Roland Gent

Roland Gent

After completeting a Foundation Course in Performing Arts at Chesterfield College Roland Gent started a career in radio, as a broadcast assistant on BBC GMR Talk and then Radio One. He even presented a breakfast show on Asian Sound Radio under the name Rakish.

He started performing stand-up in 1997, making his Edinburgh Festival debut at The Great Big Comedy Picnic composite stand-up show in 2003.

The following year, he was a finalist in both the City Life North West Comedian of the Year and the Holsten Pils/FHM Comedian of the Year and now boasts of performing hundreds of gigs a year, mainly in the North-West.

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Roland Gent: Rock 'N' Roll Radio Idiot

Note: This review is from 2015

Review by Steve Bennett

Roland Gent is a real-life Barry Shitpeas, the spoof talking head micro-celebrity from Charlie Brooker's Wipe shows.

For this upbeat stroll through recent broadcasting gaffes and musical highlights recalls those 50 Greatest… type schedule-fillers; a run-down of things you already knew presented with jaunty, if uninsightful, commentary.

So we're invited to laugh at ITV correspondent Nina Nannar's name; at Kanye West calling his daughter North; at the punning names of genuine cover bands; at James Naughtie getting Jeremy Hunt's name wrong and John Inverdale accidentally dropping the C-bomb too… These are all funny, but it's also found material, Gent doesn't add comedy, merely curates, sometimes with clips.

Likewise, he'll mention the swathe of 1970s TV presenters caught in Operation Yewtree's net, without offering much of a joke; or get dumbstruck at the idiot public who complain about a stunt dog hoodwinking them on Britain's Got Talent. An incredulous: 'Fuck that!' is the punchline on more than one occasion.

There's a gag about a radio phone-in show that Patrick Kielty's previously told on telly, but has gone around the world in different variations too. Gent sees a sign in a hospital car park saying: 'Thieves operate in this car park,' and thinks the obvious; and when it comes to making jokes about his job as a DJ, Gent is not above the old double entendre about his 12-inches. His set is definitely the golden oldies hour.

Yet Gent holds this together with a bold bonhomie that it's hard to dislike. There's a very loose back story about him working on a community radio station in a tough corner of Salford because it allows him to indulge his love of music. There's easy-going banter with the audience about their first records and musical tastes, and he nicely illustrates the contrived speech patterns of radio presenters. He's got a great DJ voice himself and now works for Total Rock.

However, the lack of real narrative takes its toll – more than the lack of originality – and the show hits the 40-minute slump pretty hard. Still, it's fun up to then, even if you've heard it all before.

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Published: 23 Aug 2015

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Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2006

Best Laid Plans


Edinburgh Fringe 2009

Nine to Five Idiot


Edinburgh Fringe 2010

Roland Gent: 9 to 5 Idiot


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