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John David Robins (born 4 May 1982)[1] is an English stand-up comedian television and radio presenter.

John David Robins
John Robbins (42218648512) (cropped).jpg
Born (1982-05-04) 4 May 1982 (age 37)
Bristol, England
MediumStand-up, television, radio
Years active2005–present
GenresObservational comedy Edit this at Wikidata

Early lifeEdit

Robins grew up in Bristol and was educated at The Castle School in Thornbury, Gloucestershire[2] and at St Anne's College, Oxford, where he read English, having reapplied to Oxford after an initial unsuccessful application the previous year.

Following graduation from Oxford, Robins returned to Bristol, where in 2006 he shared a flat with fellow comedians Jon Richardson, Russell Howard and Mark Olver.[3][4]


Robins began performing comedy in 2005, and soon reached the semi-finals of the So You Think You're Funny competition at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In 2007 he participated in the "Comedy Zone" showcase at the festival.[1]

Robins appeared both as guest and as co-presenter on both The Russell Howard Show and The Jon Richardson Show on BBC 6 Music (2007–2010).[5]

In 2011 Robins performed stand-up on Russell Howard's Good News.[6] On television he has also appeared on Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled (twice, plus the unaired pilot), Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week, Live from the BBC, Celebrity Deal or No Deal with Sarah Millican and on the 2013 Christmas mash-up of 8 Out of 10 Cats and Deal or No Deal.

Robins also appeared on several radio programmes, including Matt Forde's Talksport show, BBC Radio 4's Word of Mouth and BBC Radio Wales's What's the Story?[7][8]

In February 2014 he started hosting the Elis James and John Robins show on XFM (now Radio X) with fellow comedian Elis James. In August 2014 the show moved to Saturdays, and was broadcast weekly 1-4pm.[9] It is also a popular podcast, with a cult following, with over 12 million downloads as of July 2017.[10]

Robins performed in New Zealand for the first time in May 2014 during the NZ International Comedy Festival, with the show Where Is My Mind?[11][12]

Robins won Best Compère at the 2015 Chortle Awards.[13] In the second half of 2016, Robins embarked on a tour show with co-host Elis James called "The Elis James and John Robins Experience".[14]

In March 2017, James and Robins won a Chortle award for their Radio X show.[15]

Robins has performed a solo show at the Edinburgh Festival every year since 2009 (excluding 2016),[16] starting with Skinny Love.[17] His subsequent shows were Nomadic Revery (2010), Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (2011), Incredible Scenes (2012), Where Is My Mind? (2013),[18] This Tornado Loves You (2014) and Speakeasy (2015).[19] All shows were also toured around the UK. He has also performed at the Machynlleth Comedy Festival and the Leicester Comedy Festival.

In August 2017, Robins won (jointly with Hannah Gadsby) the Edinburgh Comedy Award for his show that year, "The Darkness of Robins", which focused on the breakdown of his relationship with comedian Sara Pascoe and his personal life after the break-up. It was the first time he had been nominated for the award.[20]

In June 2018, it was announced that Robins would host a new upcoming game show for Dave entitled Beat the Internet.[21]

After five years broadcasting on Radio X (previously XFM) the Elis James and John Robins show aired its final episode on Saturday 30 March 2019. On 2 April 2019, Robins announced that he would be hosting a new show with fellow comedian Elis James on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Robins' 2019 Edinburgh Fringe show was called "Hot Shame".

Personal lifeEdit

In 2012 Robins moved to London.[3]

Robins has described himself as "broadly vegan".[22]

Robins is a fan of Queen and he supported the band at their 2014–15 New Year's Eve show, where they performed with Adam Lambert. He is also a fan of Frank Zappa and Bonnie Prince Billy and runs the Bonnie Prince Billy Quotes Twitter account.[23] He has often named his Edinburgh shows after his favourite music, e.g. Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven is a Godspeed You! Black Emperor album,[24] and "This Tornado Loves You" is a song by American singer-songwriter Neko Case.


  1. ^ a b CV at agents website. Retrieved 18 March 2014
  2. ^ "Where Is My Mind? Show Recording". John Robins on Bandcamp.
  3. ^ a b "John Robins 2013 Interview". InterMission Bristol. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Jon Richardson: A Little Bit OCD". Channel 4. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
  5. ^ "Jon Richardson / John Robins – Pickled Cabbage Poem". YouTube. 27 February 2011.
  6. ^ "Behind the joke: Katherine Ryan, Simon Evans and John Robins dissect their comedy". The Guardian. 18 February 2014.
  7. ^ "BBC Radio Wales - What's the Story?". BBC. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  8. ^ "What's the Story?, Series 6, Episode 4". BBC. 27 April 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Elis James and John Robins - Radio X". XFM. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  10. ^ X, Radio (12 August 2017). "They've done it! The elusive 12.6 million mark! Thanks everyone - get the podcast here … @elisjames". Retrieved 9 January 2019. External link in |title= (help)
  11. ^ "2014 NZ International Comedy Festival show page". 23 April 2014. Archived from the original on 19 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Profile at The Classic Comedy Network New Zealand". Archived from the original on 10 April 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  13. ^ "Chortle awards 2015: Watch the highlights". Chortle. 18 March 2015.
  14. ^ "The Elis James and John Robins Experience 2018". Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  15. ^ "News: Chortle Awards 2017 - Results". Beyond The Joke. 20 March 2017. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  16. ^ "2013 Interview with The Ripple". 7 February 2014.
  17. ^ "Comedy review: John Robins – Skinny Love". The Scotsman. 17 August 2009.
  18. ^ Julian Hall (27 August 2013). "Edinburgh 2013: John Robins: Where Is My Mind? – Reviews – Comedy". The Independent.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 June 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ Vanessa Thorpe (26 August 2017). "Edinburgh festival fringe comedy award shared for first time". The Guardian.
  21. ^ "John Robins turns game show host : News 2018 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". Chortle.
  22. ^ Michael Hogan (21 January 2018). "John Robins: 'Men need to be honest with themselves'". The Guardian.
  23. ^ "Bonnie Prince Billy (@BPBQuotes) - Twitter". Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  24. ^ "John Robins: Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven: 3 star review by Adam Lebovits". Retrieved 9 January 2019.

External linksEdit