Jimmy Carr

Jimmy Carr

Date of birth: 15-09-1972

A former marketing executive for Shell, Jimmy Carr is one of the hardest-working comedians in the UK, and DVDs of his live shows now sell more than 150,000 copies each.

His first full-length show, Bare-Faced Ambition, was nominated for the Perrier in 2002; and he was named best stand-up at the Time Out Awards in 2003, and at the Laftas in 2004. At the same awards he was named ‘funniest man’ in 2005.

He won the Royal Television Society Award for best on-screen newcomer in 2003, and soon established himself one of the main faces of Channel 4, hosting game show Distraction, the first series of The Friday Night Project, three series of panel show 8 Out Of 10 Cats, and several specials such as The Big Fat End of Year Quiz and The Comedians’ Comedian.

Carr has also made headway in the US, performing four times on NBC’s Tonight With Jay Leno and three times on NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien. He made a half-hour stand-up special for Comedy Central, and hosted two series of Distraction USA for the same network.

He has also appeared in the films Confetti, Alien Autopsy and Stormbreaker, all released in 2006; and has hosted a weekly radio show for London’s XFM.

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Comedy Central brings the 'roast' to the UK

With Jimmy Carr, Russell Brand and Katherine Ryan

Comedy Central is bringing the brutal ‘roast battle’ format to the UK,  with Jimmy Carr, Russell Brand and Katherine Ryan among those taking part.

Carr will host the series of six half-hour shows with Brand and Ryan part of the celebrity judging panel who will decide the winners.

Each episode will involve a mix of established comics and new faces exchanging vicious no-holds-barred insults,  and each show will be given a theme. 

The series, which will be recorded in front of a studio audience later this month, will air early in the New Year on Comedy Central UK.

Comedy Central’s general manager Louise Holmes, said: ‘[The show] will see the UK's finest comedians go head to head in the ultimate battle of wits. We will pit friend against frenemy, northerners against southerners and who knows, maybe even husband versus wife. The gloves will be coming off and no subject is off limits if it gives fodder for funny.’

The franchise is a staple of US comedy, especially in its ‘celebrity roast’ format, but has never really taken off  Britain – although the UK broadcaster says imports of the US roasts performed well for it in the ratings

 A total of 15 celebrity roasts have aired on Comedy Central in the States, with targets such as  Pamela Anderson, Joan Rivers, Justin Bieber and Donald Trump. Last year Carr took part in a roast of Rob Lowe which caused controversy when he joked about the firefighter dad of fellow comic Peter Davidson dying on 9/11. 

Carr also took part in the last attempt to bring a celebrity roast to the UK, hosting five episodes for Channel 4 in 2010, which targetted Bruce Forsyth, Sharon Osbourne, Chris Tarrant, Davina McCall and Barbara Windsor. 

Free tickets for the recordings of Roast Battle UK, taking place at the Electric in Brixton, South London, are available here.  Those applying to watch have been warned: ‘This is not a harmless comedy showcase or a friendly panel show... this is competitive roasting.’

The series will be coproduced by Fulwell 73 and Ideasatron.

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Published: 7 Sep 2017

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