You’ve Been Framed host Harry Hill has different name – and story behind collars

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You’ve Been Framed host Harry Hill has one of the most recognisable looks in all of television with his chunky-rimmed glasses and huge collars.

But before the 57-year-old comedian became a regular on British TV screens, he used to wear a very different outfit.

The Woking-born entertainer used to don a stethoscope and a white coat on his rounds as a junior doctor at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

Never quite warming to his chosen career path, he gave up his medical profession after four years to pursue his comedy dream full-time.

Since then, he has become one of the best known comedians in the country, hosting everything from a revived Stars In Their Eyes programme to children's television.

He has even found time to write books and star in his own feature-length film.

What is Harry Hill’s real name?

Harry Hill was actually born Matthew Keith Hall.

He changed his name to Harry Hill when his comedy career took off because he thought it sounded more appropriate for showbusiness.

Born in 1964, his parents split up when he was five. He grew up in Kent but moved to Hong Kong for two years at age 14 before training at St George's Hospital Medical School in south London.

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Despite undertaking at least seven years of learning and training to be a doctor, he soon discovered medicine was not for him

"On my very first day on the job, I realised, 'I can't do this, it's awful'," he told The Mirror in 2015.

"I was constantly hoping things would get better, but they never did."

Harry Hill's comedic career

After quitting the profession, newly dubbed Harry Hill got his big breakthrough in 1992 when he won the Perrier Award for Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

On the back of hosting Harry Hill's Fruit Corner on BBC Radio 4 he got his own black and white silent comedy series, Harry Hill's Fruit Fancies, on BBC Two and was a regular on ITV's Saturday Live.

The father-of-three rose to mainstream prominence in 2001 when he launched Harry Hill's TV Burp, which ran for 12 years, where he would make jokes about what had been on telly that week.

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Since then he's been the frontman of ITV's You've Been Framed for 16 years, starred in his own 2013 movie and created X Factor spoof musical I Can't Sing.

He has published two novels, called Flight From Deathrow and The Further Adventures of The Queen Mum, plus children’s fiction featuring Tim The Tiny Horse.

Why does Harry Hill wear big collars?

The trademark thick-rimmed glasses and large collars are all part of Harry Hill’s stage persona.

And the funnyman says he particularly enjoys being able to make a distinction between who he is in front of the camera and who he is at home.

“It’s quite handy to have two names and two outfits, it’s like putting on your uniform to go to work,” he has said previously.

Hill used to buy his suits and huge collared shirts for £5 from Oxfam, but gets them made to measure since making it big.

Being able to forgo the eccentric look that he is best known for allows him to go about his daily business without being stopped, Hill has previously explained.

He said: "When I’m not at work, I don’t want to be the centre of attention.

"I'm not one of those people from TOWIE (The Only Way Is Essex). If I wear the big collars in public, it's like Elvis Mania – everyone recognises me.

"So when I go out I wear different glasses, a hat and grow some beard. I can travel on the tube and no one really knows it's me."

Harry married artist Magda Archer in 1996 and they have three daughters – Kitty Clover, Winifred Millicent and Frederica Aster.

You've Been Framed! airs on ITV, Saturday (August 6) at 5.30pm.


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