Dave Gorman

Dave Gorman

Date of birth: 02-03-1971
Dave Gorman started stand-up in 1990, when still a teenager, after dropping out of his mathematics course at Manchester University. But it took five years for him to start gaining recognition, hosting both the Comedy Zone showcase at the Edinburgh Fringe and appearing on Granada's Stand-up Show in 1995. Writing work began to come in, and he worked on Jenny Eclair Squats, The Fast Show and the Mrs Merton Show.

In 1998, he performed his first solo show, Reasons To Be Cheerful, deconstructing the lyrics of the Ian Dury song, which he followed the next year with Better World, in which he asked local newspaper readers how he could improve the world, then acted n their suggestions. This documentary-style show came into its own in 2000's Are You Dave Gorman? in which, egged on by flatmate Danny Wallace, he travelled the world to try to find 52 namesakes.

Are You Dave Gorman? was nominated for the Perrier award, and won the HBO Comedy Jury Award for Best One Person Show at the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen Colorado. It was subsequently made into a BBC Two series, The Dave Gorman Collection, and a successful book.

His second TV series, also broadcast on BBC Two, was Dave Gorman's Important Astrology Experiment, a cod-scientific test to see if he could improve his love, health, and wealth over six episodes if he followed his horoscopes. His twin brother Nick, completely ignored the astrologers, so acted as a control.

In 2003, he embarked on another bizarre quest; this time tracking down people responsible for Googlewhacks - web pages that contain a unique pairing of words, so they are the only result returned when you type the phrase into the search engine. The show, which virtually drove him to a nervous breakdown, started at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, transferred to Edinburgh and a UK tour, and again spawned a bestselling book as well as a live DVD.

Since 2005, Gorman has also hosted the Radio 4 show Genius, in which members of the public submit their brilliant ideas to be put to the test, which transferred to BBC Two in 2009. He has also starred in Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive, a show showing a behind-the-scenes view of a fictional comedy panel game, as himself.

In 2007, he released his documentary feature film, America Unchained, in which he tried to cross America without using chain restaurants, hotels or gas stations. Again, a book accompanied the film.

In 2009, he announced a return to more traditional stand-up - but cycling between the 32 venues in his UK tour.

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That gag's been coined before!

Dave's joke of the Fringe has previously been broadcast... on Dave


The joke that TV channel Dave today named as the best on the Fringe has already been told on one of the broadcaster's most popular shows.

And when Dave Gorman cracked it on Modern Life Is Goodish, he was so apologetic about its quality that he felt he had to issue a warning.

Ken Cheng today claimed the joke of the Fringe for his line: 'I'm not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change'. He had tweeted it as long ago as March 2014, when the new design was announced, along with a lot of other Twitter wags.

Gorman also used the line series two, episode eight of his show, which first aired in October 2014 – and said it was 'unavoidable'.

At the start of the episode he said: 'Because later on I am going to tell a joke that uses the words "fear change" and I want you to know that don't want to tell that joke. I'm only telling that joke accidentally. It is an unavoidable joke. Please do not judge me for that joke.'

About 20 minutes later, talk turned to the new coin, and he said: 'Some people were upset, of course they were, because some people'– and then he turned knowingly to the camera to say, cheesily. 'Fear change.'

As the audience groaned, Gorman reacted. 'Come on! We talked about this! Do not judge me for that! I gave you a warning. I said I'd be using the phrase "fear change" in a joke that I didn't want to do. I've got no choice.'

He then used a PowerPoint slide to explain how he had to do the line. 'I want to say some people are afraid when things change and in this particular instance, one of the things that is changing is something that is commonly known as a piece of change. I am trapped in a quandary!'

The show then moved on to a Found Poem made up of online comments about the new coin.

And in a further coincidence, Dave is scheduled to repeat that very episode at 8pm tonight. Although if you can't wait, it is available on demand here.

• The staff at Pimlico Underground station in London have been accused of joke theft – after posting an uncredited gag from John-Luke Roberts' Fringe show on their information board:

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Published: 22 Aug 2017

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