Comic Josh Widdicombe on swapping sport for stand-up

By Phil Turner | 21/10/2013 0 comments

Comic  Josh Widdicombe on swapping sport for stand-up

JUST three years ago, comedian Josh Widdicombe was still working as a sports reporter on The Guardian newspaper.

But in June 2010, he gave up the day job to become a full-time stand-up — and has never looked back.

Still only 30, Josh has enjoyed an incredible three years. Having starred alongside Adam Hills and Alex Brooker in Channel 4's hit comedy show, The Last Leg, as well as making memorable appearances on Stand Up for the Week and 8 out of 10 Cats on Channel 4, BBC2's Mock the Week and Live at the Apollo on BBC1, he is now one of the most in demand and highly regarded comedians in the UK.

Josh has carved out a reputation as one of the funniest young stand-ups in the country.

A great observer of the absurdity of everyday life, he has completed two sell-out UK tours and three sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Festival.

“The greatest myth is that all comedians are doing it for validation because they weren't loved as children,” he says.

“Comedians are the most normal, together people I know. Most stand-ups really love comedy and can't believe they're being given the opportunity to do it for a living. They’re certainly not saying, 'My mum never gave me a hug when I was 10 — that's why I need to be on stage the whole time!'"

Josh, who for the past two years has also shone at Channel 4’s Comedy Gala in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital, is equally modest when it comes to recalling his journalistic career.

“I stopped working for the Guardian in June 2010 just before going up to Edinburgh that year,” he explains.

“My agent said she could get me enough gigs to make a living, and I was delighted to give up the day job.

"I was not very good at it, so it was not like I was losing anything. I didn't really know what I was talking about as a journalist. Because I wanted to do comedy, I had no will to get better. I thought, 'There are so many people who are better than me at this job. I’m just a chancer!'”

The stand-up, who was nominated for the Best Newcomer Award at the Edinburgh Festival two years ago, also relishes the fact that every show on tour is different.

Hailing from deepest Devon, he is especially looking forward to the recording of his debut DVD at the Hammersmith Apollo.

In his new show “Incidentally…”, Josh says that “the main theme is me getting annoyed about stuff. “That’s what it is every year! A lot of stand-ups say, 'Comedy needs to be about major ideas', but I don’t claim to deal with the big issues.

“I can’t tell you about the Iraq War, but I can tell you about jam. It’s how I live my life.

“Maybe everyone else is far more noble, but I talk about the kind of things I spend all day thinking about. It may not be worthy, but hopefully it's funny."

Josh is at Sheffield Memorial Hall on October 21.


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