Richard Jobson (born 6 October 1960, Kirkcaldy, Scotland) is a Scottish singer-songwriter and film-maker, best known as a television presenter, film director, producer and screenwriter.

Early life

Jobson grew up in Ballingry, Fife, the son of a miner and a worker at Rosyth Dockyard, attending St. Columba's R.C. High School, Dunfermline.

The Skids

He was formerly lead singer with the art-punk rock group, The Skids. Jobson's singing style with the Skids was highly distinctive, and he wrote the lyrics, while Stuart Adamson wrote most of the music.

Scared to Dance, the first Skids album, featured the hit 1979 single "Into the Valley", the group's most successful single. Jobson appeared on BBC Television's Top of the Pops singing it. The album also featured "The Saints are Coming" whose lyrics about storms and drowning came back to light after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. In September 2006 it was announced that Green Day and U2 were to record a cover version of the song for charitable purposes. Jobson said that he had written the song about the death of a friend in the British Army. Much of Scared to Dance features local references, and also Jobson's fascination with the two world wars.

The fourth and final album by the Skids, Joy was almost entirely written by Jobson and Russell Webb, as the other two band members had left, one of whom was Jobson's long time songwriting partner Stuart Adamson who moved on to form his new band Big Country.


Though he later formed another rock band with Russell Webb and John McGeoch called The Armoury Show - named after a 1913 New York modernist art exhibition, Jobson and Webb also became a vital part of the career of Virginia Astley, which began in 1980. Webb co-produced her first album From Gardens Where We Feel Secure.

Both Astley and Jobson were recording sessions for Les Disques Du Crépuscule, a Belgian record label, and Jobson made several LPs for the label, usually of poetry readings with Astley as his accompanist. At the same time the final Skids album Joy was released, Astley and Nicky Holland appeared as backing vocalists with Astley also playing flute on the single "Fields".

Both artistes had found a common interest in the War Poets, a theme which was in evidence for Jobson's first album Ballad Of Etiquette and which bore a credit for "Virginia & Josephine" (Wells). This album was released in November 1981, and peaked on the UK indie charts at number 24. At the same time Astley, Nicky Holland and Kate St. John auditioned for Bill Drummond at the Zoo Club in Liverpool where they made their live debut.

Jobson was doing poetry readings at the Cabaret Futura Club, who issued an album on the Martyrwell label and which was engineered by Astley's brother Jon Astley. Amongst a lot of strange-sounding and difficult music was the first ever recording by Kissing the Pink, where the "Josephine" from "Ballad Of Etiquette" came from, and who had been a music student in Manchester along with Virginia Astley.

For Crepescule's LP Fruits Of The Original Sin, Jobson performed a poem called "Homage To Marguerite Duras" with music by Astley.

He was married to Mariella Frostrup from 1979 to 1984.

The mid 1980s saw Astley and Jobson do a Japanese tour to promote his album An Afternoon In Company. Much of Jobson's spoken word material for the Cocteau and Crépuscule labels has been reissued on CD by the LTM label.

He has a daughter, Edieline Jobson.

Television and film career