He may be one of the country's hottest comedy stars but Birmingham comedian Joe Lycett is sure to make plenty of time for his dear old grandad, writes Roz Laws.
He is one of the country’s hottest new comedy stars. But Joe Lycett still lives with his parents in Birmingham – and always makes time for his granddad.
No matter how busy he gets, Joe still tries to keep Wednesdays free so he can take his grandfather to the cinema.
And thanks to Joe, Douglas Lycett is becoming something of a star in his own right.
Wherever he goes, his grandson tries to mention him. As a guest on Radio 1, Radio 2 and Radio 5 Live shows, he’s given Douglas a shout-out.
He even managed to wangle his name into Lycett Senior’s favourite TV show, when Joe took part in Deal Or No Deal.
He was one of fellow comic Sarah Millican’s friends, opening her boxes on the Channel 4 show and helping her to raise £10,000 for Macmillan Cancer Relief.
Joe, 24, says: “I knew that whatever you say when you open your box, they have to keep in because they can’t reshoot it, so I said ‘Hello granddad’.
“He was thrilled but the Banker then said that was no way to talk about Noel Edmonds!”
Now Douglas is to get on the radio himself as part of the Radio 4 show It’s Not What You Know.
It’s a comedy show, hosted by Miles Jupp, in which panellists choose someone they’re close to, a friend or relative, and are then asked to guess their nominee’s answers to questions.
Joe says: “It’s like Mr and Mrs, except you can’t choose your partner.
“My nominee is my granddad and he’s so excited about being on Radio 4. He’s in his eighties but is always up for new experiences, he’s remarkable.
“I try to keep Wednesdays free for cinema night, it’s a really precious time for me.”
It’s clear that his roots are important to Joe, who still lives with his parents in Hall Green.
“I made a point of mentioning Birmingham in my Edinburgh show this year. I think the city isn’t talked about enough, there are not enough people championing Birmingham.
“When I was at university in Manchester I wasn’t a fan, I was a bit down on my home city. But as I’ve got older I love living here. It’s easy to get around the country to gigs, and it’s a calming, friendly city.
“Every month I try to attend the Rough Works gig at the Glee Club, where local comedians like Jo Enright try out new material. We help each other out.
“Birmingham never used to have anything like that but I feel we are really building up something in terms of a comedy circuit in Birmingham.
“It’s our first anniversary on October 14 and me and Janice Connelly will be doing something special. She’ll be Barbara Nice and I’ll be Barbara Twice.”
Joe first appeared in the Birmingham Post almost three years ago when he won Best Newcomer in the 2010 Chortle Awards. Since then he has gone from strength to strength.
This year he made his solo debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with his act Some Lycett Hot and was nominated for Best Newcomer in the Fosters Comedy Awards. One of his jokes was also voted the best out of all the shows by the Independent – although he now confesses that the joke never actually appeared in his Edinburgh act.
The joke was: “What do we want?” “More research into a cure for ADHD!” “When do we want it?” “Let’s play swingball!”
“I used it for one of my preview shows, but I never actually said it at the Fringe,” confesses Joe. “Still, I’m very happy to accept the award!
“Now I have to start writing another show. I can’t do the same one next year, apparently. It’s important to keep writing. I think I’m getting better at it, it’s a muscle I need to keep using.”
Joe has toured with Ross Noble and Jack Whitehall and appeared on 8 Out of 10 Cats and BBC1’s Epic Win, as Alexandra Armstrong’s sidekick.
He’s a contestant on Sky Atlantic’s new show Don’t Sit In The Front Row, hosted by Jack Dee, which starts later this month.
And last week he appeared on Keith Lemon’s ITV2 quiz Celebrity Juice, alongside Fearne Cotton and Olympian Jessica Ennis.
When Keith expressed his disappointment that heptathlete Jessica had not brought her gold medal with her, Joe produced his certificate for his Grade 4 clarinet exam.
Joe has a typically busy week coming up, with gigs at University of Warwick on Sunday, a Birmingham Comedy Festival show at the city’s Blue Orange Theatre on Monday, then a Comedy In The Dark gig at the Electric Cinema on Thursday, when he and Josh Widdicombe will perform in pitch black.
The week is rounded off by the Rough Works gig at the Glee next Sunday.
Then on October 23 he’s doing a fundraising comedy night at Birmingham Glee for Birmingham Friends of the Earth, to raise awareness about the bee crisis, called There’s Something Funny In The Honey.
“I feel more stressful doing local gigs, there’s more pressure to do well,” he says. “But I do enjoy them.
“I am lucky to be paid to make people laugh.”
* For more information, go to www.joelycettcomedy.co.uk