Stephen K Amos

Stephen K Amos

A circuit stalwart, Stephen K Amos made his Edinburgh debut in 2001, returned in 2003, and has performed there every year since. He has also appeared the Melbourne Comedy Festival every year from 2006 to 2009.

Amos has also acted in a number of dramatic plays at the Fringe, including One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest with Christian Slater in 2004 - which later transferred to the West End – and Talk Radio in 2006.

On TV, he has performed stand-up on Live at the Apollo and the 2007 Royal Variety Performance and appeared on several panel shows, including Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week, The Wright Stuff and Loose Women, where, in February 2009, he caused a stir by revealing that Prince Harry told him he 'didn't sound like a black chap’ after his appearance at a gig to celebrate Prince Charles's 60th birthday.

In 2007 Amos made an acclaimed Channel 4 documentary on homophobia in the black British community and in Jamaica, Batty Man. He is also in the cast of 2009 BBC Two sitcom In My Country, a multicultural show set in a run-down guest house.

In 2004, he won a Time Out award for comedy, and he has been nominated for the Chortle Award for best compere three times, in 2004, 2007 and 2008.

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Stephen K Amos: I used to tell my parents I was a minicab driver

...rather than admitting to being a comedian!

comedyStephen K Amos has revealed that he didn’t tell his parents when he first started doing comedy – but instead explained his nighttime absences by pretending he had a minicab-driving job.

And even when he did come clean, they did not see him perform live until he took his tour show to the 3,500-seat Hammersmith Apollo in London.

‘When I first started doing comedy, I didn't tell my parents, good heavens no,’ he told journalist and food critic Jimi Famurewa on his new podcast Where’s Home Really?

‘I used to tell them I was a minicab driver, because I was out all hours of the day. When I started getting sort of regular paid work, my dad would still, when I used to visit them, have job applications from the council – "Have you thought of this?"’

And speaking of the Hammersmith Apollo gig, he said: My parents were flying in from Nigeria that day. I got them seats, got them picked up at the airport, sat in the stalls, and I put on like a big after-show party thing with Nigerian catering. I was so overwhelmed.

‘I didn't change my routine. I did all the stuff I do, talking about them, and at the end I went, "Can I just tell you ladies and gentlemen, my parents have arrived just in time, and this is the first time they've ever seen me live." The crowd went mental. My mum stood up and took a bow.’

Amos - who used to joke that representation of black acts was so scarce on British television that he’d have to wait for Lenny Henry to die to get his own show.  – also told Famurewa that after he made his first major TV performances people started trying to compare him to the older comic,

‘I was like, is that the barometer now? Are we now going to be pitted against each other. Maybe it was naive of me, but I didn't appreciate the weight of what that would represent.’

But he added that ‘weeks and days’ after his first appearances on The Royal Variety Show and Have I Got News ForYou ‘I'd be stopped in the street by predominantly black youth, saying thank you for representing.’

• Where’s Home Really? is available to listen to every Thursday on all podcast platforms.

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Published: 2 Mar 2023

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Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2001

Stephen K Amos

Edinburgh Fringe 2003

Stephen K Amos

Edinburgh Fringe 2005

Stephen K Amos

Edinburgh Fringe 2010

Stephen K Amos: The Best Medicine

Montreal 2007

Britcom 2007


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