12 months to make it...

C4 follows wannabe stand-up

Channel 4 is to follow student Simon Jenkins as he tries to break into the stand-up circuit.

The 20-year-old is one of 15 youngsters who will be followed by the Year Dot project as they try to launch careers in competitive creative industries.

His progress will be charted through several online video diaries, as well as on a Channel 4 show to be screened this autumn.

To date, he has taken part in the Chortle Student Comedy Awards – where he failed to win his heat – and was a quarter-finalists in the Laughing Horse New Act of The Year Competition… although there were more than 250 other quarter-finalists this year.

However, he is embarking on a full-length Free Festival show on this year’s Edinburgh Fringe - Posh Dosh and the Proper Geezer. He admitted: ‘It’s a big thing for me because it’s an hour-long slot, This is s a big step up for me.’

The Kingston University undergraduate said he decided to follow his dream to become a stand-up after witnessing first-hand the tsunami hit Thailand on Boxing Day 2004. Of his party of 30, only 24 came back.

He said that moment made him realise: ‘Life can be taken away in an instant. You should never put anything off or regret anything. If you want to do something you should just go out and do it.’

‘My dream is to become a full time comedian. The thought of working a 9-5 job in an office makes me cringe.’

Of the Year Dot project, he added: ‘It gives me a chance to show everyone what I’m capable of.

‘There are so many people my age trying to get into comedy, so it’s hard to get into it. The hardest thing for me is to get the gigs and get the stage time It’s so hard for a new comedian to be trusted.’

Here is his set in the Chortle competition:

Here is one of his video diaries:

And here he is preparing for and dissecting a gig:

To follow his progress, visit his page on the Year Dot website.

Published: 30 Jul 2008

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