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Dominic "Dom" John Romulus Joly (/ˈɒli/; born 15 November 1967)[1] is an English television comedian and columnist, best known as the star of Trigger Happy TV, a hidden camera show that was sold to over seventy countries worldwide.

Dom Joly
Dom Joly in 2011.jpg
Joly in 2011
Birth nameDominic John Joly
Born (1967-11-15) 15 November 1967 (age 51)
Beirut, Lebanon
MediumTelevision, books, stand-up
Years active1999–present
GenresCharacter comedy, improvisational comedy, physical comedy
Notable works and roles

Early lifeEdit

Joly was born in Beirut, Lebanon[2] to British parents and speaks French, Arabic and Czech in addition to English.[3] Joly claims incorrectly that he attended Brummana High School[4] in Lebanon and in the UK, two independent schools: The Dragon School in Oxford and Haileybury College in Hertfordshire, followed by the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.[5]

Joly has stated incorrectly that when he was in Lebanon, he attended the same school as Osama bin Laden but as Osama bin Laden was of a different generation and did not attend (Brummana High School) this is fantasy, and although relatives of bin laden attended the school, Osama did not.[3][6]



Trigger Happy TVEdit

In 2003, a new series of Trigger Happy TV was made for an American audience with an altered format that featured a band of different comedians who performed skits without Joly. Though Joly did cameo sporadically on the show, he was very unhappy with the programme and called it "Trigger Happy by numbers—take joke, put it in slo-mo, add fluffy animals and random indie soundtrack—it was made by uncaring idiots".[7]

2003 BBC contractEdit

Following the success of Trigger Happy TV on Channel 4, Joly was secured by the BBC for a rumoured £5 million.[8]

Made In BritainEdit

In 2009, Joly fronted a show titled Made in Britain, shown on the Blighty channel in the UK.[9]


Joly writes for various publications. He was thought to be the writer of a spoof column in The Independent and then "i" called "Cooper Brown: He's out there,"[10] and later confirmed in his autobiography that this was the case.[11] The column is published as the work of an American character named Cooper Brown and revolves around his putative adventures as "a garrulous American showbiz type".[12]

In 2010, Joly published a travel book called The Dark Tourist: Sightseeing in the World's Most Unlikely Holiday Destinations, investigating dark tourism.[13] In the book Joly travels to places that witnessed great tragedy and death, including Chernobyl, which he visited on 4 May 2009, his childhood home of Lebanon, North Korea, various locations in the United States visiting places of famous assassinations, the Killing Fields of Cambodia and Iran for a skiing holiday.[14] It was published on 2 September 2010 in the UK. Joly published his second travel book, Scary Monsters and Super Creeps, in 2012. In the book, he travels the world in search of mythical monsters such as Bigfoot and the Yeti.

Joly was a special correspondent for the Independent at the Beijing Olympics.[15] While in Beijing, he also appeared daily on the "Drive" programme on Five Live.[16]

Political careerEdit

In the 1997 UK general election, Joly stood in Kensington and Chelsea against Alan Clark. Hiring out hundreds of teddy bear costumes, he staged mock protests at Westminster and came fifth out of nine candidates, receiving 218 votes (0.6%).[17]

In 2019, he became a member of the Liberal Democrats.[18]


On 29 June 2018, Joly released the first episode of his podcast titled "Earworm".[19]

Personal lifeEdit

Joly is married to a Canadian graphic designer. Having lived in Notting Hill before their children were born, Joly and his wife bought a property in the Cotswolds. They sold his flat to Salman Rushdie.[20]


  1. ^ "Dom Joly Biography". Celebrity Birthdays. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  2. ^ Charlotte Reather. "Dom Joly : TV's prankster and star of The Complainers has taken to country life like a duck to water. Hunting, shooting, polo? Bring it on, he says" (PDF). Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b Child Genius vs Celebrities Christmas Special. Channel 4 Television. 24 December 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  4. ^ Dom Joly. ""Dom Joly's foodie tour of Lebanon"". Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Not as Joly as he seems". London Evening Standard. 31 January 2003. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  6. ^ Also on television comedy panel show Would I Lie to You?, and radio show Loose Ends 2019-06-08.
  7. ^ "Television The return of the king". The Times. London. 2 January 2005. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  8. ^ "Dom Joly Biography". Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  9. ^ [1] Archived 4 August 2012 at
  10. ^ "The Londoner's Diary". The Evening Standard. 25 October 2008.
  11. ^ Joly, Dom, Here Comes The Clown: A Stumble Through Show Business, p. 141, Simon and Schuster, 2015, ISBN 0857207695, 9780857207692
  12. ^ Spanier, Gideon (10 January 2007). "In the air". The Evening Standard.
  13. ^ "Dom Joly: At war in Thailand, but keeping my Buddha dry". The Independent. London. 19 April 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  14. ^ "Dom Joly, The Dark Tourist". Tuppence Magazine. London. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2012.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Locke, Suzanne (22 March 2016). "British comedian Dom Joly works to live a 'fun' life". The National. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  16. ^ "2008 Olympics press pack: 5 live at the Olympics". BBC. 19 June 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  17. ^ "Guardian Unlimited Politics, Kensington and Chelsea". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 25 June 2006. Retrieved 27 September 2007.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Joly, Dom. "Earworm". iTunes. Shady Cabal. Retrieved 9/7/2018. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  20. ^ Dom Joly, The Dark Tourist (Chatham, 2010), p. 11.

External linksEdit