IN his 25-year career, actor and writer Jim Howick has carved out an impressive comedy resumé.

He has starred both in projects written himself and by others, playing an eclectic range of characters along the way.

In this article, we will look at Howick’s career to date, from his beginnings to where he find him in present day, on hit sitcom Ghosts.

Early Days

James ‘Jim’ Howick was born on 14 May, 1979, making him 44 years of age as of writing.

Unlike his Ghosts character Pat who hails from the north of England, Howick himself was born in Chichester, West Sussex.

After attending secondary school locally at The Regis School, Howick then moved on to Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.

He graduated in 2000 with First Class Honours.

Career Beginnings

In 1997, Howick appeared on an episode of Armstrong and Miller for what is now Comedy Central.

Jim Howick made his feature film debut in 2004, with a supporting role in Hellboy, starring Ron Perlman.

By 2007, Howick was appearing frequently in television comedy. He appeared in follow-up series The Armstrong and Miller Show, this time for the BBC, between 2007-2010.

Jim Howick Peep Show
Channel 4

Howick also began his recurring role as Gerard in Peep Show during 2007.

In the show’s storyline, Gerard is a colleague of Mark (David Mitchell) and later competes with him for Dobby’s (Isy Suttie) affections.

Due to ongoing health problems, the Gerard character sometimes required a tube up his nose.

Howick left Peep Show for good in 2012, after Gerard was killed off.

Other appearances during this time included The Kevin Bishop Show, Reggie Perrin and No Heroics.

Horrible Histories & forming the troupe

In 2009, Howick became a starring cast member in CBBC’s new sketch comedy series Horrible Histories.

The show, based upon a series of best-selling novels by Terry Deary, portrayed historically accurate events in a light-hearted and comedic manner.

For five series, Howick portrayed multiple characters in Horrible Histories including Napoleon Bonaparte, Lord Nelson, Blackbeard and Martin Luther, among others.

Horrible Histories

He co-starred with Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Ben Willbond, Martha Howe-Douglas and Laurence Rickard.

The group formed a close bond and continued to work together after Horrible Histories.

They created the Sky One series Yonderland (2013-2016) and starred in feature film Bill, written by Rickard and Willbond.

The film depicted a fictional adaptation of William Shakepeare’s life, with Howick playing multiple characters including Christopher Marlowe and Gabriel Montoya.

Jim Howick appeared in other sitcoms such as The Wrong Mans, Inside No. 9, Stag and The Aliens, as well as lending his voice to Scream Street.


In 2017, Howick took on a dramatic role as Aaron Mayford in the third series of crime drama Broadchurch.

In stark contrast to his light-hearted and comedic roles, Howick’s Broadchurch character was a convicted rapist.

Howick discussed playing against type in an interview with Digital Spy.

“I had loads of fun doing Broadchurch – I was only there for a week and a half, but I knew Olivia [Colman] from Peep Show, and I’d met Georgina [Campbell] before, who I being particularly unpleasant to.

“We were quite good friends, so actually it was a really fun shoot – and it’s always fun to push against type.

“I was aware that it was pretty disturbing, but I had a ball, I had a lot of fun!”

Jim Howick, Digital Spy (2017)


Since 2019, Howick has starred at Patrick ‘Pat’ Butcher in the hit BBC One sitcom Ghosts.

Created alongside the other five Horrible Histories actors, the show follows a young couple who inherit a mansion — only to discover the ghosts of people who died on the property.

Howick’s character is one of the ghosts, a 1980s era scoutmaster who was accidentally shot and killed with an arrow by one of his own troop.


Howick discussed the character’s jovial personality in an interview with British Comedy Guide.

“Pat is Pat. Part of his character is that he’s always on an even keel and is very much the sunny gel for the group.

“And so from a character point of view, he doesn’t really get to go on many journeys.

“It’s often the characters that are reactionary or prudish in some way and not open to change who get the huge, meandering stories, and Pat is more of a mediator in the group.”

Jim Howick, British Comedy Guide (2022)

To date, there have been four series of Ghosts.

The fifth and final series will begin airing on October 6, 2023.

Sex Education and Further Projects

From 2019 to 2023, Howick had a recurring role as Colin Hendricks on hit Netflix comedy drama Sex Education.

Starring Asa Butterfield and Gillian Anderson, the show follows a socially awkward teenager whose mother is a sex therapist.

Howick’s character is a science teacher at Moordale Secondary School which is where Otis (Butterfield) attends for most of the series.

Sex Education released its fourth and final series on September 21, 2023.

In 2020, Howick appeared in the one-off comedy Pandemonium. He played Paul Jessop, patriarch of the family.

Pandemonium later expanded to a full series, now titled Here We Go. Many of the other original cast members returned alongside Jim Howick.

The show portrays the Jessops’ trials and tribulations through teenager Sam’s (Jude Collie) camera.


Here We Go also features Katherine Parkinson and Alison Steadman.

In February 2023, it was announced the show had been commissioned for two further series.

Aside from Ghosts, what does Howick have coming up? He stars in Bridget Christie’s new Channel 4 comedy drama The Change, playing Verderer.

Follow writer Conor O’Brien on Twitter

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