‘I’m a Celebrity’ presenter is a stand-up guy

Rob Beckett.

Rob Beckett.

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Interview by Graham Chalmers

He only made his debut at the Edinburgh Fringe last year but he’s a TV star already

As if to emphasise this fact, within hours of interviewing chirpy comedian Rob Beckett on the phone, there he was on my telly screen starring alongside Dara Ó Briain, Hugh Dennis and Andy Parsons on Mock The Week on BBC 2.

As newcomers go, this toothy, down-to-earth young Londoner is as confident and friendly as they come, which may explain his speedy climb up the comedy ladder.

Beckett himself, still sees his stand-up comedy career as a bit of a glorified hobby.

“I did it for a bit of fun after work originally. It’s a hobby that got out of hand.

“I’d go to the comedy clubs and pay £4 to perform at first. It was no different to paying to play five-a-side football. The only thing was, if they liked you, you didn’t have to pay when you came back.”

Having grabbed the spotlight on TV shows like 8 Out of 10 Cats and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, it’s no surprise Rob is one of a list of stellar stand-ups set to appear at next month’s Harrogate Comedy Festival.

It’s a long way from the days not so long ago when he’d come home from work to tell his mum and dad the funny things that had happened that day then plonk himself down to watch DVDs of his own comedy heroes.

“I was raised on Richard Pryor, Billy Connelly, Peter Kay and Alan Davies. I loved Pryor, he’s a genius but I couldn’t relate to his stories whereas Davies was just like a normal bloke. He’s far more than just Jonathan Creek for me. “

l Harrogate Comedy Festival runs from October 6-19.

For tickets, call 01423 502 116 or book online at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk