- Seriously considered becoming a priest before deciding to pursue a career in comedy.
- In 1988, entered the entertainment industry when he became the co-host of two BBC Radio Scotland programs, No' the Archie MacPherson Show and Bite the Wax.
- One of his best-known radio productions is On the Hour, which aired from 1991 to 1992 and later transitioned into a popular television program called The Day Today.
- Published two collections of various articles he wrote, Facts and Fancies in 1999 and The Audacity of Hype in 2009.
- In 2006, was appointed Visiting Professor of Broadcast Media at University of Oxford.
- Delivered the 2008 Alternative MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival.
- In 2010, was named Patron of the Oxford Silver Star Baby Unit, a specialized maternity unit for difficult pregnancies.
- Became creative director of Baby Cow Productions in 2011.
- In 2013, was appointed an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II.
- Is a regular columnist for the magazines Observer and Gramophone.