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Stand-up comic Matt shows Xtra talent as TV presenter
AFTER growing up in Didcot, Matt Richardson has enjoyed a whirlwind journey from stand-up comic to flying first-class to Antigua with Take That singer Gary Barlow.
Now the 22-year-old from the Ladygrove estate is presenting the latest series of ITV2’s The Xtra Factor after the show’s producers spotted his talent on stage.
He is hosting the show with Caroline Flack, who presented ITV2’s I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here NOW! from 2008 to 2010 and has fronted The Xtra Factor since 2011.
It was a far cry from March last year when he was “miserable” after quitting his publishing degree at Oxford Brookes University.
Mr Richardson, a professional stand-up comedian, said: “I fell into presenting by accident. I was doing stand-up comedy sets when I got an email from an agent saying they wanted to meet me.
“So I went and met the executive producer of the show and I got a call straight away saying they wanted to me to do a screen test with Caroline.
“Two weeks later I got offered the job. I was the underdog as I had no presenting experience and I was up against some more high-profile candidates.”
Mr Richardson, who went to St Nicolas Primary School in Abingdon and then St Birinus School in Didcot, said: “I never did much acting while I was at school. The only stuff I ever did was when I had to do it for the school play.
“I was always a bit chatty at school and so I don’t think my teachers will be surprised I’ve ended up doing presenting on TV.”
After St Birinus, he went to Oxford Brookes to study publishing.
He said: “I never really wanted to go to university and I used to live at home and commute in. I was quite miserable and it wasn’t really for me.”
But Mr Richardson soon found an area where he excelled – stand-up comedy.
He said: “I’d always wanted to give it a go so I signed up for a comedy night at Brookes.
“I remember my first gig was in front of about 20 people and I really enjoyed it.
“I did more shows and I got to the final of the university stand-up competition. I then started to get paid work and got into bigger venues.
“Eighteen months after I began stand-up, I turned professional and a month after I left Brookes, I was signed up by an agent.”
He said there were different challenges doing stand-up compared to presenting and added that he had been “thrown in the deep end” on The Xtra Factor.
He said: “On the first day of auditions in Glasgow, I had to start doing interviews at 9am and I basically had to sink or swim.
“Luckily, I picked it up quite quickly and it’s a really great show to be a part of.”
The show goes out on Saturdays on ITV2 between 9.50pm and 10.50pm and on Sundays from 9pm-10pm.
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