Born in Lincolnshire on 29 September, 1972, Robert Webb is not just a very funny man, he’s a clever sod too – hooking up with long-term pal and comedy partner David Mitchell in Cambridge University’s world-famous Footlights (their production of Cinderella, bizarrely enough). From those humble beginnings the pair have gone on to sketch show and Peep Show related glory, scooped awards, acclaim and millions of ardent fans on the way.
Before that, however, there were their early, slightly more obscure days, which included a project called 'Innocent Millions Dead or Dying: A Wry Look at the Post-Apocalyptic Age'. Apparently it was about the First World War. Or summit. It may have been as atrocious as its title (or "f**king terrible" as Webb later put it.), but it was a start and got them noticed by Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller who let them write gags for sketch show Big Train. This gave them the kudos to write and star in their own show, Bruiser which starred other BBC famous types like Martin Freeman. Then came Bafta and British Comedy Award winning juggernaut Peep Show, and the rest they say, is history.
Robert’s a slightly different character to his on-screen partner, and slightly is perhaps underselling it. While David’s more likely to be found reading the latest book on Stalingrad before turning in early, Rob’s more of an all-singing, all-dancing sort of chap, as his recent triumph on Let’s Dance for Comic Relief proved. We still have confusing feelings about his interpretation of Flashdance, confusing, frightening, feelings. He can certainly throw a shape though – we can’t imagine David following that anytime soon, even in his new streamlined shape.
While his role as wastrel Jez on Peep Show, and the pair’s hugely innovative and popular sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Look, may be the most familiar Webb vehicles he’s not one to rest on his comedy laurels. Starring in the underrated sitcom The Smoking Room without Mitchell, Rob’s yet to follow his partner down the quizcom route, rarely appearing on panel shows (presumably he uses those evening to practice his high kicks).
They did however find the time to star in those infamous, "I'm a PC and I'm a Mac" adverts drawing an avalanche of criticism from the comedy world. Not their finest hour but probably one of their best paid one.
He’s a film star too, starring with David in Magicians and with fellow Peep Show star Olivia Colman in Brit-com Confetti. As a naturist. And not one of those TV-movie naturist with topiary in the way either. Perhaps that explains him being listed as 88th sexiest man in the world by New Woman magazine. That said the 89th sexiest man in the world is Iain Dowie.
With the Peep Show, That Mitchell and Webb Look and a West End stage debut in Fat Pig, Robert’s a busy, married man with two daughters to deal with - a far cry from alter-ego Jez who spends his days looking for scotch eggs for Super Hans and attempting to win back Big Suze by pretending he doesn’t have an STD. He's even starred on Mastermind where he answered 9 out of 11 questions correctly in his subject, the novels of Ian McEwan. We reckon Jez hasn't answered that many questions correctly in his entire life.