Josh Widdicombe

Last updated

Josh Widdicombe
Josh Widdicombe (27394462077) (cropped).jpg
Widdicombe in 2018
Birth nameJosh Michael Widdicombe
Born (1983-04-08) 8 April 1983 (age 38)
Hammersmith, London, England
Medium Television, stand-up, radio
Years active2008–present
Notable works and roles
Website Official website

Josh Michael Widdicombe [1] ( /ˈwɪdɪkəm/ ; born 8 April 1983 [1] ) is an English comedian and radio and television presenter, best known for his appearances on The Last Leg (2012–present), Fighting Talk (2014–2016), Insert Name Here (2016–2019), Mock the Week (2014–present) and his BBC Three sitcom Josh (2015–2017). He also won the first series of Taskmaster in 2015 and the show's first Champion of Champions special in 2017.


Early life and education

Widdicombe was born in Hammersmith, London, and grew up in Haytor Vale, near Widecombe-in-the-Moor in Devon. [2] He then attended South Dartmoor Community College and later studied sociology and linguistics at the University of Manchester. [3]

Personal life

Before becoming a comedian, Widdicombe worked as a sports journalist, writing for The Guardian . [4] He supports Plymouth Argyle F.C. [5] He is a vegan. [6]

His elder half-brother, Henry, is a comedy promoter and one of the founders of the Machynlleth Comedy Festival.[ citation needed ]

He is married to Rose Hanson, a TV producer, with whom he has a daughter born in October 2017, and a son born in May 2021. [7]

He claims ancestry from Sabine Baring-Gould. [8]


Widdicombe began performing live in 2008 and made it to the final of "So You Think You're Funny" at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe during the same year. In 2009 he co-wrote and performed in the sketch show Superclump, and appeared with James Acaster and Nick Helm. [9]

In 2010, Widdicombe worked as a contributor for the Dora the Explorer magazine, [10] and in 2011 he performed his debut solo show "If This Show Saves One Life..." at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and was subsequently nominated for Best Newcomer by the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards [11] and for the Malcolm Hardee "Act Most Likely to Win a Million Quid" Award. [12]

In 2012, Widdicombe became a regular on Stand Up for the Week and in July he made his debut appearance on Mock the Week . He was also a main contributor to Channel 4's daily alternative review of each day's events at the London 2012 Summer Paralympics, The Last Leg with Adam Hills , alongside Adam Hills and Alex Brooker. [13] He also appeared on The Last Leg of the Year, the end of year special of the show. In September 2012, Widdicombe appeared on The Million Pound Drop with The Last Leg co-host Brooker. The pair won £100,000 for their selected charities. [14] His chosen charity was Scope. He has pectus excavatum, which he discovered after mentioning it to Christian Jessen on an episode of 8 Out of 10 Cats , is asthmatic and has severe hayfever.[ citation needed ]

Widdicombe at Glastonbury Festival 2013 Josh Widdicombe Glastonbury 2013.jpg
Widdicombe at Glastonbury Festival 2013

In 2013, Widdicombe was again a regular on The Last Leg , after Channel 4 renewed the show for nine further episodes, [15] beginning on 25 January 2013. A third series started on 31 July 2013, a fourth on 31 January 2014 and a fifth on 1 August 2014. In May 2013 Widdicombe was a guest on the second series of Dara Ó Briain: School of Hard Sums with Marcus Brigstocke. Following this, he featured as a comedian on The Apprentice spin-off show, The Apprentice: You're Fired! In June 2013 he again appeared as a panellist on Mock the Week , featuring on several episodes of the show's 12th series. In 2014 Widdicombe appeared again on Mock the Week and on QI and also made his debut on Have I Got News for You . Widdicombe won Celebrity Mastermind broadcast 31 December 2013 with a score of 24, on the specialist subject of his favourite band, Blur. His chosen charity was The Lily Foundation.[ citation needed ]

On 1 July 2014, the BBC announced Widdicombe would be joining its Radio 5 Live team from August 2014 as the new host of Fighting Talk along with Georgie Thompson. Both hosts announced on 10 August 2016 that they will not be returning to the show for series 14 in September due to their "increasingly busy schedules." [16]

In August 2014, Widdicombe starred in the BBC Three "Comedy Feeds" pilot Josh , which he co-wrote with comedian Tom Craine and which was directed by David Schneider. A full six-episode season of Josh, also directed by Schneider, ran on BBC Three from 11 November to 16 December 2015. [17] BBC Three ordered a second full season of Josh; and third and final series followed in 2017. [18]

In 2015, Widdicombe was a contestant on the first series of the Dave game show Taskmaster and won the series. For one of the tasks, Widdicombe got a tattoo of host Greg Davies's name on his left foot. He then returned for a team task in series two where he was partnered with Richard Osman and Jon Richardson. [19] [20]

Widdicombe has performed on radio on BBC Radio 4's Arthur Smith's Balham Bash and Absolute Radio's The Frank Skinner Show , written for comedy panel shows Mock the Week , 8 Out of 10 Cats and BBC Radio 4's Look Away Now , and supported stand-up comedians Russell Howard, Michael McIntyre, Alan Carr, Stephen Merchant and Shappi Khorsandi on their respective live tours.[ citation needed ]

Widdicombe hosted a weekly radio show on XFM (now Radio X) with Neil "Producer Neil" Fearn from February 2013 to July 2015, which was broadcast initially on Saturdays but which moved to Sundays in August 2014 coinciding with his new role as Fighting Talk presenter (see above). The show regularly featured contributions from comedians James Acaster, Nish Kumar, Ivo Graham and several others along with occasional interjections and background laughter by XFM's "Intern Charles". The podcast of the show was named "iTunes Best New Audio Podcast" in 2013. [21] The last edition of the show aired on 26 July 2015. [22]

Widdicombe has made four appearances on Live at the Apollo . He was a featured performer on Episodes 7.8 (21 January 2012), 9.1 (22 November 2013) and 11.7 (AKA Nöel at the Apollo; 20 December 2015) and hosted on Episode 12.2 (14 November 2016).

In December 2015, Widdicombe announced that he was a team captain on the BBC Two comedy panel show Insert Name Here , appearing alongside Richard Osman and host Sue Perkins. The show aired in January 2016 and returned for two more series in January 2017/2018. [23]

In December 2017, Widdicombe returned to Taskmaster for a two-part series alongside his fellow winners of previous seasons including Katherine Ryan, Bob Mortimer, Rob Beckett and Noel Fielding to compete in the Taskmaster - Champion of Champions. He won the series.

Widdicombe hosts 1990s football nostalgia podcast and live shows called ‘Quickly Kevin, Will He Score?’. [24] Guests include footballers such as Iain Dowie, Darren Huckerby, Pat Nevin and Matthew Le Tissier as well as comedians such as Elis James, Tom Parry, Ivo Graham and Matt Forde. In 2019 Widdicombe began hosting panel show Hypothetical with James Acaster for UK television channel Dave. In 2020, Widdicombe started a parenting podcast with fellow comedian Rob Beckett, titled Lockdown Parenting Hell. In 2021 it was announced that Widdicombe had written a book: “Watching Neighbours Twice a Day… How 90’s TV (Almost) Prepared Me For Life”, which will be published in September 2021.

Stand-up DVDs

Related Research Articles

Richard Herring

Richard Keith Herring is an Alleged stand-up comedian, writer and ventriloquist whose early work includes the comedy double act Lee and Herring. He is described by The British Theatre Guide as "one of the leading hidden masters of modern British comedy".

Bob Mortimer English comedian and actor

Robert Renwick Mortimer is an English comedian, podcast presenter, and actor. He is known for his work with Vic Reeves as part of their Vic and Bob comedy double act, and more recently the Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing series with comedian Paul Whitehouse. He has also appeared on panel shows such as Would I Lie to You? and Taskmaster.

Adam Hills Australian comedian and radio and television presenter

Adam Hills is an Australian comedian and radio and television presenter. In Australia, he hosted the music quiz show Spicks and Specks from 2005-11 and again from 2021, and the talk show Adam Hills Tonight from 2011-13. In the United Kingdom, he had hosted the talk show The Last Leg since 2012. He has been nominated for an Edinburgh Comedy Award, the Gold Logie Award and numerous BAFTA TV Awards.

Alex Horne British comedian and Musician

Alexander James Jeffery Horne is a British comedian. Horne is the creator of BAFTA award-winning Taskmaster, a comedy panel show in which he is the assistant to "Taskmaster" Greg Davies, who judges comedians on various absurd tasks they are asked to perform. He is also the host and bandleader of The Horne Section, a comedic band with whom he runs their eponymous podcast, as well as their music variety show which has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and Dave.

Rhod Gilbert Welsh comedian

Rhodri Paul Gilbert is a Welsh comedian and television & radio presenter who was nominated in 2005 for the Perrier Best Newcomer Award. In 2008 he was nominated for the main comedy award.

Tom Allen is an English comedian, actor, writer and presenter, known for his hyperbolic comedy. In 2005, Allen won the So You Think You're Funny contest.

Ian Boldsworth

Richard Ian Boldsworth, previously known under the pseudonym Ray Peacock, is a comic performer, best known for The ParaPod, The Peacock and Gamble Podcast and the Ray Peacock Podcast. He came to prominence in The Big and Daft comedy trio, BBC London radio series, three consecutive years of sell-out Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows and their own series for the BBC's PlayUK, Terrorville.

Sara Pascoe

Sara Patricia Pascoe is an English comedian and actor. She has appeared on TV programmes such as 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown for Channel 4, QI for BBC and Taskmaster for the digital channel Dave.

Ed Gamble British comedian

Edward Stephenson Jamison Gamble is an English comedian, known for co-presenting The Peacock and Gamble Podcast and his regular appearances on Mock the Week. He studied at Durham University, where he began his comedy career performing with the Durham Revue, and was a finalist in the 2007 Chortle Student Comedy Awards.

James Acaster English comedian

James William Acaster is an English comedian originally from Kettering, Northamptonshire, who now lives in London.

Elis James Welsh comedian

Owain Elis James is a Welsh comedian, broadcaster and actor originally from Haverfordwest. He grew up in Carmarthen and later lived in Cardiff. He is now based in London. He is bilingual in Welsh and English and has performed stand-up in both languages.

Christopher Ramsey is an English comedian, television presenter and actor. After appearing in Hebburn as Jack (2012–2013), Ramsey began presenting series including I'm A Celebrity: Extra Camp (2016), Virtually Famous (2016–2017) and Stand Up Central (2017).

Rob Beckett English comedian

Robert Joseph Anthony Beckett is an English stand-up comedian and presenter. He was a co-host on the ITV2 spin-off show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! NOW! from 2012 to 2014. Since 2016, Beckett has been a team captain on the E4 panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats and the narrator of the reality series Celebs Go Dating. He presents BBC One entertainment series Wedding Day Winners and All Together Now.

Romesh Ranganathan British comedian and actor

Jonathan Romesh Ranganathan is a British stand-up comedian, presenter and actor. He was nominated for Best Newcomer at the 2013 Edinburgh Comedy Awards. He has also made numerous appearances on television comedy panel shows, and in 2016 he co-presented It's Not Rocket Science on ITV, alongside Rachel Riley and Ben Miller. He is known for his deadpan and often self-deprecating comedy.

Rose Catherine Lettitia Matafeo is a New Zealand comedian, actress, and TV presenter. She was a writer and performer on the NZ late-night comedy sketch show Funny Girls.

Nish Kumar British stand-up comedian and radio presenter.

Nishant Kumar is a British stand-up comedian and radio presenter. He has hosted BBC Two's The Mash Report, BBC Radio 4 Extra's topical comedy show Newsjack, the Comedy Central series Joel & Nish vs The World, the BBC Radio 4 programme The News Quiz and Hello America on Quibi.

<i>Taskmaster</i> (TV series) British comedy panel game show

Taskmaster is a British comedy panel game show created by comedian and musician Alex Horne and presented by both Horne and Greg Davies. In the programme, a group of five celebrities – mainly comedians – attempt to complete a series of challenges, with Horne acting as umpire in each challenge, and Davies judging the work and awarding points based on contestants' performances. The concept for the programme was first created by Horne for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2010; he later secured a deal with Dave to adapt it for television, with the first episode premiering in 2015. After the ninth series in 2019, the programme was acquired by Channel 4, who commissioned six new series to be broadcast over the following three years.

Ivo Graham

Ivo Charles Graham is an English comedian and comedy writer.

Tom Craine is an English comedian, writer and broadcaster.

<i>Hypothetical</i> (TV series)

Hypothetical is a British television comedy panel show created by British comedian Josh Widdicombe, with Tom Craine and Matthew Crosby. Widdicombe hosts the show alongside fellow comedian James Acaster. The TV series features teams of celebrity guests, who are presented with a bizarre hypothetical situation by Widdicombe. The guests must explain how they would deal with the situation, following the rules given by Acaster, who then awards points based on how well he thinks they have done. The show was first broadcast on Dave on 6 February 2019.


  1. 1 2 General Register Office. "Entry Information: Births Jun 1983 Widdicombe Joshy Michael". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  2. Abbott, Caroline (2017). "Comedian Josh Widdicombe returns to his Devon school for fundraising gig". DevonLive. Reach Plc. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  3. Josh Widdicombe Interview at Herald Scotland. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  4. "Josh Widdicombe". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  5. Widdicombe, Josh (9 January 2017). "Anfield draw was my greatest experience as a Plymouth fan – but pure pain". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  6. Channel 4 (18 October 2018), Beating Climate Change with a Tipsy Chris O'Dowd & Jessica Hynes | The Last Leg , retrieved 28 December 2018
  7. "Josh Widdicombe Wife, Married, Daughter, Net Worth, Height, Age". Celebs Closeups. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  8. QI, S17E9
  9. "Acaster, Helm and Widdicombe - Live at the Voodoo Bar". Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  10. "Josh Widdicombe on writing 'Dora the Explorer' - The Graham Norton Show: Episode 3 - BBC One". YouTube. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  11. "Edinburgh Comedy Awards shortlist announced". BBC News. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  12. "Cunning stunts up for Edinburgh Fringe award". BBC News. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  13. "The Last Leg With Adam Hills". 30 August 2012.
  14. "Million Pound Charity Drop Benefits Disability Charities – PosAbility Magazine". Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  15. "Risking laugh and limb pays off". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  16. "Radio 5 live unveils exciting new line-up". BBC. 1 July 2014.
  17. "Josh". BBC Three. BBC. December 2015.
  18. "Josh gets second series on BBC Three". Radio Times. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  19. "Josh Widdicombe, Frank Skinner for new Dave show Taskmaster". British Comedy Guide. 9 February 2015.
  20. "Taskmaster New Series – Stars Revealed - Beyond The Joke". Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  21. Best apps, music, films, books, TV and podcasts of 2013 listed by Apple on iTunes. 17 December 2013.
  22. [ dead link ]
  23. "Insert Name Here". BBC Two - Insert Name Here. BBC. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  24. "Quickly Kevin, will he score? The podcast that glories in 90s football nostalgia". 9 May 2018. Archived from the original on 9 May 2018. Retrieved 27 September 2020.