What Josh Widdicombe learnt from The Simpsons, Friends and Father Ted

image captionJosh Widdicombe (centre) with his co-star Beattie Edmondson and Elis James

Josh Widdicombe says writing his first sitcom was the "toughest thing he's ever done".

The comedian's new BBC Three series, Josh, starts on Wednesday night. It focuses on how things go wrong for his character.

"It's loosely based on my stand-up and my failures as a human in my 20s," he tells Newsbeat.

Beattie Edmondson and Elis James play his two flatmates Kate and Owen, while Jack Dee plays their landlord Geoff.

image captionJack Dee stars as Josh's landlord Geoff

Josh admits to some nerves working alongside fellow comic Jack Dee.

"When you've got Jack Dee in a sitcom there's a lot of pressure on it to be good especially when you're putting words in his mouth.

"If Jack Dee's OK with it then I think you're fine."

The 32-year-old is better known for his stand-up and TV appearances on shows like The Last Leg.

"But you've got to do stuff you've never done before," he explains.

"I grew up watching The Office and Father Ted and all the British things at that time - The Royle Family - and the American ones like Friends, Frasier and The Simpsons."

So we got Josh to tell us what he learnt from a few of his favourite sitcoms.

The Simpsons

image copyrightFox/AP

"Stop after eight series - which I'm happy to. I've only done one. The Simpsons is still going and I've stopped watching.

"Don't want to get dweeby about it, but between series four and eight - when it was best - it was the best thing that's ever been written.

"I'll tell you what The Simpsons is really good at. They'll describe something, you don't see it, and it's funnier when you describe it.

"If I said, do you remember that time when your head expanded four times the size? It's funnier saying that than it is seeing it."


image copyrightGetty Images

"What I've learnt from Friends is don't let the characters get together because then it won't be as good afterwards.

"It was much better when Ross and Rachel, and Chandler and Monica, weren't together.

"The moment Chandler and Monica were together, I kind of thought, 'This isn't as good.'

"Same with Niles and Daphne in Frasier."

Father Ted

image copyrightChannel 4

"Even in something surreal like Father Ted, everything has to logically follow, everything has to lead one to another.

"The moment the logic of a situation doesn't work then you might as well not bother because people have signed out."

The new Miranda?

So things going wrong for the main character, a title with one name... is Josh the new Miranda?

"I don't think we do similar things - she's far funnier. I'm really bad at selling stuff, aren't I?

"The problem is you can't come out here and say that it is, but then you can't say it's not because then it sounds like you haven't got confidence.

"It's the first Josh! Is that a thing? I hope it's the first Josh, otherwise we've stolen the title of something else completely!"

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