Russell Howard

Russell Howard

Date of birth: 23-03-1980
Bristol-born Russell Howard started comedy as a teenager, making the finals of Channel 4's So You Think Your Funny? competition in 1999 in only his fifth ever gig. Two year later, he was also a finalist in the BBC New Comedy Awards.

He made his Edinburgh debut in 2002, sharing an hour-long show, and returned the following year as part of the long-running Comedy Zone showcase line-up. His first solo show was in 2004.

In 2006, he joined BBC Two's topical panel game Mock the Week as a regular panellist,which led to Russell Howard's Good News from 2009 to 2015, which became BBC Three's biggest entertainment show.

In 2014, he signed to Comedy Central to front a stand-up showcase and a travelogue in which he took his mum around the USA. And in 2016 he signed with Sky for a new entertainment show.

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I didn't want to become Vernon Kay!

Russell Howard on the pressure to become a TV presenter

comedyRussell Howard has spoken of how he was under huge pressure to get into TV presenting early in his career - because of his ‘boyband’ looks.

The comic said he turned down lots of job offers because he wanted to concentrate on being a stand-up - not the next Vernon Kay.

Speaking to Paul Chowdhry on his new podcast, Howard recalled: ‘I got offered lots of stuff early on - it’s sort of weird. I started doing stand-up and because I look like the kind of cunt you'd see in a boyband people were like "do you want to be a TV presenter?" I was like "absolutely not!"

‘There was a thing on BBC Three, before BBC Three, it was like this weird late-night thing where you would link In Between the shows. Me and McIntyre were the two people that were like "Nah".

‘The reason I didn’t do it was because it was gonna be on Tuesday nights and I've got gigs, I'm doing the Cardiff Student Union, I can't turn that down!

‘That was where I wanted to go and I had new stuff and I was obsessed with stand-up. I wasn't really interested in being a TV presenter. I wanted to be Billy Connolly, I didn't want to be Vernon Kay.’

Before he quickly added: ‘No offence to Vernon Kay.’

Listen to Russell’s appearance on The Paul Chowdhry PudCast on Global Player or other pocast channels.

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Published: 23 Apr 2021

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