John Bishop to learn sign language for new ITV documentary

Posted on August 9, 2022 by Signature

Comedian John Bishop and his son Joe will share the realities of hearing loss in a personal and insightful new documentary for ITV and ITV Hub, Joe & John Bishop: Life After Deaf.

Co-produced by South Shore and Lola TV, the one-hour film will document John and Joe, who lost most of his hearing at the age of 15, as they embark upon a journey to understand more about the Deaf community and learn British Sign Language together.

Opening up about the 12 years since Joe became partially deaf, John and Joe will meet people across the Deaf community who can not only relate to the miscommunication and misunderstanding they’ve faced, but can also offer them alternative perspectives on what it means to be deaf.

As John sets himself the goal of learning to Sign well enough to perform stand-up comedy in BSL, the documentary asks if learning to Sign together will provide John and Joe with an entry point to the Deaf community and a way to better relate to each other.

John Bishop said: “Before we started this journey, we could never have imagined what an impact it would have on us as a family. Joe and I are so grateful to the members of the Deaf community who we’ve met this year, their generosity has changed our lives.”

Katie Rawcliffe said “This documentary is an opportunity for viewers to see a completely different side to John and understand more about what life is like for the Deaf community and those around them. We’re very grateful to John and Joe for sharing their story with us and hope our audiences find this film engaging andinformative as we have done.”

South Shore CEO Andrew Mackenzie said. “This is an extraordinary and brave film for the Bishop family to make. They’ve opened up an incredibly personal and moving story as they take their first steps into the Deaf community.”

Joe & John Bishop: Life after Deaf is made by South Shore & Lola TV for ITV and ITV Hub. Charlie Melville is the Director. Andrew Mackenzie and Caroline O’Neill are Executive producers for South Shore. John Bishop and Lisa Thomas are executive producers for Lola TV. The programme is commissioned for ITV by David Smyth, Commissioner and Katie Rawcliffe, Head of Entertainment Commissioning.