Josh Widdicombe

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Josh Widdicombe
Josh Widdicombe (27394462077) (cropped).jpg
Widdicombe in 2018
Birth nameJoshua Michael Widdicombe
Born (1983-04-08) 8 April 1983 (age 38)
Hammersmith, London, England
MediumRadio, stand-up, television
Years active2008–present
SpouseRose Hanson (m. 2019)
Notable works and roles
WebsiteOfficial website

Joshua Michael Widdicombe[1] (/ˈwɪdɪkəm/; born 8 April 1983[1]) is an English comedian and presenter. He is best known for his appearances on The Last Leg (2012–present), Fighting Talk (2014–2016), Insert Name Here (2016–2019), Mock the Week (2012–2016) 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[edit]

Widdicombe was born on 8 April 1983 in Hammersmith, London, and grew up in Haytor Vale, near Widecombe-in-the-Moor in Devon.[2] He attended Ilsington Church Of England Primary School,[3][4] South Dartmoor Community College and later studied sociology and linguistics at the University of Manchester.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Before becoming a comedian, Widdicombe worked as a sports journalist, writing for The Guardian.[6] He supports Plymouth Argyle[7] He is a vegetarian.[8]

He is married to Rose Hanson, a television producer, with whom he has a daughter, Pearl Virginia, born in October 2017, and a son, Cassius, born in May 2021.[9]

He claims ancestry from Sabine Baring-Gould,[10] while research has shown his ancestors were recorded in the Royal Blood of Britain, The Plantagenet Roll – The Isabel of Essex Volume.[11] On a 2021 episode of Who Do You Think You Are? it was revealed that he is potentially a descendant of Henry VIII.[12] His 14th great grandmother was Mary Boleyn, sister of Anne Boleyn, and he is a direct descendant of King Edward I who was his 23rd great-grandfather.[13][14] Widdicombe is related to Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland, who owned an estate including the Jacobean style Holland House, London.[13]


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.[15]

In 2010, Widdicombe worked as a contributor for the Dora the Explorer magazine,[16] 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[17] and for the Malcolm Hardee "Act Most Likely to Win a Million Quid" Award.[18]

In 2012, Widdicombe became a regular on Stand Up for the Week 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.[19] 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.[20] 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]

In 2013, Widdicombe was again a regular on The Last Leg, after Channel 4 renewed the show for nine further episodes,[21] 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."[22]

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 series of Josh, also directed by Schneider, ran on BBC Three from 11 November to 16 December 2015.[23] BBC Three ordered a second full series of Josh; and third and final series followed in 2017.[24]

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.[25][26]

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.[27] The last edition of the show aired on 26 July 2015.[28]

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.[29]

In December 2017, Widdicombe returned to Taskmaster for a two-part series alongside his fellow winners of previous series 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?’.[30] 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. It was renamed Parenting Hell following the third national lockdown. It is a podcast about bringing up children, experiences, tips and face palm moments. In 2021 it was announced that Widdicombe had written a book: Watching Neighbours Twice a Day… How 90s TV (Almost) Prepared Me For Life, which was published in September 2021. It made the Sunday Times bestseller list.

Stand-up DVDs[edit]

  • Live: And Another Thing (18 November 2013)
  • What Do I Do Now... Live (28 November 2016)


  1. ^ a b 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. ^
  4. ^ Widdicombe, Josh (16 September 2021). Watching Neighbours Twice a Day...: How '90s TV (Almost) Prepared Me For Life. Kings Road Publishing. ISBN 978-1-78870-437-3.
  5. ^ Josh Widdicombe Interview at Herald Scotland. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Josh Widdicombe". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  7. ^ Widdicombe, Josh (9 January 2017). "Anfield draw was my greatest experience as a Plymouth fan – but pure pain". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  8. ^ Channel 4 (18 October 2018), Beating Climate Change with a Tipsy Chris O'Dowd & Jessica Hynes | The Last Leg, retrieved 28 December 2018
  9. ^ "Josh Widdicombe Wife, Married, Daughter, Net Worth, Height, Age". Celebs Closeups. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  10. ^ QI, S17E9
  11. ^ "Discover Your Ancestors" (102). October 2021: 10–15. Retrieved 12 October 2021. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  12. ^ Hallam, Katy (8 October 2021). "Josh Widdicombe shocks fans as he reveals he's related to major royal". BirminghamLive. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  13. ^ a b Who Do You Think You Are? - Series 18: 1. Josh Widdicombe, retrieved 12 October 2021
  14. ^ "Judi Dench and Josh Widdicombe to take part in Who Do You Think You Are?". Radio Times. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  15. ^ "Acaster, Helm and Widdicombe - Live at the Voodoo Bar". Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  16. ^ "Josh Widdicombe on writing 'Dora the Explorer' - The Graham Norton Show: Episode 3 - BBC One". YouTube. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  17. ^ "Edinburgh Comedy Awards shortlist announced". BBC News. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  18. ^ "Cunning stunts up for Edinburgh Fringe award". BBC News. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  19. ^ "The Last Leg With Adam Hills". 30 August 2012.
  20. ^ "Million Pound Charity Drop Benefits Disability Charities – PosAbility Magazine". Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  21. ^ "Risking laugh and limb pays off". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  22. ^ "Radio 5 live unveils exciting new line-up". BBC. 1 July 2014.
  23. ^ "Josh". BBC Three. BBC. December 2015.
  24. ^ "Josh gets second series on BBC Three". Radio Times. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  25. ^ "Josh Widdicombe, Frank Skinner for new Dave show Taskmaster". British Comedy Guide. 9 February 2015.
  26. ^ "Taskmaster New Series – Stars Revealed - Beyond The Joke". Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  27. ^ Best apps, music, films, books, TV and podcasts of 2013 listed by Apple on iTunes. 17 December 2013.
  28. ^ [1][dead link]
  29. ^ "Insert Name Here". BBC Two - Insert Name Here. BBC. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  30. ^ "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.

External links[edit]