Award-winning comedian Rod Woodward is the son of eminent Welsh sports writer, Karl Woodward, who recently retired as the longest serving member of the National newspaper of Wales, The Western Mail. He had planned to follow his Dad and take up a career in the media but, when offered a job as a studio audience warm up man at HTV Wales, took a year out from university to pursue his childhood ambition of becoming a professional comedian. The rest is Geography!
Since then Woodward has been tipped for the comedy premiership by such luminaries as Peter Kay and the late Bob Monkhouse after winning the Best Newcomer to Variety Award. Having supported Paddy McGuinness and Russell Brand on tour, he won the BBC 1 Wales comedy competition Funny Business. He performed at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas ahead of Joe Calzaghe’s super fight with Bernard Hopkins and to celebrate Cardiff City reaching the FA Cup final, Rod wrote and performed comedy song ‘Do The Ayatollah,’ backed by more than 100 Bluebirds fans. Set to the tune of the Macarena, it was a You Tube sensation and was featured on network radio and television shows, including Soccer AM and GMTV.
More recently he was invited to host Max Boyce’s 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Wales Millennium Centre and appear on a St. David’s Day special on Welsh television.
The highlight of Rod's career was being invited to perform at the London Palladium before William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on the Royal Variety Performance in December 2014
Rod’s hobbies include swimming, playing the piano and, until an injury, playing football: he broke his leg and lost his anterior cruciate ligament during a five-a-side tournament.
Since the premature (though some would say not a moment too soon) end of his soccer career he has had to settle for the gentler sport of golf and is a member of Llanishen and Ridgeway Golf Clubs as well as the Variety Club Golf Society.
He is still a keen sports enthusiast and has supported Everton since his father covered the 1984 FA Cup Final and brought him back a Watford hat (which he bought prior the game) before Everton went on to win. By default Rod instantly became a blue nose. Fickle!
Rod enjoys listening to jazz and popular music. His favourite singer is Frank Sinatra, who he believes is the greatest entertainer of all time. Rod performed vocals in an Old Blue Eyes tribute concert to raise money for Welsh charity Bobath Cymru and recently repeated the performance some two years later - clearly they were in no rush to hear his dulcet tones again. He attributes his musical taste to his grandfather who was an aficionado of the Great American Songbook, and is delighted to see the huge renaissance of this genre thanks to the likes of Michael Buble, Jamie Cullum, Rod Stewart, Westlife and Robbie Williams.
His comic heroes include Robin Williams, George Carlin, Jerry Seinfeld, Bob Monkhouse, Dave Allen, Billy Connolly, and Richard Pryor.
Rod is also a member of a pub quiz team and is an expert on Greek mythology as long as the answer is Percius.
His ambition is to play piano like George Shearing.
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Overall winner of the BBC TV series Funny Business.
Performed on a national tour with Paddy 'the bouncer' McGuinness from Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights and Max & Paddy's Road To Nowhere.
"He was actually in danger of overshadowing the Phoenix Nights star with his disarming natural banter and just plain laugh-out-loud funniness" - Edinburgh Evening News
"Rod Woodward showed great wit and had some very cleverly thought out material. It was nice to see a comedian who stayed away from the more obvious political topics of late and just presented some laid-back, almost effortless comedy." - BBC.co.uk - Coventry & Warwickshire
Wrote and performed the Cardiff City Fans anthem, 'Do The Ayatollah', which had over 200,000 hits on YouTube.
"Fantastic!" - Soccer AM
Supported Russell Brand at St Davids Hall, Cardiff.
Performed at the Planet Hollywood Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip after the weigh-in for the Bernard Hopkins v Joe Calzaghe fight.
Performed a sell-out show at the Cardiff International Arena Conference Theatre. "He develops a real rapport with the room. Brilliantly pitched... he got the whole room roaring." - The Big Issue
Wrote and performed in his own Radio Wales Comedy series, "Doing It For A Laugh" - 3 Series.
Wrote and presented the ten-part series, "A Bit Off The Fringe" for BBC2 Wales.
Appeared as the subject of the BBC documentary, "Am I Talking To You", which followed Rod on his journey to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Wrote and performed his own one man show for a 25-night run at The Pleasance during the 2001 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, for which he earned the following reviews.
"A winning presence..." - The Daily Telegraph
"A sure crowd pleaser..." - Chortle.co.uk
"Charming..." - Three Weeks
Guest speaker at the Professional Footballers' Association Footballer of the Year Awards dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.
Winner of Encore Magazine's "Entertainer of the Year" award:
"Headliner for the evening was the bright and upcoming star, Rod Woodward who recently won the Encore Entertainment of the Year award. His fresh and outstanding material, absurdly plausible and outrageously provocative..."
Finalist - So You Think You're Funny 1997.
Appeared on "The Comedians" on Sky TV.
Wrote and performed a topical review of the week's news every week on the BBC Wales series "The Rush Hour".
"Rod Woodward is a young Dave Allen"
"Unadulterated comedy on a stick..."
The Western Mail
"A dazzling new comic..."
"Award winning young comedian Rod Woodward did not put a foot wrong. His carefully delivered material was highlighted by perfect timing..."
"His gags are as fresh as the morning papers..."
The Stage Newspaper
"He has a rare intelligence which puts me in mind of Bob Monkhouse, the material being witty, topical and superbly timed..."
Peter Hepple, editor The Stage
"The best of the new bunch"
"A brilliant young comic with great style and repose"
"Rod Woodward is this country's most promising young comedian"
The Western Mail
"'Who's the best speaker you have ever heard?' is arguably the question I am asked most often... Many names leap to mind. Rod Woodward is one of them."
Bryn Williams, Toastmaster to the Queen
"The best in the business"
"A super comedian"
"The speakers were fab[ulous] & went down very well. Rod was a particular favourite with the audience."
BT on Jeff Probyn, Graham Poll & Rod Woodward who spoke at a BT sporting dinner in December 2007
"Rod was amazingly funny... even my boss said that he couldn't have laughed much more as his face was hurting! He read the crowd immediately, found the right level and went for it!"
Rod Woodward spoke at the PC World Business' annual supplier conference in July 2006