James "Jimmy" Carr (born 15 September 1972) is an English-born Irish comedian, known for his deadpan delivery and dark humour. He is also a writer, actor and presenter of radio and television.
Carr holds dual Irish-British citizenship, as he was born in Ireland,(as stated on The Graham Norton Show on December 7th 2009) to Irish parents from Limerick. He attended Burnham Grammar School and Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe before gaining a place at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a 2:1 degree in Political Sciences.
Whilst working at JC Productions with his father, Carr made his first television pilot / short film at Pinewood starring Craig Charles, Roy Dotrice and himself. The mockumentary, The Colour of Funny was essentially a vanity project for Carr.
Carr has hosted Channel 4 game shows Distraction and Your Face or Mine?. He has also presented the 100s series of programmes for Channel 4: 100 Worst Pop Records, 100 Worst Britons, 100 Greatest Cartoon Characters, 100 people who look most like Jimmy Carr (a spoof) and 100 Scary Moments'." Carr has also presented a series of Commercial Breakdown.
From 2004 to 2006, Carr hosted a United States version of Distraction for Comedy Central. Also he was nominated for the 2006 Rose d'Or award for best game show host. Carr presents the Big Fat Quiz of the Year on Channel 4, having presented the first 5 shows each December (2005 - 2009). He currently hosts the quiz show 8 out of 10 Cats.
Carr is also a prolific writer as well as performer, with writing credits including Bo' Selecta! (C4), Meet Ricky Gervais (C4) and material for Lily Savage and Frank Skinner.
Carr was a guest presenter for one edition of Have I Got News For You; later he joined Ian Hislop's team in the edition of the show first shown 23 November 2007, chaired by Ann Widdecombe with whom he “flirted” outrageously. Widdecombe later vowed "I will never appear on Have I Got News for You again."
Carr has appeared on Never Mind The Buzzcocks twice, as well as on QI.
During a guest appearance on the BBC motoring show Top Gear, Carr set a new celebrity test track lap record on the 'Star in a Reasonably Priced Car' segment. He was described as "the worst driver we've ever had" and "the luckiest man alive" by Top Gear's test driver The Stig. His re-appearance on Top Gear in May 2006 placed him last in the brand new Reasonably Priced Car, with the slowest time ever. Carr also hosted a highlights edition of the show.
In the United States, Carr has appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien twice and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno three times. Carr has also appeared on the Irish news comedy show The Panel.
In 2003, Carr was in the music video for the song Proper Crimbo.
Carr appears at the end credits of Ross Noble's Randomist DVD, where he punches Noble on his way back to the dressing room. Noble had joked in his show that Carr only performed for a "weak" 1 hour 20 minutes, as opposed to Noble's 2 and a half hour show. Carr can also be seen for a few seconds in the audience for Dara Ó Briain's live DVD.
In January 2008 Carr appeared on E4 show Big Brother Celebrity Hijack as a hijacker for the day.
Carr also appeared on the Royal Variety Performance in December 2008.
Carr is a regular guest and interviewer on Loose Ends (BBC Radio 4) and The Fred MacAulay Show (BBC Radio Scotland). In January 2005, Carr hosted 'It's Been a Terrible Year' — a comedy review of 2004, on BBC Radio 2. Up until July 2006, he had a Sunday morning radio show on XFM, with the mercurial comedian Iain Morris. The show had a strong emphasis on toilet humour.
Features, of varying popularity, have included:
- Goth Classics — Item lasting about four weeks in which The Sisters of Mercy track 'This Corrosion' was played twice.
- Now That's What I Call A Jukebox — Long running item invented by Iain Morris where a number of songs are selected from a Now That's What I Call Music album, and are put to a vote. The song with the most votes is played.
- The Songs You Should Like And The Songs You Do Like (But You Like The Song You Should Like As Well) — This catchy-titled item consists of playing in sequence one credible but underrated or overlooked song (The first was 'Touch Sensitive' by The Fall) and one guilty pleasure (Liberty X's 'Just A Little Bit' followed) On the 9th of July 2006, the item was renamed 'A Song to Patronise, A Song To Sanitise.' Traditionally, items are carried out with little professionalism, presumably to match the rest of the show content.
Jimmy is also a regular guest on The Chris Moyles Show on BBC Radio 1. Recently, his voice can be heard in Lloyds TSB adverts.
Carr was a guest on the Christian O' Connell breakfast show at Absolute Radio on 20 November 2008.
On 22 January 2009, he covered Zane Lowe's evening show on BBC Radio 1 between 7-9pm.
Carr does stand-up tours continuously over the course of the year, taking only five weeks off between them. In 2003 he sold out an entire month's performances of his Edinburgh Festival show Charm Offensive by the second day of the festival, and received 5-star reviews from four major newspapers. In 2004 he performed sold out solo shows at Dublin's Vicar Street, Leicester's Comedy Festival, Glasgow Festival, Kilkenny Cat Laughs and the Galway Festival along with appearances at The Bloomsbury Theatre where he filmed his first live DVD. Also in 2004 he threatened to sue fellow comedian Jim Davidson for using a joke that Carr considered 'his'. The matter was dropped when it became apparent that the joke in question was an old one used for decades by many different comedians. He toured the country with his show, A Public Display of Affection, starting on 9 April 2005 at the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury. He also appeared at the EICC during the Edinburgh Festival in August 2005 with his Off The Telly show. Later on in the year, in late November, he released his second DVD "Jimmy Carr: Stand Up".
In August 2006, he commenced a new tour, Gag Reflex, for which he won the 2006 British Comedy Award for "Best Live Stand up". He released his third DVD, Jimmy Carr: Comedian in November 2007. He also performed at the 2006 Just for Laughs festival in Montreal, as well as making a return visit to the Newbury Comedy Festival. In 2003, he was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. In 2007, a poll on the Channel 4 website for 100 Greatest Stand Ups Jimmy Carr was the 12th. A new national tour commenced in autumn 2007 named Repeat Offender, which began at the Edinburgh Festival that year. In Autumn 2008, Carr began touring his new show, entitled Joke Technician. As with his previous tour, he performed many shows at the Edinburgh Festival, even adding an extra date due to ticket demand.
His latest DVD, Jimmy Carr: Telling Jokes was released in November 2009.
On 23 April 2009, the dates for Carr's latest tour, entitled Rapier Wit, were announced. The tour opened on 20 August 2009 with 9 shows at the Edinburgh Festival before touring the country.
On Twitter, Jimmy Carr released details about his new DVD entitled Jimmy Carr: Telling Jokes. The DVD was released on the 2 November 2009.
In July 2009 Carr revealed that he is currently touring with the popular Las Vegas, Nevada|Las Vegas band The Killers. Killers frontman Brandon Flowers explained that it was part of his vision for his band’s shows to become more of a Las Vegas-style spectacle. Flowers, who grew up in Vegas, said: "We had met Jimmy before, at a Comic Relief gig, then we bumped into him again at a party a couple of weeks later. "We were just throwing ideas around and having a comedian as part of the show sounded like a Las Vegas thing to do — it used to be common in the Sixties and Seventies - Jimmy seemed to like it so we are giving it a go."
On 21 December 2006, Jimmy announced plans to become the first major comedian to perform in the virtual reality world of Second Life. This was confirmed on his MySpace webpage on 3 January 2007, and a competition launched to choose a select audience from the list of his MySpace friends.
Carr's Second Life show took place on Saturday, 3 February 2007 at 7pm, at Adam Street Bar and Members Club in central London. Fifty MySpace friends made up his live audience, with 100 virtual attendees in Second Life itself. The show was enjoyed by both sets of audiences, with excellent feedback received on both Jimmy's MySpace profile and within Second Life.
Carr hinted at the show that he may perform future shows in Second Life.
In March 2007, Laura Jackson from the Guinness Book of World Records confirmed that Jimmy had obtained the world record for being the first comedian in cyberspace, following on from his Second Life show.
On 2 November 2006, Carr, together with advertising copy-writer friend Lucy Greeves, released a book called The Naked Jape (the U.S. version, re-titled Only Joking, was released on 21 September 2006), a discussion of the art and history of joking. It includes a selection of over 400 of the best jokes ever told.
Carr currently (as of December 2008) lives in North London with his girlfriend, Karoline Copping, a commissioning editor for Five.
During an appearance on BBC's Would I Lie to You? (Series 1, Episode 3), Jimmy Carr revealed that he had been a Christian until his mid-twenties, and remained a virgin until the age of 26 due to his faith. Carr became aware of the writings of Richard Dawkins and renounced his religion, becoming an atheist. He stated that he felt religion limited people's desires to live their own lives.
In March 2004, Carr's father Jim, a self-made millionaire, was arrested by the Metropolitan Police after Jimmy Carr and his brother Colin accused their father of harassment. Mr. Carr Sr was later acquitted of all charges and awarded costs by the Court. Mr. Carr's acquittal was followed by a written apology from the Crown Prosecution Service|CPS. Later the Metropolitan Police also apologised and paid him substantial damages in an out of court settlement of the false arrest and false prosecution charge.
|Loaded Lafta Award 2004||Best Stand Up|
|LAFTA Awards 2005||Funniest Man|
|LAFTA Awards 2007||Funniest Man|
|LAFTA Awards 2008||Best Stand Up|
|Rose D'Or Nomination 2004||Best Presenter, ('Distraction')|
|Rose D'Or Nomination 2006||Best Game Show, ('Distraction')|
|British Comedy Awards 2006||Best Live Stand Up|
|Royal Television Society Award Winner||Best On-Screen Newcomer 2003|
|Time Out Award Winner||Best Stand Up 2002|
|2006||Alien Autopsy||Gary's manager|
|2007||I Want Candy||Video Store Guy|
|8 out of 10 Cats: The Panel|
|Host||Jimmy Carr (2005-)|
|Captains||Sean Lock (2005-) • Dave Spikey (2005-2006) • Jason Manford (2007-)|
|Guests||Complete guest list (2005-)|