Ford Kiernan

Ford John Kiernan (born 10 January 1962)[1] is a Scottish comedian, actor, and writer. He is best known for his work with Greg Hemphill on the BBC Scotland comedy series Chewin' the Fat (1999–2005) and Still Game (2002–2007, 2016–2019). Kiernan also starred as Archie Henderson in Dear Green Place (2007–2008) and as Colin Holliday in Happy Hollidays (2009)

Ford Kiernan
Ford John Kiernan

(1962-01-10) 10 January 1962 (age 60)
  • Comedian
  • actor
  • writer
Years active1990–present
Known for


Kiernan first performed comedy in 1990 at the comedy club in the basement of the Blackfriars pub in Glasgow. He took up performing full time in 1993. A run of successful solo jobs led to his being offered a slot in the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in 1994, in a show called The Best Of Scottish Comedy, alongside John Paul "JP" Leach and Alan Taylor. Leach and Kiernan teamed up as a double act during this festival, and had shows at the next two festivals, After Eight Mince and The Full Bhoona, both at the Gilded Balloon.

Kiernan was one of the first performers at The Comedy Cellar, a comedy night started in 1993 by Ed Byrne in Glasgow.[2] He co-wrote a play with JP Leach, Don't Start Me, which won a Fringe First Award at the 1995 Edinburgh Fringe.

Kiernan has also broadcast frequently on BBC Radio Four and BBC Radio Scotland.


Kiernan wrote sketches for Pulp Video (BBC Scotland 1995). Between 1999 and 2005 he was a writer for Chewin' the Fat and starred in it alongside Greg Hemphill, both playing various roles. Karen Dunbar, Paul Riley and Mark Cox were also in the show. At first it was shown only in Scotland, but the BBC broadcast the third and fourth series throughout the UK nationwide.

The spin-off Still Game started in Scotland only, but later reached a wider audience. Every episode of this show was co-written by Kiernan and Hemphill. In 1999 and 2000 Kiernan and Hemphill also scripted seven episodes for the children's TV series Hububb, with Kiernan guest-starring in three episodes, including two of them written by other writers.

In 2007 and 2008 Kiernan starred in Dear Green Place, a BBC One Scotland sitcom about park wardens.[3] The show was co-written by Paul Riley and Rab Christie. In January 2009 Kiernan starred in No Holds Bard, a one-off comedy special shown on BBC Scotland on Burns Night as part of a line-up of special programmes to mark the 250th birthday of Robert Burns.

Kiernan played a caravan park boss in the comedy Happy Hollidays. A pilot episode was shown on BBC 1 in early 2009 and a series was broadcast later in the year. In October 2011 Kiernan played Gordon Brown in The Hunt for Tony Blair, a one-off episode of The Comic Strip Presents...

In 2011 and 2013, Kiernan played George McVie in The Field of Blood.[4] In 2016 he played Felix in Journey Bound.[citation needed]


Kiernan has had several bit-part roles in films. In 1996 he starred alongside Robert Carlyle in Carla's Song and in 2002 he played the role of Black Joke Chief in the Martin Scorsese film Gangs of New York.

Kiernan lends his voice to the character of Banjo Barry in the animated film Sir Billi. The film was released in 2012.

In 2012 Kiernan starred in the film Song for Amy.[citation needed] He has also starred in short films such as The Taxidermist and Perfect. In 2020, Kieran played the role of Gavin in American comedy movie Then Came You, alongside Craig Ferguson who had appeared with Kiernan in Still Game three years earlier.


Year Title Role
1995 Pulp Video Various Characters
1995 Ruffain Hearts Wedding Guest
1996 Rab C Nesbitt Agent
1997 St Antony's Day Off Gerry
Space Cadets Himself
The Slap Boys Male orderly
The Baldy Man Various Characters
Rab C Nesbitt Phil
1998 Och around the Clock Jack Jarvis
Is it Bill Bailey Various Characters
Stand and Deliver Taxi Driver
Rab C Nesbitt Mad Dog
1999 Hububb Inventor
The Debt Collector Janitor
1999–2005 Chewin' the Fat Various Characters
2000 The Creatives Lenny the Bruce
Donovan Quick Jim Leahy
2001 Randall & Hopkirk Kiernan
2002 The Last Great Wilderness Eric
Gangs of New York Black Joke Chief
Still Game Jack Jarvis
2004 Sea of Souls Sgt Mulgrew
2005 Happy Birthday Broons Himself – Presenter
2006–2008 Dear Green Place Archie Henderson
2009 No Holds Bard Cronie Cameron
Happy Hollidays Colin Holliday
2011 The Comic Strip Presents Gordon Brown
2011–2013 The Field of Blood George McVie
2012 Songs for Amy Sled Drummer
Sir Billi Banjo Barry
The Angels' Share Station Master
Just Dandy Himself – Presenter
2014 Inspector George Gently ACC Hale
Doctors Dougie McClury
Still Game: Live at the Hydro Jack Jarvis
Still Game The Story So Far Himself – Presenter
2016 Journey Bound Felix
2020 Then Came You Gavin

Personal lifeEdit

Born in Shettleston, Glasgow, Kiernan was educated at Alexandra Parade Primary School and Whitehill Secondary School. He then went on to train as a tailor and work as a barman at Glasgow University.[citation needed]

In January 2014 Ford's 12-year-old son Sonny was found dead in the family home. The cause of death was choking. [5] The stage show Still Game Live was dedicated to Sonny later that year[citation needed].


  1. ^ "Gazetter for Scotland". Overview of Ford Kiernan. Retrieved 30 December 2006.
  2. ^ Brian McIver (6 March 2011). "Smaller venues are much better for comedy – not massive arenas, says Irish comic Ed Byrne". dailyrecord. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Evening Times". It's Still Game . . . with sideburns. Retrieved 18 December 2006.[dead link]
  4. ^ "Ford Kiernan plays George McVie". Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  5. ^ "Comedy star's son found dead at home". BBC News. 8 January 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2018.

External linksEdit