching the man, and another man who was with him, to the ground.

The John Bishop Show
John says the experience had a profound effect on him (Credit: ITV)

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He was told to serve one year in prison.

What has John said about it?

John, now 55, said: “The injustice my dad suffered had a massive impact on the person I am. Going to see him for the first time in Preston with the doors being locked behind you, being stopped from giving him a hug, people looking at you in a judgemental way.

“It made me realise it’s our family against everyone. No one’s going to help us.

“My dad had a very tough upbringing as one of nine kids in inner-city Liverpool and he knew how to stand up for himself.

“He always taught us to never go looking for trouble, but to never walk away, especially if you’re in the right.

And one of those bullies had pushed my mum. He just did what any decent man would have done.”

The John Bishop Show is on tonight at 9.30pm on ITV.

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