John Robins (comedian)

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John Robins
Born (1982-05-04) 4 May 1982 (age 35)
Bristol, England
Medium Stand-up, television, radio
Nationality English
Years active 2005–present
Genres Observational comedy

John Robins (born 4 May 1982)[1] is an English stand-up comedian and radio presenter.


Robins began performing comedy in 2005, and soon reached the semi-finals of the So You Think You're Funny competition at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In 2007 he participated in the "Comedy Zone" showcase at the festival.[1]

Robins has performed a solo show at the Edinburgh Festival every year since 2009 (excluding 2016),[2] starting with Skinny Love.[3] His subsequent shows were Nomadic Revery (2010), Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (2011), Incredible Scenes (2012) and Where Is My Mind? (2013).[4] All shows were also toured around the UK. He has also performed at the Machynlleth Comedy Festival and the Leicester Comedy Festival.

Robins appeared both as guest and as co-presenter on both The Russell Howard Show and The Jon Richardson Show on BBC 6 Music (2007–2010).[5]

In 2011 Robins performed stand-up on Russell Howard's Good News.[6] On television he has also appeared on Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled (twice, plus the unaired pilot), Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week, Live from the BBC, Celebrity Deal or No Deal with Sarah Millican and on the 2013 Christmas mash-up of 8 Out of 10 Cats and Deal or No Deal.

Robins also appeared on several radio programmes, including Matt Forde's Talksport show, BBC Radio 4's Word of Mouth and BBC Radio Wales's What's the Story?[7][8]

In February 2014 he started hosting the Elis James and John Robins show on XFM (now Radio X) with fellow comedian Elis James. In August 2014 the show moved to Saturdays, and is now broadcast weekly 1-4pm.[9] It is also a popular podcast, with over 12 million downloads as of July 2017.[10]

Robins performed in New Zealand for the first time in May 2014 during the NZ International Comedy Festival, with the show Where Is My Mind?[11][12]

He performed his next show, This Tornado Loves You, throughout the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.[13] His 2015 Edinburgh Festival show (and subsequent 2016 tour) was titled Speakeasy.[14]

Robins won Best Compère at the 2015 Chortle Awards.[15]

In the second half of 2016, Robins embarked on a tour show with co-host Elis James called "The Elis James and John Robins Experience".[16]

In March 2017, James and Robins won a Chortle award for their Radio X show.[17]

In August 2017, Robins won (jointly with Hannah Gadsby) the Edinburgh Comedy Award for his show that year, "The Darkness of Robins", which focussed on the breakdown of his relationship with comedian Sara Pascoe and his personal life after the break-up. It was the first time he had been nominated for the award.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Robins grew up in Bristol and was educated at The Castle School in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire,[19] and at St Anne's College, Oxford, where he read English. Following graduation from Oxford, Robins returned to Bristol, where in 2006 he shared a flat with fellow comedians Jon Richardson, Russell Howard and Mark Olver.[20][21]

In 2012 Robins moved to London.[20] His partner from 2013 to late 2016 was actor and comedian Sara Pascoe.

Robins has described himself as "broadly vegan".[22]

Robins is a fan of Queen and he supported the band at their 2014–15 New Year's show, where they performed with Adam Lambert. He is also a fan of Frank Zappa and Bonnie Prince Billy and runs the Bonnie Prince Billy Quotes Twitter account.[23] He has often named his Edinburgh shows after his favourite music, e.g Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven is a Godspeed You! Black Emperor album,[24] and "This Tornado Loves You" is a song by American singer-songwriter Neko Case.


  1. ^ a b CV at agents website. Retrieved 18 March 2014
  2. ^ "2013 Interview with The Ripple". 7 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Comedy review: John Robins – Skinny Love". The Scotsman. 17 August 2009. 
  4. ^ Julian Hall (27 August 2013). "Edinburgh 2013: John Robins: Where Is My Mind? – Reviews – Comedy". The Independent. 
  5. ^ "Jon Richardson / John Robins – Pickled Cabbage Poem". YouTube. 27 February 2011. 
  6. ^ "Behind the joke: Katherine Ryan, Simon Evans and John Robins dissect their comedy". The Guardian. 18 February 2014. 
  7. ^ What's the Story?
  8. ^ "What's the Story?, Series 6, Episode 4". BBC. 27 April 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "Elis James and John Robins - Radio X". XFM. Retrieved 3 March 2018. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "2014 NZ International Comedy Festival show page". 23 April 2014. Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "Profile at The Classic Comedy Network New Zealand". Archived from the original on 10 April 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "John Robins: This Tornado Loves You at The Pleasance Theatre Trust". Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 June 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  15. ^ "Chortle awards 2015: Watch the highlights". Chortle. 18 March 2015. 
  16. ^ Elis and John
  17. ^
  18. ^ Vanessa Thorpe (26 August 2017). "Edinburgh festival fringe comedy award shared for first time". The Guardian. 
  19. ^ "Where Is My Mind? Show Recording". John Robins on Bandcamp. 
  20. ^ a b "John Robins 2013 Interview at InterMission Bristol". Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  21. ^ "''Jon Richardson: A Little Bit OCD'' on Channel 4 website". Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  22. ^ Michael Hogan (21 January 2018). "John Robins: 'Men need to be honest with themselves'". The Guardian. 
  23. ^
  24. ^

External links[edit]