Dom Joly

Dom Joly

Date of birth: 15-11-1968
Beiruit-born Dom Joly moved to Britain as a teenager, and started his professional career as a political producer for ITN. He then moved on to work off-camera on the first series of Channel 4's Mark Thomas Comedy Product.

He started doing hidden camera stunts as 'bumpers' between adverts and programmes on the Paramount Comedy Channel, and in 1998, made a pilot of Trigger Happy TV for Channel 4's Comedy Lab strand, which was commissioned for two full series, which run a silver Rose at the 2000 Montreux TV festival.

He was poached by the BBC for a rumoured £1 million, where he made the aggressive chat show This Is Dom Joly in 2003, before reverting to hidden camera work for World Shut Your Mouth in 2005.

He wrote a spoof autobiography in 2004 titled Look at ME, Look at ME! and writes a regular column for the Independent on Sunday

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Hello, It's Dom Joly at Latitude 2017

Note: This review is from 2017

Gig review by Steve Bennett

At last! A show that answers all your questions about the short-lived 2006 TV series Dom Joly’s Happy Hour!

That no one is likely to have any such questions doesn’t seem to concern the Trigger Happy TV , who seems convinced that his most banal of stories – a title for which there’s quite some competition – will be fascinating.

He starts, of course, with that hidden camera show, his only real claim to fame. ‘If you think hidden camera shows are the lowest form of comedy, you’re wrong,’ he asserts bluntly. Then shows us a clip of a man dressed as a bull in a china shot and urges us to think about the ‘hidden depths’. Which amount to the fact that a woman with a piece of china in her hand is Carol Decker (who, younger readers may need to be told, once sang a song with that title).

Trigger Happy was - and still is, in its recent online revival - a gold standard of prank comedy, but it barely seems worth analysing 15 years on. At least Joly doesn’t convince us why it should be, beside his own aggrandisement.

Joly’s main love, though, is travel, and he somehow seems to have spent a professional lifetime blagging his way around the world on other people's dollar. For example, he went to the Taj Mahal on the BBC just to film the single of him standing in front of it and saying: ‘It’s shit.’ Licence money well-spent.

Hello, It’s Dom Joly is pretty much a man showing us his holiday slides, once the sitcom cliché of the dullest possible night, and Joly does little to challenge that. As a travel writer, he’s remarkably unskilled at making his stories come alive, whether it’s visiting a Newfoundland town called Dildo, skiing down a Nicaraguan volcano and breaking bones in the process, or getting told off for taking photos in the museum in the Dallas book depositary from which Lee Harvey Oswald may or may not have shot JFK

A section about Robert Smith from the Cure has one good anecdote, but otherwise just seems to be a tale of getting pissed with his music hero.

Joly may have blagged his way in the travel world, but blagging on stage is harder to pull off, and his inexperience in this is very exposed. The only voyage Joly is taking us on is an ego trip.

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Published: 15 Jul 2017

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