Jimeoin: ‘People connect emotionally’

Jimeoin comes to the Nuffield Theatre
Jimeoin comes to the Nuffield Theatre
The Amazons at The Engine Rooms, Southampton, October 13, 2017. Picture by Sarah Gerrish

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It turns out, however, that he was actually born in England, in Leamington Spa.

‘My parents were from Ireland, but they were living in England when I was born,’ he explains.

The family moved to Portstewart in Northern Ireland when he was one, hence the strong Irish accent, which has not been worn away despite living down under for the last 25 years.

The amiable 49-year-old is now making waves in the UK thanks to his memorable stand-up appearances on TV shows such as Live at the Apollo, The Royal Variety Performance and Sunday Night at the Palladium. His relaxed, acute humour about the smallest details of human behaviour has struck a big chord with everyone.

He says he could probably do a whole performance about eyebrows, but he has other things to chat about too. His riff about washing machines, giving them human characteristics, is also a showstopper.

While his jokes go down a treat, his name confuses people. Jimeoin’s mother apparently could not decide on what to call him and so combined his two grandfathers’ names – James (Jim) and John which is Eoin in Galic and invented a whole new name. 

His easy-going everyman style probably comes from the fact that he is well-travelled and had proper jobs before getting into stand-up.

After Portstewart he lived in south London for a while and was a gardener, a carpenter and a builder. There was no showbiz gene in his family.

‘My father was a plasterer and my mother was a teacher,’ he recalls. He was always making his friends laugh at school though.

‘I thought I was funny, but I never thought I could turn it into a job. Even now it surprises me I’m doing it as a job.’

The move to Australia changed his life in more ways than just getting a sun tan and a career. He married Catherine and now has four children, three girls and a boy between two and 13, at home in Melbourne. Gigs to packed theatres must be easy after dealing with a full house of children. He says that when he is touring ‘it is just a joy to be away’. He misses them really, of course.

With the arena-filling rise of the likes of Michael McIntyre, Micky Flanagan and Jason Manford, the world seems to have caught up with Jimeoin’s ‘have you ever noticed?’ observational take on behaviour.

‘Observational? I didn’t know it had a name to it,’ he laughs. ‘The fact that it became popular was because it was what most people found funny. People connect with it on an emotional level.’

‘Sometimes I come up with something that seems so obvious I can’t believe it has never been done before.’

Jimeoin is at The Nuffield Theatre in Southampton on Sunday, February 15. Doors 7.30pm. Tickets cost £17. Go to nuffieldtheatre.co.uk