Jack Whitehall has admitted that he used to put on a mock-Cockney accent on stage when he did stand-up comedy.
The comedian first found fame as a presenter and comedian in 2008, quickly becoming known for his posh accent. This was cemented when he was cast as entitled university student JP in the Channel 4 sitcom Fresh Meat.
In the first episode of his new Audible podcast Jack Whitehall’s Safe Space, the comedian recalled how he used to wear a parka and “talk like Danny Dyer” during his early stand-up career, out of fear of sounding like a “posh t***”.
“For the first couple of years, [I] was doing an act where I was in-between styles,” Whitehall told guest Russell Howard.
“I used to go on and talk like a Cockney because I was very worried about the first impressions I would have on-stage with an audience. I was worried about being posh, so I would go on and talk like Danny Dyer.”
Whitehall said that he would practise his set “in a geezer accent”, adding: “To be fair, back then I spoke a bit more like a geezer.
‘I did it really deadpan at the beginning to try and be like Jack Dee and then I used to come on in a parka and do it in a Cockney accent because I was just so worried about going on and being like, “Hello!” and them all being like, ‘Who’s this posh t***?’”
He joked: “It took me a long to realise that actually, maybe ‘who’s this posh t***?’ is what I should start with.”
In an interview with The Independent last year, Whitehall said that he’d “mined that posh bit for the best part of a decade”.
Discussing start out in comedy, he said: “I thought that I might get a slightly easier time from the audience at a comedy club in Oldham if I didn’t sound like one of the Conservative Party. I thought maybe I could avoid getting a pint thrown at my head.”