He is not married. He grew up in Bristol and attended Castle School in Thornbury and St Annes College in Oxford, where he studied English, having re-applied to Oxford the previous year after an initially unsuccessful application. After graduating from Oxford, he returned to Bristol in 2006, where he shared an apartment with comedians Jon Richardson, Russell Howard and Mark Wright.
Robins appeared on the Russell Howard Show and Jon Richardson Show on BBC 6 Music from 2007 to 2010 as a guest or co-host. In August 2017, Robins won the Hannah Gadsby Edinburgh Comedy Award for his show Into the Darkness 2017 : Into the Darkness, in which he discusses the breakdown of his relationship with comedian Sara Pascoe and Robin’s private life following their separation. His father also makes jewellery. In August 2017, he won the annah Gads by the Edinburgh Comedy Awards for his shows 2017: In the Darkness:, in which he focused on his relationship with comedian Sara Pascoe and the relationship between him and her, as well as his personal life before and after.
Robins played solo shows at the Edinburgh Festival every year from 2009 to 2015, starting with Skinny Love. He has also appeared at the Machynlleth Comedy Festival and the Leicester Comedy Festival. In February 2014, he joined Elis and James to host the Elis James and John Robins Show on XFM Radio X.
For the third of the Edinburgh Fringe previews Ian Cater spoke with the comedian, presenter and Queen fanatic John Robins about recovering from the despair of separation and finding humour in his painful and funny new show, The Darkness in Robins. A new show from comedian and firebrand and all-time vibe magnet John Robinson. Honestly important because it reveals so much about the personality of commercial, digital and indie radio.
Comedian, presenter and Queen fanatic John Robins, who previously appeared on Speakeasy, has been summarised from a prestigious BBC live episode available on iPlayer. His painful and funny new show The Darkness of Robins is the most distinguished of his career and has a good chance of becoming one of The Fringe’s hits.
Best known for his career in stand-up comedy, John Robins has also appeared on radio shows in the UK. He began his time as the host of a Saturday morning radio show in February 2014. The Cult of Chortle, an award-winning radio show and podcast co-hosted by him with his close friend Elis James, has gained strength, racking up five million downloads and taking Robin’s brand to an even higher level.
John Robin’s performance of “Tornado Loves You” in 2014 caused my biggest laugh at the festival last year, so I had high expectations for his new show. After a few minutes it was clear that Speakeasy would not disappoint, and within an hour my face was aching with laughter. I left the house with a sense of encouragement and profound reflection.
In August, thousands of comedians perform every day, risking their money, their sanity, their reputation and their place in the biggest showcase that creative art has to offer. A mixture of self-congratulation and self-pity clogs the social media feeds of famous actors throughout the month. I’m a bit credulous, but it’s an unusual pressure, especially in the early days when no one knows you and your only audience is a retired couple in Edinburgh, a German tourist family, two surveyors and a judge.
The reaction Eli gets from people listening to his shows and podcasts makes me realise what a rare privilege radio is. I’m so happy that Larry and I went to all sorts of gigs with Jimmy Carr in the first four rows in one direction in the past because I wanted to see them when they broke into a mosh and Pigeon Detective and my friends let me in at the last minute. There is an intense relationship with performers of audio-based music, radio and podcasts, and I hope to stay on the radio for a long time to come.
Other comics are at a different stage in their careers than I am, and I am fortunate enough to have access to their thoughts, experiences and advice on comedy and working as a comic. They were looking for things for the website of Glasgow Comedy Festival and thought that I would interview John Robins about his interests as a performer and person.
One of the things I wish someone had told me years ago that it felt like something had happened to him was that he was playing against a wall and the wall was dripping with water and it was the place where he was playing.
John Robins Speakeasy performs on March 22 at 7pm, tickets from PS12 to PS10. Lloyds Show of Fun and Sustenance starts on March 20 at 5.30pm and tickets are available from PS8 to PS7. Comedy Box Bristol and Sunday specials at The Creek in Greenwich.
The 33-year-old comedian takes to the stage with a cheerful personality that will be familiar to podcast followers. Wait until the show begins and the sound of Queen’s tune fills the room, and you’ll know that John Robins is as unpredictable as he lives, drinks and breathes when he’s not sipping session ale and rum. The show is based on his Australian-born girlfriend and comedian Sarah Pascoe, with whom he has a relationship.
In the context of the current stand-up scene, John Robins is inconspicuous on paper. With his girlfriend going to Australia for a month to work, he is having the best time of his life. Understated in his, he has the assured stage presence of an audience member at all times, from toilet trips to milk laughs.