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Dartmoor's Comedy Boy: Josh Widdicombe

Josh Widdicombe has only been in comedy for a handful of years but already he's making his mark. A Devon boy (he hails from Dartmoor) he's been dubbed Britain's answer to Seinfeld and last year won FHM's Stand Up Hero award.

Country Calling grabbed five minutes with him.

Your new show focuses on the drawbacks of growing up in a tiny rural Devon village. Where did you grow up and what was it like?

I grew up in a village called Haytor Vale on Dartmoor. While it was idylic and easy on the eye you realise when you are a teenager that perhaps you want to live somewhere where you at least have a bus-stop to drink in. But then I suppose everyone has that need to get away from where they are at that age, it just happened that I was in the middle of nowhere.

When did you leave home and were you prepared for life in the big city?

I moved to Manchester to go to University when I was 18. I wouldn't say I was unprepared, it is essentially like my life before but with more people and more shops, and I know how to talk to people and how to use shops so it was fine!

What inspired you to become a comedian and who are your comic heroes?

I think it was probably a complete fear of ever having to have a real job. I was always looking for a way out of that and luckily for me stand up comedy provided it. When I was growing up my comedy heroes were people like Dylan Moran, Frank Skinner, Jack Dee and Harry Hill, some of whom have left more of an influence than others I suppose.

In just three years on the circuit you've won several prestigious awards and supported big names such as Stephen Merchant, Alan Carr and Michael McIntryre. What's next?  Your own TV show?!

I am doing another show for Edinburgh and another tour and after that we will just see what happens, I try not to make firm plans as that is where madness lies. So I'm the last person to ask on that.

Fans says yours is a very distinctive brand  of observational comedy - where do you find your material?

If I knew that it would be a lot easier to write a new show, it seems to turn up when you are least expecting. Then you spend hours and hours trying to make it funnier while staring at a blank pad of paper.

Aside from the tour do you find much time to get back home? And how would you spend a lost weekend in Devon?

I don't go back much, it is quite a journey from London and I do quite a lot of travel as it is. As for the lost weekend, I would go and watch Plymouth Argyle and that would do me, anything after that would seem a bit of a comedown.

Do you have a big fanbase in Devon and what does it feel like playing to the home crowd?

I would be loath to say I have a big fanbase anywhere and I am not a particularly Devon-themed comic so I imagine it is the same as around the country really, I doubt most people even know where I am from. As for playing at home, a huge stress that schoolmates may be in the crowd means it is worse if anything... Can't wait! Josh Widdicombe plays the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe North Devon on 28 January. Call 01271 324242 for tickets. The Lights in Andover on 17 March Funny Bone Bournemouth 14 April Watch Josh Widdicombe here  

Bridport Arts Centre 21 April


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