Josh Widdicombe is one of the baker’s dozen of new faces to appear on the ‘K’ series of QI and he made about as good a start as its possible to make. Already hailed as ‘the British Seinfeld’, Josh’s rise to prominence as a stand-up has been close to vertical. Despite this, he comes across as relaxed and modest, very much still the down-to-earth mop-haired lad from Devon. That laid-back, slightly cheeky delivery worked perfectly on QI and he looked very natural chipping into the well-established banter of Alan and Phill Jupitus and sparking off the ‘butter-wouldn’t melt’ one-liners of cool Canadian fellow-debutante, Katherine Ryan.
Josh’s stand-up career began in 2008 when he made it to the final of So You Think You’re So Funny at the Edinburgh Fringe. Three years later he put on his first solo show, ‘If This Show Saves One Life…’ which earned him a nomination for the Best Newcomer in the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards. After that things really took off. He found himself on a the comedic equivalent of an accelerated learning course, supporting some of the most successful comics in the business, including Russell Howard, Michael McIntyre, Alan Carr and Shappi Khorsandi. At the same time, he found himself writing material for Mock the Week and 8 out of 10 Cats. Since then he has appeared as guest on both shows as well as The Million Pound Drop Live, The Last Leg with Adam Hills and Dara Ó Briain’s School of Hard Sums. In 2010 he won FHM’s Stand Up Hero and during the 2012 Paralympics, he became household name for his very funny contributions to Channel 4’s daily review of the action.
The apparent ordinariness of Josh Widdicombe shouldn’t fool anyone: he’s super smart and remarkably wise for one so new to the business. As he told the Independent recently: ‘There is a myth that comedians are oddballs and outcasts but I think they put that view around to make themselves sound more interesting than they are.’ Expect to see him back on QI soon.