Simon Amstell to take new tour 'Numb' on the road in the UK and Ireland in 2012

Simon Amstell
Simon Amstell

The whole time that Simon Amstell has been dividing audiences with his occasionally challenging, often antagonistic leftfield style, he has, if we're honest, also been quietly and irritatingly brilliant.

His stewardship of Channel 4's flagship yoof telly vehicle 'Popworld', alongside the staggeringly bland Miquita Oliver, was so packed full of edgy, menacing cool that some viewers even bothered to watch the non-Amstell content.

As always with Simon Amstell, of course, there were just as many who thought his contributions defaced the otherwise respectable face of lightweight popular culture that 'Popworld' sought to exploit for commercial gain. If you're an Amstell fan or not can be neatly summed up by whether you find it funny that he made Britney Spears cry.

After Mark Lamarr left 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks', Simon Amstell eventually became the permanent new host. Despite the regular contributions of Phill Jupitus, with Amstell in the chair, 'Buzzcocks' entered a new, ever more popular phase that saw the show, and its host, hoovering up numerous comedy and broadcasting gongs before Our Simon moved on to pastures new. This week's offering with David Hasselhoff at the wheel and Noel Fielding riding shotgun shows just how much Amstell is being missed.

Still, the boy from Gants Hill had more to offer and with regular co-conspirator Dan Swimer, Amstell penned the hit BBC2 sitcom 'Grandma's House', where he plays a version of himself alongside a cast including Rebecca Front and Linda Bassett. Nominated for a British Comedy Award, 'Grandma's House' was quickly recommissioned and a second series is in production.

Simon Amstell, meanwhile, continues to juggle his writing commitments with a successful return to stand-up, where he began back in his teens. That might suggest the 31-year-old has come full circle but for Amstell, one suspects it is just another part of his cunning and irresistible plan.

After a series of sold out dates at The Invisible Dot earlier this year, Simon Amstell is all set to display his creative and vicious wares on his 2012 'Numb' tour. His logistical challenge begins in Dublin on 5th May, followed by over two-dozen more shows across the UK, including Bristol, Durham, Cambridge, Liverpool, Birmingham and finally, two shows at the Shepherd's Bush Empire on 8th and 9th June. There is another London show to consider - Richmond on 20th May.

We will have tickets for the Shepherd's Bush shows when they go on sale at 9AM on Friday 7th October, priced from around £23 - all remaining shows are either on sale now (most of them) or will be available by the weekend at the latest - keep checking back! Demand is expected to be high, pretty much across the whole schedule.

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