Rob Beckett admits 'animal' obsession with comparing himself to rival comedians

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·3 min read
Rob Beckett during the filming for the Graham Norton Show at BBC Studioworks 6 Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, to be aired on BBC One on Friday evening. PRESS ASSOCIATION. Picture date: Thursday February 14, 2019. Photo credit should read: PA Images on behalf of So TV (Photo by Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images)
Rob Beckett has confessed he used to be obsessed with comparing himself to rival comedians. (Getty Images)

Rob Beckett has admitted he developed an "animal" obsession in his early career with comparing himself to rival comedians.

The 35-year-old stand-up comic and TV presenter — who has just published new autobiography A Class Act — confessed he would trawl other comedians' Wikipedia pages to see if his career was going better than theirs.

Beckett told The Guardian he was an "animal", adding: "I’d read every comedian’s page on Wikipedia and I would judge myself against them. So, Russell Howard won that competition at the age of 25, after three years; I would think: ‘Brilliant, I am 24 and I won that after two years.’

Read more: Rob Beckett reveals secret mental health struggle: I wanted to die

"Honestly, it was a complete obsession.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Rob Beckett performs during  Absolute Radio Live at the London Palladium on November 25, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Rob Beckett began performing stand-up in 2009 and by 2012 had a successful TV presenting career. (Getty Images)

The London-born performer began doing stand-up in 2009 and became a co-host of ITV2 show I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here NOW! in 2012.

He has appeared on panel shows Mock The Week and 8 Out Of 10 Cats, narrated E4 show Celebs Go Dating and currently stars in his own Sky TV show Rob & Ramesh Vs with fellow comic Romesh Ranganathan.

Beckett admits he struggled academically at school and feels under constant pressure to be found funny, even by his own children.

He said: “My GCSEs were s***. I worked so hard. I’d go to after-school clubs, I’d get up at 8am on a Sunday. I was obsessed; this constant perfectionism. Even then, I got all Ds and Es.”

Rob Beckett with Paul, Prue and Matt.
Rob Beckett - who took part in 'The Stand Up 2 Cancer Bake Off' earlier this year - admits he feels under pressure to be funny all the time. (Channel 4)

Beckett co-hosts Lockdown Parenting Hell with friend Josh Widdicombe and revealed: “We had Jessie Ware on, and she was talking about singing to her kids. I realised that she would just beautifully sing to her kids. I’ve only ever sung to mine for laughs.

"And I thought, ‘God, some people’s first thought isn’t trying to be funny.’ That’s a different way to go about it, wandering about being pleasant and nice. What a waste of your life.”

The TV funnyman opens up about experiencing a mental health breakdown in his new book.

Read more: Josh Widdicombe learns he is related to Henry VIII on WDYTYA?

He said: "A lot of working-class men struggle with mental health and I think I can’t go out there and be Mr Jack the Lad, constantly on the telly, and not tell the truth of how I’m feeling.”

If you are in need of emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website, www.samaritans.org.

Watch: Rob Beckett documents his wild night out celebrating England's success in the Euros

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