Simon Amstell Profile

The award winning stand-up Simon Amstell is most famous for taking over from Mark Lamarr and presenting Never Mind the Buzzcocks, but there's a little more to him than that…

Simon Amstell

Of course, Simon Amstell's telly beginnings were much more humble than Nevermind the Buzzcocks. Born in east London in 1979, his first TV appearance came in 1993 as a contestant on Channel 4's Gamesmaster. This was quickly followed by a turn on Family Catchphrase where the self-described 'budding magician' and his family won a television and a VCR. Nice work team Amstell. He also popped up on daytime telly show Good Morning with Anne and Nick where he wowed them with an impression of Dame Edna Everage. Well, we've all got to start somewhere.

But Simon's first real big break came when he bagged a presenting job on Kids channel Nickelodeon. This however was a little short-lived as he was given the boot for being, as he puts it, "sarcastic and mean to children" and "making popstars feel uncomfortable".

However, it was his highly ironic and surreal style that later proved to be his making and gained him a cult following as the co-host of Channel 4's Popworld from 2000-2006. The kids obviously didn't get Simon, but the viewers of this popular music show did. And they couldn't get enough of the curly-haired one who once made Britney Spears cry, and offended Lemar by forcing him to conduct an interview using megaphones across the world's largest car park. It was all in good fun though, honest.

When Simon Amstell took over Buzzcocks hosting duties from Mark Lamarr in 2006 he said: "I hope I can be the one exception to the universal, exceptionless rule that when a new host takes over an old show it is a horrible, embarrassing disaster." He needn't have worried. Amstell made the show his own, and whilst the jury is still out over who is the better presenter, there has never been anything embarrassing or horrible about his performance.

When the show got a post watershed slot, he become somewhat of a loose cannon and gleefully delved deeper where most presenters would back off. It's a miracle he hasn't been sued or slapped... yet. Though he has offended a fair few, causing The Ordinary Boy's Preston to walk out of filming after Simon read excerpts from his then wife, Chantelle Houghton's biography. Not that Simon was too fussed, he just got Billy Bailey to pick an audience member who looked a bit like Preston to fill in for the duration of the show. He even filmed Never Mind the Buzzcocks: A Moving Tribute, a spoof segment of the show, which implied that Simon was either dead or had left the show. It was a retrospective look at his finest moments, with guests from the show appearing on it. Eventually Simon did actually leave the show, choosing to focus on his stand-up career – though he didn't die, that was just implied in the film. Of course.

In 2008, after years of honing his comic abilities (he first hit the comedy circuit in his teens and bagged the title of youngest ever finalist at the BBC's New Comedy Awards), Simon took to the streets and completed his first UK tour, which was quickly followed by a second. And as with most of the things he does, his tours went down a storm with critics and fans alike.

And, sickeningly, he's not just a stand-up comedian and presenter. He's also worked as a script writer, penning an episode of Skins as well as the hilarious situation comedy Grandma's House – which he also starred in.

Whilst Amstell may appear to be struggling with puberty, underneath that boyish face there exists a highly developed comedy mind with one part sarcasm and two parts wit. So welcome Simon, with comedy credentials like that you should fit right in around here.

Friends of Dave