Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations BMJ Confidential

Phil Hammond: Subversive, distracted, trustworthy

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 04 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7154

In this series the BMJ asks the movers and shakers of the medical world about work, life, and less serious matters


Phil Hammond is a comedian, journalist, broadcaster, campaigner, and associate specialist in chronic fatigue syndrome. He was a GP for 20 years and has been Private Eye’s medical correspondent for 21, breaking the story of the Bristol Royal Infirmary heart scandal in 1992. His career as a comedian began in 1990, with Tony Gardner in the duo Struck Off and Die, and he is now on his third UK solo tour with Games to Play with Your Doctor. He is a patron of many charities, and he campaigns for a “bidet revolution” in the NHS (one from the bottom up, not top down).

What was your earliest ambition?

To be a geologist. I was brought up in Australia and loved the colour of opal and iron pyrites. Years later I blagged my way into Cambridge by naming the minerals on the mantelpiece of the medicine …

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