Jonathan Ross — things you didn't know about the talk show host, comedian, and TV panellist

Jonathan Ross at the 20th Century FOX panel during Comic-Con International 2017 .
(Image credit: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

Jonathan Ross is one of the most recognizable faces of British TV, having enjoyed a hugely successful career that's seen him go from being a kid in a cereal commercial to interviewing Hollywood royalty as the eponymous host of The Jonathan Ross Show.

Affectionately nicknamed 'Wossy' because of the way he pronounces his r's, Jonathan is best known for his cheeky interviewing technique, comedic quips, and his array of color-clashing suits. He's also turned his hand to lots of different roles including acting, being a radio DJ, and even writing a comic book.

Most recently, Jonathan's been entertaining audiences as one of the celebrity panelists on the hit ITV show, The Masked Singer UK. He's now back on detective duty for The Masked Singer UK season 3 trying once again to help guess the identity of the incognito singing celebrity.

Here are a few things you may not know about Jonathan Ross...

1. Fame runs in Jonathan Ross' family

The Masked Singer UK panel

Jonathan has been on the panel for 'The Masked Singer' UK since the show started.  (Image credit: ITV)

Jonathan Stephen Ross grew up in London alongside his four brothers and one sister. His dad John drove lorries for a living, while his mother, Martha worked as an actress and radio presenter. 

Martha played the role of a market stallholder on BBC soap EastEnders for 21 years and encouraged all her children to follow in her footsteps, putting them forward for roles in TV adverts. 10-year-old Jonathan clearly impressed; he was given a part in the 1970 advert for Kellogg's Rice Crispies. 

Jonathan's siblings, Miles and Simon also work as TV producers, and his older brother Paul is a well-known journalist, radio presenter, and media personality. Although she got to see Jonathan become the biggest British broadcaster of his generation, sadly Martha passed away from cancer in 2019, aged 79. 

2. He has one of the strongest marriages in showbiz

Jonathan and his wife Jane Goldman have been together over 35 years, and are considered one of the most solid couples in showbiz. 

The pair first met at an event in 1986 when budding TV presenter Jonathan was 26 and Jane was a 16-year old junior news reporter. Despite their ten year age gap Jonathan and Jane hit it off straight away, bonding over their shared love of science fiction and horror movies.  

Like her famous other half, Jane has carved out an impressive career as a producer and Hollywood screen writer. She's worked on films such as Kick-Ass, Kingsman: The Golden Circle and X-Men: First Class. Adoring Jonathan is her biggest fan and in one interview said: "For me, it's only ever been Jane and it only ever will be." 

To mark their 32nd wedding anniversary in August 2020 he posted a snap of his spouse on his Instagram account with the words: "Today I have enjoyed 32 years married to this Alpha Female. We celebrated with Marmite on toast." Sounds perfect! 

3. He's a comic book super-fan

Jonathan's childhood hobby of collecting comic books has turned into a lifelong passion. In an interview with The Guardian, he revealed: "My love affair with comics is more important to me than my love of films, or my work in TV, or just about anything outside my family. You're hardwired for it if you fall in love with comics when you're 11." 

He's primarily interested in American superhero titles; over the years, he's amassed a huge personal collection, which includes the dog-eared copies of Fantastic Four and Daredevil his brother Paul purchased from a local junk shop in the 1960s for 3 pence apiece. 

In 2011 Jonathan achieved a longstanding dream when he published his very own comic book, Turf. Set in 1929 New York at the height of prohibition, and illustrated by Tommy Lee Edwards, the title received rave reviews including one from The Times which declared him a 'real talent'.

4. Jonathan is a respected film critic 

Jonathan Ross Show 2021

As well as a TV star, Jonathan Ross is a huge movie buff.  (Image credit: Hotsauce TV/ ITV)

Jonathan's a real film buff and dates his love of movies dates back to when his parents took him to see Camelot as a young boy. In 1999, he took over presenting duties from renowned film critic Barry Norman on the BBC's Film program, captivating audiences for 11 years with his hilarious reviews of the latest movies. 

Jonathan has had cameos in a number of films, including Spiceworld, and provided the voice of Doris the Ugly Stepsister in Shrek 2. He's also an avid collector of movie memorabilia and proudly displays his extensive collection in his home, as well as his London office. 

He's also launched a podcast suitably titled I Like Films, where he's interviewed huge names in the filmmaking business from Tilda Swinton to Samuel L Jackson. Most recently, he's been giving his take on television from the comfort of his own sofa, taking part in Celebrity Gogglebox.

5. He's a vegan

In 2020, Jonathan joined the millions who've made the switch to a plant-based diet. On Loose Women, Wossy explained he and Jane had decided to ditch meat and dairy in an effort to save the planet. 

It isn't the first time Jonathan has expressed his support for a meat-free diet. Back in 2017, he shared a tweet from Beatles superstar Paul McCartney, backing 'Meat Free Monday'. The post read, "No meat for me on Monday. Makes sense." 

Jonathan has also quit alcohol to go tee-total, although during the chat he revealed he allows himself a small vice each morning. He admitted, “I really like non-alcoholic pale ale so I will have one to start in the morning and then I feel like I am joining in with everyone else.” 

6. Jonathan's a dog lover 

Jonathan's a proud dog owner, and regularly posts pictures of his canine companions on his social media accounts, much to the delight of his followers. The most recent addition to the Ross household is Spooky, a Brussels Griffon Terrier, who joined the family in 2020. 

Showing little Spooky off to the Loose Women panel via a video call, Jonathan said: "We are so in love with him. I even bought him his own Christmas present. I had some candles made that say his name on it." 

Jonathan's furry friends clearly mean the world to him, and he was left heartbroken back in June 2011 when his beloved black pug Mr Pickle suddenly died while filming a show on the Trans-Siberian Railway. The pair had flown out to Moscow to record a series for ITV of them making the 5,600 mile train journey from Russia to China, and the presenter was so devastated by Mr Pickle's passing that he cancelled the rest of filming.  

7. He hosts legendary Halloween parties for his celebrity mates 

Jonathan's epic Halloween parties have become a key date in the celebrity calendar. Each year, a whole host of famous faces descend on his lavishly decorated Hampstead home in an array of scarily good costumes. Previous guests have included David Walliams, Holly Willoughby, Alan Carr and Nicole Scherzinger. 

Unfortunately there was no bash in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, and Jonathan decided to err on the side of caution again this year. Explaining his decision not to go ahead with hosting the celebrations Jonathan told Good Morning Britain,  “We always have a couple of hundred people to the party and as you know, about half of them are from showbusiness. So if there was a breakout we would wipe out half the shows on TV... we wouldn’t want to be a super spreader event!" 

Jonathan Ross' fact file

Frequently asked questions about the broadcaster and talk show host... 

How old is Jonathan Ross?

 Jonathan Ross is 61. He was born on 17th November 1960. 

Is Jonathan Ross married?

 Yes, Jonathan Ross married his wife, Jane Goldman, in August 1988.  

Does Jonathan Ross have any children?

Jonathan and his wife Jane have three children together. They are daughters Betty Kitten and Honey Kinny, and their son, Harvey Kirby. 

Where was Jonathan Ross born?

Jonathan was born in St Pancras, London. 

How tall is Jonathan Ross?

Jonathan Ross is 6ft 1in. 

Twitter: @wossy

Instagram: @mewossy 

We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.

Laura Morgan
Freelance writer

Laura has been a journalist for over a decade, writing about soaps, TV entertainment, fashion, beauty, and food. After graduating from university, she started her career working at a national soap and TV magazine. During her seven-year stint there she joined the cast of Emmerdale for a tour around the famous village, partied with soap stars at awards bashes, interviewed her acting idol David Suchet, and sat in the front row of Strictly Come Dancing

Her heart lies with the soaps, and her all-time favourite character has to be EastEnders' Pat Butcher - no one rocked a big earring quite like her. She's also a huge fan of detective crime dramas, particularly old school Inspector Morse, Endeavour, and adaptations of Agatha Christie's Marple and Poirot. When she's not writing, she loves a spot of second-hand shopping and going on adventures with her young son.