Rhod Gilbert is a Welsh comedian who was nominated in 2005 for the Perrier Best Newcomer Award. In 2008, he was nominated for the main If Comedy Award (as the Edinburgh Comedy Awards were then branded).
Gilbert appears on television and radio panel shows, has performed stand-up on the Royal Variety Performance (2008 & 2010), and hosts a weekly show on BBC Radio Wales. On 29 September 2014, Gilbert started presenting the BBC Two panel show ‘Never Mind the Buzzcocks’, ending a run of five series without a permanent host. However, the show was sadly axed by the BBC in May 2015.
Rhod got into professional comedy in 2002, after taking part in the Amused Moose Stand Up and Deliver course, but only “thanks to a girlfriend’s constant nagging”. Within 18 months, he had already won several different talent competitions and was nominated for the Perrier Newcomer award for his first solo show.
Rhod Gilbert’s battles against bad luck and misunderstanding strike a chord with any audience – making the Welshman one of the most compelling comic talents to have emerged for years. He has been nominated for both the newcomer and main Edinburgh awards, and won the BBC New Comedy Award in 2005 at Edinburgh Fringe entitled 1984. He has since performed all over the world, taking his deadpan routines all over the world from Canada to Taiwan. He’s even appeared in Iraq, where he performed for British troops in one of Saddam Hussein’s former palaces.
Many of Gilbert’s stories are drawn from real life events, and his life in the wholly fictionalised village of Llanbobl. In 2008, Gilbert wrote a sitcom about life in Llanbobl, which featured on BBC Radio 2. In his 2006 Edinburgh Fringe show Knocking on Heaven’s Door, Gilbert told stories from his life, weighing up whether he would be admitted to heaven. His 2007 show, Who’s Eaten Gilbert’s Grape? saw Gilbert return to Llanbobl and pick up the story following the 1984 show narrative. His 2008 show, Rhod Gilbert and the Award-Winning Mince Pie, saw Gilbert question his sanity, his career and his life after suffering a mental breakdown brought on by the award-winning mince pie at a motorway services.
On 18 and 19 June 2009, Gilbert made the last performances of Rhod Gilbert and the Award-Winning Mince Pie show at the Bloomsbury Theatre, which was recorded and released as a DVD on 16 November 2009. The DVD also contains several special features, including his infamous rant about lost luggage, outtakes from the performance and a mockumentary called Back To Llanbobl in which Gilbert shows the viewer around his fictional home town.
Rhod’s quick-fire wit combines with a downtrodden view of a world which seems focused on making his life difficult. His unique take on things has seen him become a huge live draw with increasingly surreally titled tours including Rhod Gilbert and the Award-Winning Mince Pie, and Rhod Gilbert and the Cat That Looked Like Nicholas Lyndhurst. Since trying to answer all the questions in his own panel show, the Welsh comic has gone off in search of work experience – trying his hand as a butler and a drag artist and almost everything in between. He’s also undertaken vast nationwide tours, posing as The Man With The Flaming Battenberg Tattoo and accompanied by the Cat That Looked Like Nicholas Lyndhurst.
On TV Rhod has presented his own unusual take on the panel show with Ask Rhod Gilbert, and taken on jobs from refuse collector to drag artist, zookeeper to school teacher, model to wedding planner in Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience.
Rhod has also appeared on Michael McIntyre‘s Comedy Roadshow, Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week, 8 Out of 10 Cats, and Never Mind The Buzzcocks (which he went on to permanently host). He’s often heard on Radios 2 and 4, with his own shows on the former and appearing on Just A Minute, Heresy and The Unbelievable Truth on the latter. He has also been the voice of the Welsh Tourist Board and presented his own popular show on BBC Radio Wales.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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