Josh Widdicombe

He may look like a wide-eyed, tousle-haired scamp, but Josh Widdicombe is one of the sharpest comics in the land. It's just such a shame he's not related to Ann. A real missed opportunity, that.

Josh Widdicombe Profile

Some people come to comedy because of a profound calling… an irresistible inner demand… a creative craving that only true artists can possibly understand. For Josh Widdicombe, though, it was more a matter of "what can I do that isn't going to make me really depressed?"

Now, that's not depressed as in listening to The Smiths and reading French philosophy all day. He just didn't really fancy spending the rest of his life hunched over an office computer, which is what he found himself doing after finishing his degree in linguistics at Manchester Uni (which he did actually pick because The Smiths came from there).

Of course, becoming a professional guffaw-peddler isn't the most obvious way of escaping the nine-to-five grind, for the simple reason that only about 0.006% of comedians are good enough to make a living out of it. The rest just stand around sweating in the corners of pubs, dreaming of being McIntyre.

Fortunately, Josh Widdicombe was good enough. He was very much good enough. In fact, he blew the audiences of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival away, bagged a bunch of rave reviews, and soon got the all-important TV execs bothering him on the phone.

In 2012, the year Britain decided to collectively stop whinging and break a smile for a change, Josh also had reasons to be cheerful: it was the year he made his debut on Mock the Week, and it was also the year a TV person sat him down in Starbucks and asked if maybe he fancied being on The Last Leg: a rude little show about the Paralympics that was expected to pull in an audience of around six drunk people just home from the pub.

Instead, The Last Leg became a sensation and made Josh Widdicombe the second most famous Widdicombe in the land (actually, the first – because Ann's surname is spelt WiddEcombe). Quite a turn up for the kid who was always the quiet one growing up. As he puts it, if his old schoolmates saw him on the telly, most wouldn't even realise they'd ever known him.

Come on, Josh, with that hair? Not likely.

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