Paul Foot (comedian)

Paul Foot (born 24 December 1973) is an English comedian. Foot is known for his musings, rants, "disturbances" and apparent aversion to pop culture. The Daily Express likened him to "a rare exotic bird",[1] and six national newspapers including The Independent and The Age have described him as "a comedy genius".[2][3][4]

Paul Foot
Foot on stage at the Crap Comedy Festival in 2017
Birth namePaul Foot
Born (1973-12-24) 24 December 1973
Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
MediumStand-up, television
Alma materMerton College, Oxford
Years active1997–present


Foot was born and raised in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, and has a younger brother.[5][6] He studied mathematics at Merton College, Oxford.[7] It was during his studies that he first started performing stand-up.[8] As of 2011, Foot has refused to discuss his years at Oxford or former pursuits as a mathematics student.[9] Graduating from Oxford in 1995, Foot was head-hunted by a computer software company in the run-up to the dot-com bubble, however he loathed the industry: "I had to read manuals on HTML and just write websites from scratch. None of us really knew what we were doing".[10] He started to pursue a career in comedy by doing open mic slots at various venues.[10]

He is openly gay.[11] He has been described as "a little bit vegetarian", but has said that occasionally he does return to eating meat due to nutrition-related health issues.[6] He has stated on his video log that he has face blindness.[12]

Live performances

Foot frequently performs live, with resident slots at various London comedy clubs, and his fans sometimes demand shows in particularly obscure parts of Britain. He usually takes a show to the Edinburgh Fringe such as By the Yard (2009), Ash in the Attic (2010) (which was directed by Noel Fielding) and Words (2013).

Following Edinburgh, Foot usually tours Britain with his current show before taking it to Australia after Christmas for the Australian festival circuit. He has also given runs at Montreal Comedy festival as well as selling out at venues in Sweden.

In 2003, Foot and Russell Brand appeared in a double act at Cafe Royal.[13] Foot's style of comedy had a strong influence on Brand, who was inspired by Foot's eccentric hair, quirky mannerisms and love for florid language. In The Guardian, Paul MacInnes wrote about their similarities in an article that explored the notion of "copycat comedians".[14] Bruce Dessau made similar observations in The Standard.[15]

Although a sector of Foot's fan base felt Brand had stolen Foot's act, the two comedians have remained friends. In 2012, Brand made a special appearance at one of Foot's Secret Shows and they improvised a play in which Brand played Foot and Foot played actress Angela Lansbury.[16]


  • Most Wanted (2003)
  • Simple Pleasures (2004)
  • Comedy For Connoisseurs (2007)
  • Off The Top Of/With His Head (2008)
  • By The Yard (2009)
  • Ash in the Attic (2010)
  • Still Life (2011)
  • Kenny Larch Is Dead! (2012)
  • Words (2013)
  • Hovercraft Symphony in Gammon Sharp Major (2014)
  • The Paul Foot Experience (2015)
  • Paul Foot's Game of Dangers (2016)
  • 'Tis a Pity She's a Piglet (2016)
  • Image Conscio (2018)

Ash in the Attic

Foot's 2010 Edinburgh show Ash in the Attic was directed by comedian Noel Fielding[17][18] and enjoyed two sell-out runs at London's Soho Theatre in February 2011.[19] Ash in the Attic was then taken to Melbourne for the 2011 Melbourne International Comedy Festival as part of the official gala selection[20] where it received a 5-star review in The Age.[3] Australian Chortle wrote in their review that Ash in the Attic was "One of the best comedy shows ever to have been performed in Melbourne".[21] A CD of the show was released, and can be bought from his website, standard online shops, and from Foot at tour shows.[22]

Still Life

Foot performed eight secret London previews for his 2011 Edinburgh show Still Life before taking it to the Fringe where the show had a sell-out run at the Underbelly.[23] Foot toured the UK in autumn 2011 with Still Life starting at the Soho Theatre on 26 September.[24] Foot took Still Life to the 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival where he starred in the Comedy Festival Gala on Australia's Network Ten and was nominated for a Barry Award.[25] Still Life also featured at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal.[26] The poster image for Still Life is an original artwork, a portrait of Foot amidst various fruits, by Victoria Brook.[27]

Kenny Larch Is Dead

Foot's 2012 Edinburgh show was called Kenny Larch Is Dead.[28] As ever with Foot, the show had nothing to do with the title. Following the Fringe the sell-out show toured Britain, before being taken to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.[29] The show won the Best of Fest award at the Sydney Comedy festival,[30] and Best International Show at the Perth comedy awards.

Secret shows

In September 2006, Foot started a regular London-based solo variety show called Paul Foot's Comedy for Connoisseurs. The title comes from the name given to his fans, "The Guild of Paul Foot Connoisseurs", for whom Foot arranges "secret" events advertised only via his official website and mailing list.[5][31] In the secret shows Foot often enters a surreal territory, taking on the personae of his own character creations such as "Penny" and "Skeleton Johnson", and sometimes improvising elaborate mini-dramas in which he plays all of the parts. Some of Foot's characters feature on his website which also has a secret page for his Guild of Connoisseurs.[32]

Foot's television appearances in 2010 introduced a new generation to his style of comedy, leading some "Connoisseurs of The Guild of Paul Foot Connoisseurs" unable to attend Foot's Secret Shows due to this new wave of popularity with a younger, student demographic booking them out. Foot addressed this problem by organising his first "Secret Secret Show" for his longest-serving fans. The show was not advertised anywhere on his website.[23]

The Paul Foot Festival

In 2009, Paul Foot hosted his own all-day festival at Bethnal Green Working Men's Club in East London with the help of arts and music collective HungaMunga. Sketches included 'Foot of the Yard', a whodunnit, an Invisible Man Contest, Flamingo I-Spy, an Erotic Menu, and Paul's Rants. HungaMunga provided lots of arts and crafts materials and activities. Foot also painted portraits of members of the audience. The festival also included Paul's Protégé's featuring the comedians Tom Bell and Joel Dommett. Musical performers at the festival were Birmingham gonzo-ska band Misty's Big Adventure and Antony Elvin.[33]


Foot has appeared on numerous television shows including:

In 2008, Foot was a finalist in NBC's Last Comic Standing.[37]

In 2011, Foot filmed a series of TV advertisements for Virgin Mobile in Australia. He helped to devise his character in the campaign called "Robin Da Hood", a bizarre fusion of medieval eccentricities and modern-day Australian urbanity. The first of these adverts featured an emergency phone conversation between Foot and head of the Virgin Group Sir Richard Branson.


In 1997, Foot won both the BBC New Stand-up Award and the Daily Telegraph Open Mic Award, and was a finalist for the So You Think You're Funny award for newcomers.[38] In 1998, he was nominated for the Perrier Best Newcomer Award in Edinburgh.

In 2011, Foot was nominated for a Barry Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.[39] In 2012, Foot was nominated again for a Barry Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.[25] In 2013, Foot won the top award at the Sydney Comedy festival for Kenny Larch Is Dead, which won the best show award.[30]

Paul Foot Podcast

Since 2009, Foot has released a podcast, the Paul Foot Podcast. It was originally the highlights from his show on Resonance FM, and featured fellow stand-up comedian Joel Dommett, among other regulars. After the Resonance FM show ended, a few episodes were released independently up to May 2010. Episodes of the podcast then became more sporadic, being released every few months or so; these episodes included guests such as Trevor Lock and Paul's tour support act Malcolm Head, as well as recordings from Paul's Secret Shows.[40]

Guild of Connoisseurs

He commands a significant cult following called The Guild of Connoisseurs.[41] As well as secret stand-up comedy shows Foot arranges events for The Guild of Connoisseurs such as secret picnics, spoof lectures and guided tours. In July 2011 he scheduled an event at Stepney City Farm at which connoisseurs attempted to complete a 32,000 piece jigsaw puzzle.[42]

Foot hosts competitions within the Guild too, such as an annual tie design competition and portrait painting competitions.[43]


  • The Infinite Monkey Cage (BBC Radio 4) – November 2010, May 2011, August 2014, February 2016
  • Chequebook And Pen (BBC Radio 4) – December 2010
  • The Late Show (talkSPORT) – February 2011[44]
  • The Dave Gorman Show (Absolute Radio) – June 2012 Show 119, 120, 121[45]
  • Paul Foot Podcast (self published) – July 2009 – present[46]


  1. Goulder, Claudia (15 August 2009). "Paul Foot – By The Yard: The Underbelly, Edinburgh Festival". Daily Express. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  2. "Cultural Life: Rhod Gilbert, comedian". The Independent. London. 7 January 2011.
  3. "Ash in the Attic". The Age. Melbourne. 6 April 2011.
  4. "Press Quotes". Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  5. Hay, Malcolm (25 September 2006). "Paul Foot: Interview". Time Out London. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  7. Conchie, Peter (1 November 1997). "Comedy: Adrian Mole meets Emo Phillips". The Independent. London: Independent Print. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  8. "The Twelve Funniest Comedy Acts in the World Are Revealed on NBC's Last Comic Standing" (Press release). NBC. 7 July 2008. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  9. "Taking comedy to the next level – an interview with Paul Foot". Beat. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014.
  10. Jack Cullen. "Jack of Hearts: An Interview with Comedian Paul Foot". Archived from the original on 1 February 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  11. Paul Foot (13 February 2011). "Paul Foot – Levels of Homophobia". Retrieved 16 August 2014 via YouTube.
  12. Paul Foot (11 December 2015). "Paul Foot Video Log – Intellectual Rigour". Retrieved 5 August 2016 via YouTube.
  13. "Paul Foot: Simple Pleasures" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 March 2012.
  14. MacInnes, Paul (11 September 2009). "Stewart Lee, Jack Whitehall and the trouble with copycat comedians". The Guardian. London.
  15. Dessau, Bruce (17 January 2008). "Cult stardom could be a hair's breadth away". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 19 December 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  16. Paul Foot (7 June 2012). "Paul Foot and Russell Brand Celebrity Coach Trip". Retrieved 16 August 2014 via YouTube.
  17. Donaldson, Brian (9 August 2010). "Paul Foot – Ash in the Attic". Edinburgh Festival. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  18. "Paul Foot & Noel Fielding". 17 August 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  19. "Buy Paul Foot Tickets for All 2014 and 2015 UK Tour Dates and Concerts". All Gigs. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  20. "Paul Foot – Ash in the Attic – Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2011". Archived from the original on 28 September 2013.
  21. Powder Blue Internet Business Solutions. "Paul Foot: Ash In The Attic' review : Chortle : The Australia and NZ Comedy Guide". Archived from the original on 18 September 2011.
  22. "Ash in the Attic CD". Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  23. "Show diary". 31 October 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  24. "Event Detail – The Paul Foot Experience – The Paul Foot Experience".
  25. Trueman, Matt (17 April 2012). "UK comedians lead the way at Melbourne festival". The Guardian. London.
  26. "Paul Foot – the comedian – at The Glee". The Birmingham Press.
  27. "Shop". 19 December 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  28. "Paul Foot: Kenny Larch Is Dead's description". Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  29. Kenny Larch is Dead, Paul Foot | Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2013 Archived 23 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  30. Trueman, Matt (13 May 2013). "Paul Foot wins Sydney Comedy festival's international award". The Guardian. London.
  31. Foot, Paul. "Paul Foot's Secret Shows". The Guild of Paul Foot Connoisseurs. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  32. "The Guild of Paul Foot Connoisseurs". Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  33. jfinchiva (13 July 2009). "Misty's Big Adventure – The Wising Up Song (part)". Retrieved 13 April 2017 via YouTube.
  34. "Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Series 25, Episode 5". BBC Two. 7 November 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  35. "Paul Foot". IMDb. 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  36. "The 50 Funniest Moments of 2010". IMDb. 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  37. "Last Comic Standing Finalist: Paul Foot". Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  38. "Paul Foot". Chortle: The UK Comedy Guide. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  39. Platt, Craig. "2011 Barry Award nominees". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  40. "Podcast homepage". 1 February 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  41. "Guild Lodge". Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  42. "Shop". 19 December 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  43. "Shop". 19 December 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  44. Radio – The late show – talkSPORT – for men who love to talk sport | talkSPORT Archived 6 August 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  45. "Paul Foot Podcast".
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