Jeff Innocent is a popular and experienced stand up comedian, actor, writer and cultural commentator. As a stand up comedian he has reached near legendary status among his peers and audience alike by staying at the top of his game for over 15 years. He was voted Runner Up in the Facebook Poll for Best Live Club Comedian 2013 and 2014, won Best In Fest at the Norwich Comedy Festival 2014 and was nominated in the 2015 Chortle Awards Best Live Club Act catefory. His unique appeal lies in the contrast between his East End ‘Geezer’ appearance and demeanour, and his educated, philosophical delivery and subject matter. Inspiring the guardian to describe him as a comedian with, ‘The body of a nightclub bouncer and the brains of a university boffin’.
He continues to cement his position within the premiership of British comedians with his weekly performances at clubs like Jongleurs and The Comedy Store, featuring in the 2013 movie, The Comedy Store, Raw and Uncut. He has also taken one man shows to The Edinburgh Fringe.
The spread of the comedy circuit globally has found Jeff performing in such unlikely and far flung locations as China, India, Norway and Vietnam to name but a few.
His recent acting credits include appearances in the children’s TV programme, Little Howards Big Question and BBC’s extremely popular historical drama series, Call The Midwife.
As a writer he has contributed to a number of publications and websites such The Independent, The Ecologist and London Is Funny, on a wide range of topics including environmental issues, history and music. He also lectures on stand up comedy at The London Comedy School.
Born in East London during the mid 1950’s, Jeff Innocent grew up in a family whose entrepreneurial spirit and activities were not always considered acceptable by the police. He managed to avoid going in to the family business however by taking a keen interest in youth theatre and Jamaican music. He took part in many productions as a teenager, primarily with the East End Soapbox Theatre, a collective which also spawned performance poet John Hegley. But it took over twenty years before he was to tread the boards again as a comedian.
After leaving school his first job was as a windowdresser in the mens fashion trade working in London’s trendy Kings Road and Carnaby Street during the early 1970’s until the early 1980’s when he became a mature student at the University of East London studying philosophy and history, achieving a BA Hons and an MA. He maintained his interest in Jamaican music by DJ’ing and contributing to fanzines during this period. His post graduate dissertation topic being, The History of Jamaican Music. He financed his studying by working in the fashion industry at Camden Market and High Street Kensington.
It was after his experience at University that he decided to try stand up comedy, something that he had wanted to do for some years. His initiation was at a workshop in Stratford East London run by the God Father of Alternative Comedy, Tony Allen. Although being a stand up comedian and actor dominates much of Jeff’s time he still maintains an interest in music and popular culture. He still lives in the East Send with his partner of 23 years, the youngest of his four children and his two whippets. But not necessarily in that order.