Joe Wilkinson

Joe Wilkinson is known for many things. Providing the chuckles, mainly. And his spectacularly hairy head. He also happens to swear a lot in his sleep. So, as his mum puts it, it's lucky he doesn't sleep with kids, isn't it?

Joe Wilkinson Profile

There's a myth that all stand-up comedians have turbulent or peculiar or generally dramatic childhoods. Feeding the artist within, and all that. Well, Joe Wilkinson is living proof that that's a bag of guff.

The man's early life was so spectacularly ordinary, so gigantically unremarkable, that he had an entire stand-up tour dedicated to the all-round boringness of his upbringing. Its name? "My Mum's called Stella and my Dad's called Brian". Take that, Bill Hicks.

Being an unassuming sort of lad (albeit an unassuming lad who slightly resembles Bluto from Popeye crossed with Roald Dahl's Mr Twit), Joe was fairy petrified when he started doing comedy. Or, as he once recalled, "I'm not sure but I may have sh*t myself".

That was back in 2004, when his local village pub was doing an open mic night. Yes, even local village pubs do that sort of thing now, instead of meat raffles and wicker man burning. Unlike so many swaggering comedy types, he doesn't mind admitting he was sick with fear in the lead up to that first, decisive moment in front of the microphone.

He'd probably have been even more perturbed if he'd known it would all go so well, he'd end up doing it again and again, to larger and more hecklesome audiences. Apparently, he does get heckled a fair bit, because "I think people look at me and think 'There's a man who needs shouting at'".

It's all been worth it, though, because the man's done it all now, British comedy-wise. By which we mean, he's been on Russell Howard's Good News, supported Alan Carr on tour, and starred in a landmark sitcom (the glorious ode to slobbing about that is Him & Her).

And, not content with being a stand-up and actor, he's also gone and formed a comedy double act alongside Diane Morgan, with the marvellous name Two Episodes of Mash. There's one other thing you really have to do know about Joe Wilkinson: he loves canals. There, we said it. Canals.

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