Universal truths as Tom comes to town with his utterly successful show

Tom Wrigglesworth
Tom Wrigglesworth

He looks distinctly odd, but Tom Wrigglesworth is essentially a gentle soul – a droll Yorkshireman who looks for the good in everyone.

His dry humour based on family foibles and everyday frustrations have already won him two acclaimed series on Radio 4, and he’s increasingly popping up on popular panel shows on radio and TV.

Now he’s on tour after a sellout run at the Edinburgh Festival and with a clutch of awards safely stored in his cupboard.

His latest set Utterly At Odds With The Universe explores his relationship with his grandad, and it’s coming to Old Town Hall next week.

Tom’s first breakthrough set was inspired by leading a consumer revolt against an officious Virgin Trains guard which struck a chord with stressed-out rail travellers everywhere.

After giving Richard Branson such a tough time, would he accept a free ticket on Virgin’s tourist trips to outer space for his trouble?

“Of course I would jump at the chance of riding in a Virgin space ship – but I’d be scared I got on the wrong one,” he muses.

“Imagine having to buy a peak time one way ticket to the moon – I’d have to sell the flat!

“Also the toilets are bad enough after a trip to Birmingham, the mind boggles….”

His most recent success was the radio series Hang-Ups, based around regular phone-calls home to his parents back in Sheffield.

His relatives don’t really mind him mining them for material, he says, and they do get themselves into all sorts of everyday scrapes to provide grist to his mill.

“My problem is I’ve got to write six more episodes for the new series,” said Tom.

“The first step is following my dad around like Richard Attenborough tracks a monkey, observing, noting, trying to get storyline ideas.”

If you like your stand-up in your face and full of fire, Tom’s not your man.

“I’m very gentle and soft when live,” he admits, although he warns that he is more than capable of handling an unruly stag do or hen night if required.

And despite his many successes and his growing reputation, he has another admission: “Just before I go on, I have a moment where I think I must be insane to do this, and look longingly at the audience with their normal lives and proper jobs.”

Tickets for the gig next Friday, April 4 at 8pm are £12, (£10 concessions and Dacorum Card holders) – call 01442 228 091 or visit toth.dacorum.gov.uk to reserve yours.