Josh Widdicombe says diversity in UK comedy moving ‘in right direction’

By Craig Simpson, Press Association

Comedian Josh Widdicombe has said representation of women in comedy is moving in “the right direction”.

He said that he does not want panel shows to be a “load of blokes sitting around” and has welcomed the increased prominence of female comedians.

The stand-up and frequent fixture on comedy panel shows has said that female representation is becoming more balanced, and without the need for contrived quotas.

Widdicombe said that his new show, Hypothetical, had no difficulty in getting female guests because of the wealth of comic talent available.

Fellow host on the new show, James Acaster, has also backed the gender shift in TV comedy.

Their new show sees guests explain how they would deal with ridiculous hypothetical scenarios. 

And both male and female comedians have tackled the absurd situations suggested on the show.

Widdicombe said: “I think it’s definitely going in the right direction.

“I certainly think when we did this, there’s so many brilliant female comics so it’s not a case of going, ‘We need some females on there’, it’s like everyone on there is brilliant, so that’s why they’re on there.

James Acaster will co-host the show. (Ian West/PA)

“But I’m really pleased with the mix, all the different comics that are on the show.

“You don’t want it to just be a load of blokes sitting around do you, at the end of the day?”

Acaster has backed the changes in comedy, and said that UK comics are helping to drive things forward.

He said: “I think things are moving in the right direction, there’s still a way to go yet.

“But I think that enough people are pushing for it to go in the right direction that it will.”

The new show was inspired by the musings of Widdicombe, who would often ask long-standing friends, Acaster included, about absurd scenarios and would they would do to deal with them.

Hypothetical starts on Wednesday February 6 at 10pm on Dave and will be available for catch-up on UKTV Play.