Jimmy Carr Profile

A chubby loveable face, side parted hair, velvet blazer, and polished shoes. Jimmy Carr looks like the kind of guy who you would trust with your daughter. Or your wife.

Jimmy Carr

But underneath that veneer of suave innocence lies a mind of pure, unadulterated filth. This is a man who "outrageously flirted" with Ann Widdecombe when she appeared on Have I Got News For You, causing her to denounce the comedian as immature and refusing to ever come back onto the show. Not the Jimmy cares - he's batted off barbs directed his way by everyone from comedian Arthur Smith to the Sunday tabloids, who've criticised both his style of performance and his close to the bone content.

James Anthony Patrick Carr was born in London in 1972 to Irish parents. What is plainly obvious from the moment he opens his mouth is that he's a bit of a clever clogs. Achieving four A grades at A-Level he then went on to study at Cambridge University. After graduating with a degree in social and political sciences he was hired by Shell oil as a marketing executive. A job which he described as "technically the easiest job on the planet."

Jimmy had a comedy calling though, and two years later he took redundancy to work for his father's production company. He made a mockumentry called the Colour of Funny which also starred Craig Charles, but was essentially a tentative dip in the comedy pool. Thanks to the magic combination of having an sulphuric tongue and a face large enough to notice from the moon (which it coincidentally resembles), Jimmy pretty soon found himself in demand, presenting Channel 4 shows such as Distraction and the wonderfully amoral and cringe-tastic Your Face Or Mine?

Jimmy's live stand-up work started at around the same time at the Edinburgh festival. Like most other wits on this list, he triumphed there, but more impressively he sold out an entire month's worth of shows in two days. Which was reason enough to be smug, before you even consider the fact he also got rave reviews from the usually hard-to-please papers.

Sold out tours, DVDs, and more TV work followed. In fact there's not much that Jimmy hasn't done in the field of comedy. He's even written material for fellow wits Ricky Gervais, Lily Savage and Frank Skinner as well as, erm, Bo Selecta. All of which serves as a big two-fingers up at the nay-sayers who dismiss him as an old-school, punchline-spouting stand-up whose lack of comedy 'narratives' counts heavily against him. While it's true he doesn't deal in meandering, surreal narratives in the manner of Gervais or Izzard, the man's a joke factory on legs. A bit like Bob Monkhouse, only vile. In a good way.

His scalpel-sharp banter has made him a much-in-demand host on shows like 8 Out of 10 Cats and The Big Fat Quiz of the Year. He's also popped up on other panel shows such as QI, Have I Got News for You and Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

As if all these comedy achievements weren't enough, he also set the lap record on Top Gear. Although The Stig described him as "the worst driver we have ever had" and "the luckiest man alive." Jimmy is also a world record holder, being the first comedian to perform in cyberspace. His gig took place on Second Life, where he performed to 100 virtual attendees.

And let's not forget his recent stint as one of the four co-presenters of 10 O'Clock Live, working alongside David Mitchell, Charlie Brooker and Lauren Laverne to present an alternate slant on the news. See how far some tasty punchlines and a wide face will get you?

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