Garry Bushell is one of Britain’s best-known pundits. His hard-hitting column has been published in four national newspapers – The Sun, The Daily Star, the People and the Daily Star Sunday - and he has appeared on more than 2,000 TV and radio shows.
Bob Monkhouse called him “a terrific writer.” Richard Littlejohn describes him as “the best one-liner merchant in Fleet Street.” While Howard Stern once dubbed him “my Ambassador in England.”
The son of a fireman, Garry was born in Woolwich, South East London. He began his career as a rock writer and band manager.
He managed the Cockney Rejects and the Blood, discovered Twisted Sister in a New York State bar and travelled the world with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Blondie and the Specials. In 1984, Garry wrote Iron Maiden’s authorized biography ‘Running Free’ (re-printed four times).
In 1985, while still writing for Sounds, Garry did his first shifts on Fleet Street pop pages, working for the Sun, the Evening Standard and the Daily Mirror. In 1987 he masterminded the Ferry Aid charity single ‘Let It Be’ which topped the UK charts for three weeks and raised more than £1million for the survivors of the Zebrugge ferry disaster. He rapidly became showbusiness editor and then the TV editor of The Sun, before joining the Daily Star as Assistant Editor.
In 1987, Garry began his award-winning Bushell On The Box TV review column which spawned an ITV show of the same name. This ran for two series (50 episodes) in 1996, and was Number One on the Night Network with a viewing share high of 68 per cent. Big names, ranging from Barbara Windsor to Roger Cook via Jonathan Ross, Paul O’Grady and Penn & Teller appeared on the show for free, as did rock bands, comedians and underworld characters such as Lenny McClean and Roy Shaw. In 2002 he became resident TV critic for Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast – a role he later reprised for six months on Nuts TV.
Garry has appeared on numerous shows ranging from Newsnight to Noel’s House Party via Celebrity Squares and Big Brother’s Big Mouth. He was resident judge on the ITV series The Big Big Talent Show with Jonathan Ross and worked with Michael Collins (author of The Likes Of Us) on The National Alf which Garry presented on Channel 4. He has also written comedy routines for Brian Conley, Bob Monkhouse and new stand-up Dodgy Rob.
He currently hosts a monthly pod-cast show devoted to unsigned and indie bands.
Garry has appeared in panto and put on live shows including talent weekends at Butlin’s.
In 2006, researchers working for C4 suggested that Garry was one eighth African, which inspired him to claim to be one of “the Bushell men of the Kalahari”.
Divorced in 1999, he re-married new country singer Tania Ashbee (stage name, Leah McCaffrey) in 2000. They have two daughters, Jenna (born 1999) and Ciara (born 2002). He has three grown-up children: Julie, 32, Danny, 30 and Robert, 23.
In 2001 he was sacked by the Sun in a row over his first novel, The Face, a piece of darkly comic pulp fiction which was serialised in The Daily Star by its publisher. He immediately decamped to the Sunday People. Two years after his sacking, a poll of Sun readers organised by the Sun, established that Garry Bushell was still their favourite columnist.
Bushell On The Box now appears in The Daily Star Sunday.
- Garry did his journalist training with Paul Foot on the Socialist Worker.
- He sings with punk and ska band the Gonads, who have released six albums and toured the USA and Germany.
- As well as writing for the nationals, Garry has contributed to Kerrang, Classic Rock, the Modern Review, Mensa magazine, Auto Express and Mojo.
- He is Vice President of the Kent-based charity Dave Lee’s Happy Holidays.
- A follow-up to The Face, called Two-Faced, was published in 2003. The Face is now being adapted as a film.
- Garry made his movie acting debut in Hell To Pay (released 2006), where he played an incompetent gangster. He has written the screen-play for the punk movie ‘Join The Rejects…Get Yourself Killed.’
- Garry manages cult New York rock band Maninblack.