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Biography


James Acaster was born in Kettering, Northamptonshire in 1985.

He left school age 17 so he could play drums in a band called The Wow! Scenario with his friend Graeme.

3 people, including the people in the band, liked the band.
He began performing stand-up comedy in January 2008.

In 2008 he went to the Edinburgh festival for the first time with no gigs booked. He got the National Express coach there which took 12 hours and then camped for 2 weeks in a field 20 minutes by bus from the heart of the festival and his tent got flooded on the first night.

In 2009 he returned to the Edinburgh festival with comedians Josh
Widdicombe and Nick Helm. They took their show Acaster, Helm and
Widdicombe Live At The Voodoo Lounge to the Free Fringe. An average
of 6 people turned up a day, James’ microphone got stolen, a bucket
of sick was found at the back of the room and they received one
review only, a one star review telling the public to
“give this one a miss.”

In 2010 he returned to the Edinburgh festival with comedians
Ben Van Der Velde and Andrew Doyle with a show called Sex
and Hugs and Forwards Rolls, a show title the three of them will
never be able to erase from their history.

In 2010 he supported Josie Long for the whole of her
UK tour Be Honourable.

In 2011 he supported Milton Jones for the whole of his UK tour
The Lion Whisperer.

In 2011 he took his first full solo show Amongst Other Things
to the Edinburgh festival. It went well.

In 2012 he took his second solo show Prompt to the Edinburgh festival where it was nominated for Best Comedy Show at the Foster's Comedy Awards.

In 2013 he performed at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival where his show was nominated for Best International Show.

In 2013 he took his third solo show Lawnmower to the Edinburgh festival where it was nominated for Best Comedy Show at the Foster's Comedy Awards.

In 2014 he took his fourth solo show Recognise to the New Zealand International Comedy Festival where it won Best International Show.

In 2014 he took Recognise to the Edinburgh festival where it was nominated for Best Comedy Show at the Foster’s Comedy Awards.

In 2015 he won Best Breakthrough Act and Best Show (for Recognise) at the Chortle Awards.

In 2015 he took his fifth solo show Represent to the Edinburgh festival where it was nominated for Best Comedy Show at the Foster’s Comedy Awards.

On TV James has appeared on Mock the Week, Have I Got News For You, Qi, Live at the Apollo, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Nevermind the Buzzcocks, Russell Howard’s Good News, Dave's One Night Stand, The John Bishop Show and Josh.

On radio James has appeared in his own Radio 4 series James Acaster's Findings and regularly on The Josh Widdicombe Show on XFM telling tales of Scrapes and Cabbaging.



  • “Beautifully constructed 'art of stand-up' stuff...this show will be taught in schools as the perfect how-to example”
    Sunday Times
  • “Curious, original and immensely enjoyable”

    The Telegraph
  • “One of the sharpest comic minds to have emerged in recent years”

    Guardian
  • “By the end of the hour you're totally sucked into his minute, quizzical world and it's a wonderful world to visit”

    Time Out
  • “Acaster is doing something wholly different and has quickly found his own comedy voice. It's one that we should all be shouting about from the rooftops”

    The List
  • “Deliciously daft and no slouch in the surprises department”

    Evening Standard