20 things you never knew about Britain's comedians | ...from photographer Steve Best's new book

20 things you never knew about Britain's comedians

...from photographer Steve Best's new book

In his new book Joker Face, comedian and photographer Steve Best has collected portraits of an incredible 528 fellow stand-ups, from famous names like Jimmy Carr to open spots just starting on the circuit. Each page of the hefty volume also contains a joke from the comic and some quirky facts about them. So here are 20 of the strangest bits of trivia we have gleaned from the book, alongside Best’s photography.


Nish Kumar was once forcibly removed from a castle. Alastair Beckett-King was forcibly ejected from the Shakespeare’s Birthplace Museum.

Rory Bremner turned down an OBE from the Blair government

Sara Pascoe, top picture, used to be a backing singer for Robbie Williams’s dad. And Jayde Adams has been a backing dancer for Goldie Looking Chain at Bestival.​

Smug Roberts never washes his socks - he buys cheap ones from Asda and wears a new pair every day.

Ardal O’Hanlon used to work in a pea canning factory.

Jeremy Hardy can count to 20 in Dutch.


Andy Zaltzman’s great-uncle was Nelson Mandela’s accountant, while Markus Birdman’s uncle was the official exorcist to the Bishop of Bath And Wells.

Jon Culshaw was taught to swim by Chris Moyles. But the man who taught Picasso and Elizabeth Taylor to swim failed to teach Kevin Day to swim.​


Clive Anderson has been arrested twice in Nigeria and once in China.

Fred MacAulay can identify a diseased potato plant by the colour and shape of its leaves.

Daniel Sloss has been on Robot Wars three times… You can see him briefly in this clip:

Comedy Store Player Richard Vranch once shared a lift with Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Quincy Jones and Greg Proops.

Shazia Mirza collects fridge magnets.


Lou Sanders once jumped in the Thames to save a drowning man.

Jason Cook has a tattoo of the devil as Eric Morecambe climbing up his leg.


Bobby Davro believes he’s psychic.


Published: 5 Oct 2017

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