About Jonathan Routh

JonathanRouth Routh Collection.jpg

Sad news, Mr. Routh passed away on June 4th, 2008 - please see the Jonathan Routh 1927-2008 post on the Chisholm Gallery weblog. See Obituaries section below and add yours if you like.

Jonathan Routh (1927-2008) was a 20th century British, painter, author and actor who was world renowned for his art and creativity in the media world. He authored several books including The Secret Life of Queen Victoria, The Good Loo Guide, The Good Cuppa Guide, the Nuns’ book series and several more. His work is exclusively represented by Chisholm Gallery in NY, which hosts and offers archival museum quality giclée prints on Canvas and Paper of the original work from The Queen Victoria Collection allowing his fans and admirers to own a piece of him.

Gallery of Jonathan's work

Here is a small gallery of work showcased and offered as high quality prints by Chisholm Gallery.

See the rest of the gallery and more images at Jonathan Routh's page on

Artist Description at

"A Helpful Form of Transport" Canvas 30” x 24” Available at: Chisholm Gallery

Excerpted from the website:

Jonathan Routh was born November 24, 1927 in England. At Cambridge University he researched Queen Victoria and participated in theatrical projects. He founded the groundbreaking Candid Camera TV program. He has written a series of books with such diverse titles as “The Nuns Go on Holiday ” and the legendary “The Secret Life of Queen Victoria”. He spends most of the year in Jamaica. He has exhibited often at Harmony Hall, and in London, Paris, Rome, Palm Beach, New York and Washington.
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Jeanne Chisholm of Chisholm Gallery
Phone: +1 845 373 8370

Visiting Address

Chisholm Gallery LLC

45 Pugsley Hill Road
Millbrook, NY 12545
United States

Jonathan Routh on YouTube

Candid Mike' Part 2 - PETE MURRAY & JONATHAN ROUTH - 1957 45rpm video added by VinylFun
UK Candid Camera Classics - Old Lady Carrying Suitcases video added by erictheking97 on
UK Candid Camera Classics - Megaphone video added by erictheking97 on
UK Candid Camera Classics - Follow My Leader video added by coecludd on

UK Candid Camera Classics - Censored Newspaper video added by coecludd on

UK Candid Camera Classics - Car Without An Engine video added by coecludd on
Here is one of the famous 'Engineless Car' skit on Candid Camera UK.
UK Candid Camera Classics - Man In The Middle video added by coecludd on
UK Candid Camera Classics - The Interpreter video added by coecludd on

UK Candid Camera Classics - Gangle Pin video added by coecludd on

UK Candid Camera Classics - Shopping video added by erictheking97 on
In this classic skit, Jonathan goes grocery shopping but not from the supermarket.
UK Candid Camera Classics - Change of Name video added by erictheking97 on

UK Candid Camera Classics - Compilation of clips video added by coecludd on


BBC RADIO FOUR program Last Word (30 min) was aired on Friday 13 Jun 08 which included interviews with some of Jonathan's closest friends. Click here to listen again to that recording.

Routh's programme spawned an enduring genre, including Jeremy Beadle's Beadle's About and Game for a Laugh, and Dom Joly's Trigger Happy TV.

The life of Routh, who spent many of his final years in Jamaica, seemed to be devoted to carrying out pranks and witnessing the reactions of those he had hoodwinked.

RIPJonathan Independent Screenshot-6.png

His early excursions into hoaxing included inventing a fictitious 18th-century poet, getting him mentioned in the Times Literary Supplement and in a talk on the BBC Third Programme

The softly spoken Routh was an engaging, mischievous, social anarchist with an acute sense of the absurd and an iron nerve.

JonathanRouth MailOnline image2.png JonathanRouth MailOnline image.png

Jonathan Routh has this week had the very real distinction of having the job title 'Joker' attached to his obituary notices.

Joe Riley

One of Routh’s most famous stunts was organising a ‘silent recital by an unknown Hungarian pianist’ at Wigmore Hall.

Patrick Newley

I cannot produce the kind of absurdities Routh spent his life sharing with us all, which may be why I have a deep appreciation for his particular contribution to mankind.

The Other I

He captured the air of the decade with an anti-authoritarian streak as well as a subversion of Britishness.

As a painter, he showed a penchant for formal figures suddenly released from all constraints. He painted nuns driving racing cars and flying balloons, the pope windsurfing, Mona Lisa naked or smoking. His favourite subject was the aged Queen Victoria, on an imaginary trip to Jamaica in 1871, doing the hula-hoop or the limbo dance, riding a zebra and driving dodgem cars.

A true English eccentric has departed for heaven to have a few gags with God. He may not be the last of the merry pranksters, but he was certainly one of the quintessential.


By Jonathan Routh obituary by by David Charters

HE BELONGED to the long and noble tradition of brilliant Britons who didn’t take life seriously, except, perhaps, in their desire to see those who did take life seriously appear ridiculous.


He had selected some of the better stones from the beach, written "A Present From Margate" on each one in felt-tip, and gone from table to table in cafes and tea rooms trying to sell them.


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