Welsh boy wonder

Rhod Gilbert

Rhod Gilbert

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WELSH comedy sensation, Rhod Gilbert, is scheduled to make a returned stop in the island later this month as part of his ‘The Man With The Flaming Battenburg Tattoo’ tour.

One of the UK’s leading comedy talents, Rhod is a regular on our screens - starring in shows such as Mock the Week, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Live at the Apollo.

Rhod first began stand-up after taking a comedy course in 2002, and winning several different talent competitions within just 18 months, after which he was nominated for the Perrier Award in 2005.

He has been a sell-out at Edinburgh Festival every year since.

As well as touring all over Britain, he’s starred in his own panel show, Ask Rhod Gilbert and written and starred in Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience, in which he sampled various jobs all over the British Isles.

Before he got his big break, however, the Welshman had no idea he wanted to be a comedian.

As a child, he was always the quiet one out of his siblings, and spent his childhood and teenage years ‘drifting, with little ambition for anything’.

After going to Exeter University to study languages, and passing his subjects despite having confessed to attended only two lectures out of 60 in his final year, Rhod returned back to his hometown of Carmarthen where he became an admin assistant for the Welsh Office.

Although a big step down from the kind of life he has now, Rhod has claimed those years to be the best two years of his life - ‘like living an episode of Friends’.

When his friends left that job, however, he left too, and got another office job, spending the next eight years of his life doing market research.

He planned to buy into the company and take it on as his own, but it never happened. Instead, he went into comedy.

Rhod’s then girlfriend had been telling him to take a comedy course for a while. ‘She nagged me constantly for those eight years’, said the award-winning comedian. And in 2002 he finally relented.

Despite not enjoying the course much, he discovered that he had talent, and his ranting about minor grievances found in everyday life - such as buying duvets - was a hit with audiences.

He began doing small shows and entering talent competitions - winning a good portion of them - and eventually ended up with a stage at Edinburgh Festival and a nomination for the Perrier Award.

Although he didn’t win, Rhod’s nomination earned him a lot of fans, and he began touring further away from home.

He even ended up going to Iraq, where he spent a week entertaining the British troops.

And in 2009 he released his first live DVD - Rhod Gilbert & The Award-Winning Mince Pie - claiming the title for the year’s fastest selling debut stand-up DVD.

Since then, he has performed shows and tours worldwide, and was the first western comedian to perform in Taiwan.

Today, he is widely seen as one of the leading names in British comedy.

Tickets for his show at the Villa Marina on Thursday, November 29, are £25 each.

They are available from the box office on 600555, at the Sea Terminal Welcome Centre and the Villa Marina reception or online at www.villagaiety.com

But there are just a couple of hundred left so grab them quick!

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