Josh Widdicombe: The joy of live stand-up

Josh Widdicombe
Josh Widdicombe

Josh Widdicombe is back on the road doing his first love – stand-up comedy.

The co-host of The Last Leg, brings his UK tour to Scotland next month with dates at the Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline, on Monday, November 7 and the Kings Theatre, Glasgow, on Tuesday 8th.

And he’s looking forward to getting back on stage.

“I love stand-up,” he said. “I think of myself as a stand-up. It’s not like a proper job, but it’s what I do. Other things just happen to me, and they have all come out of my stand-up.

‘’And because I haven’t been on tour for a while, I feel so rejuvenated.”

Josh confesses to enjoying the process of touring.

“I really like the lifestyle, and I really like ‎travelling around the UK. It’s a very pleasant way to see the country. It’s really interesting to see where people come from and then talk to them about those places.

“It’s also quite a meditative way to spend your time. When you know you’re going to be in a car for the next four hours driving to tonight’s ve‎nue, your day is prescribed. You think, ‘This is going to happen’. So you just sit there and chat because you can’t do anything else. It’s actually very stress-free.”

A familiar face on panel shows such Have I Got News For You and Mock The week, Josh also has also worked extensively in radio, but making an audience laugh remains a pleasure.

“That interaction with the audience is what keeps the show lively and it’s what keeps you interested as a performer. If you’re doing a show for fifty nights, it’s very nice to make every show a bit different. That way, each night feels like a one-off for that particular audience.

“It’s really good to create the sense that something’s happening that night which is not happening anywhere else. ‎To do a completely rehearsed show would seem odd. You might as well send the audience the DVD. It’s important to remember it’s live entertainment.”

The tour – billed “What Do I Do Now? ...”?‎ – will look back at his life in Devon, and the contrast to appearing on stage and TV.

“As a stand-up, you naturally talk about what’s interesting you, so I’ll be discussing what’s annoying me right now.

“But I’ll also be doing a lot ‎about growing up in Devon in the 1990s. At my primary school, there were only four children in my year. It was a very different experience from a lot of other people’s. So I’ll be doing some comparing and contrasting with how I live now.”

As he tours, BBC3 will also be airing his new sitcom, ‘Josh’ which is based on his life before the big time.

, “The main character is called Josh and it’s based on me five years ago. It’s me when I wasn’t as successful and was living in a shared house. It’s about the trials and tribulations of that.

“The sitcom Josh is not a success. He’s single and frustrated with his life. He’s a character who’s trapped - that’s what all sitcoms boil down to. I don’t want to watch anyone else being successful, and I don’t want to put viewers through that, either!!

‘’I didn’t want to create something high-concept. Like my stand-up, it’s about my life. I’m not going to set it in a lighthouse because I don’t know what that’s like. The way I work makes ‎it easier to write because the raw material’s all there.”