Witty, versatile and incredibly funny, James Acaster is one of Britain’s shinny lights in comedy. Also a writer and actor, he has performed for several years at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival and holds the record of being the only artist to earn five consecutive Forster’s Edinburgh Festival Award nominations for Best comedy show.
His 2013 show titled Prompt won him the New Zealand Comedy Guild Award for Best International Act. Similarly, he bagged the Best International Show Award of the New Zealand International Comedy Festival; this was for Recognize, his 2014 show. In addition to those, James received two Chortle Awards in 2015. Get details of his rise to fame and love life below.
James Acaster Began His Career as a Musician
James Acaster was born on the 9th of January 1985 in Kettering, England. He was raised in Kettering and attended Montagu Secondary School. After that, he moved on to Northampton College where he studied music. His musical career began with playing drums for several local bands within the Northamptonshire area. Some of the bands he played for are The Wow! Scenario, Three Line Whip, The Capri-Sun Quartet, Pindrop, and The New Hardcore Skiffle Movement. His stage name while he was with The Capri-Sun Quartet was William Strawberry.
The Wow! Scenario split up after they began recording the album Stand in the Star in 2007. With that, Acaster decided to take up comedy while trying to figure out his next career move. In 2017, he announced that he had gotten back together with his The Wow! Scenario bandmates to complete the album they were working on.
Breakthrough in Comedy and Rise to Fame
Acaster’s career in comedy was in full swing by 2009. That year, he performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe alongside other comedians like Nick Helm and Josh Widdicombe. Acaster supported Josie Long while Long was on tour in 2010; he also supported Milton Jones in 2011 while he was on tour. That same year, he had his first solo show titled Amongst Other Things at the Edinburgh Festival. That’s not all, he also appeared on Good News Extra, One Night Stand from Bristol, Australia Versus, Chris Addison’s Show and Tell, in addition to being one of the hosts of My First Gig.
After a successful performance at the Edinburgh Festival in 2011, James Acaster went on to perform his solo show (Amongst Other Things) in a variety of venues in the United Kingdom the following year. In 2013, his show titled Prompt at the Edinburgh Festival turned out to be very popular among audiences and received positive reviews.
Prompt earned him a nomination for Best Comedy Show at the festival from the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards and by March 2013, he had performed it at 14 venues in the United Kingdom. December 2013 came and he won the Best International Act Award of the New Zealand Comedy Guild.
Respectively, James’ 2014 and 2015 shows titled Recognize and Represent earned him his third and fourth Best Comedy Show award nominations from Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards. He picked up a handful of other nominations and earned his fifth from Foster’s for Reset, his 2016 show.
Other things that firmly established his claim to fame were his book and Netflix show. The former titled James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes was published in 2017 and it made the Sunday Times bestseller list. His Netflix show, James Acaster: Repertoire, was released in 2018.
What We Know About James Acaster’s Love Life
James was in a romantic relationship with New Zealand’s comedian, Rose Matafeo. Matafeo is an accomplished comedian, writer, and performer in her own right with awards to her name. The relationship came to an end and Rose explained that it failed because Acaster was hardly ever around; he was always busy and engaged.
James Acaster has always been private about his love life but it wasn’t the case when his relationship with Louise Ford, another comedian fell apart. James openly discussed what he shared with Louise, asserting that his breakup with her left him devastated.
How The Relationship Affected His Mental Health
It is said that a string of tough career moments and his love life exposed James to some mental health issues. In the same year he broke up with Louise, he fell out with his agent and had to sign up for therapy to deal with his mental health challenges. According to James, he found out a year later via a newspaper that Louise left him for another comedian, Rowan Atkins.
James Acaster revealed that he had ignored his mental health for many years but had no choice than to seek help when he started drinking heavily and contemplating suicide. The comedian said he wouldn’t be dating anyone until he gets back to loving himself again.