Simon Marc Amstell (born 29 November 1979, Gants Hill, Essex) is a BAFTA nominated, award-winning English comedian, television presenter, screenwriter and actor, best known for his roles as former co-host of Popworld, former host of Never Mind the Buzzcocks and co-writer and star of the sitcom Grandma's House.
Amstell's first television appearance was in 1993 when he appeared as a contestant on the Channel 4 game show GamesMaster. He also appeared on Good Morning with Anne and Nick doing an impression of Dame Edna Everage, and in a 1994 episode of Family Catchphrase. In the latter, he described himself as a budding magician and showed one of his tricks to the presenter, Andrew O'Connor, who was himself a magician. Amstell and his family won a television and a video recorder.
Amstell started performing on the comedy circuit when he was in his early teens and later became the youngest finalist of the BBC New Comedy Awards. His first professional television appearance was in 1998 as a presenter on the UK children's channel Nickelodeon. He claims he was sacked for being "sarcastic and mean to children although the potted biography on his website also, jokingly, claims:
"He started his TV career at Nickoledeon where he was fired for making pop stars uncomfortable. He then began presenting the Channel 4 show, Popworld – where he gained a huge following for his groundbreaking work in making pop stars uncomfortable
The culture in which he was raised (Judaism) and his sexuality (he is openly gay) figure occasionally in his work.
Amstell also performs as a stand up comedian. He has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe every August 2005–2007 and 2009. He has also appeared at the Carling Festivals in the Cabaret and Comedy tent for the last two years. In 2008, Amstell completed his first UK tour. He appeared at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal in July 2009. His entire run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2009 at the Bongo Club sold out. He took part in his second national tour in the autumn of 2009.
Amstell performed 'Do Nothing' in 2009 at the Royal Court Theatre, raising money for their young writers programme.
In May 2010, Amstell recorded 'Do Nothing' in Dublin's Vicar Street venue for a November DVD release. In December 2011 and April 2012 it was shown on BBC3 and shown on the BBC iPlayer.
In April 2012, Amstell will be performing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. From May to June 2012, he will be touring the UK. Amstell is calling the tour Numb.