Next 30: Elis James

Elis James, 36, is a Comedian and Radio DJ from Carmarthen, based in south London

Photo credit: Idil Sukan

To mark three decades of the IWA’s role in making Wales better, we decided to look forward to ‘the next thirty years’ by introducing some of the people who will be shaping ‘the Welsh agenda’ as the future unfolds. We have teamed up with PricewaterhouseCoopers and their #GreatWales campaign, which celebrates the ideas and people who contribute to the Wales of the future.


Elis James, 36, is a Comedian and Radio DJ

from Carmarthen, based in south London

I started doing stand up comedy in 2005, having worked for a homelessness charity after graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Modern History and Politics. Having written four stand up shows in English for tours and the Edinburgh Festival, and performing thousands of English gigs all over the world, in 2015 I wrote my first stand up show in Welsh, which is my first language.

The follow up to that will be recorded later this year and is being written at the moment. I’m filming the third series of the BBC3 sitcom Josh this summer, and I’ve just finished a tour based on the Saturday afternoon Radio X show I do with my friend and fellow comedian John Robins. I feel hugely lucky to be making sitcoms, as it’s been my dream since I was very young: to act in a sitcom with my mates was one ambition; the other one is to write a sitcom of my own. In terms of stand up, writing the Welsh language show was a pivotal moment for me: I realised that you can’t turn a first language off, and I know now that I’ll be performing in Welsh for the rest of my career.


Each day, throughout the month of June, we are celebrating the exceptional people on the Next 30 list by publishing a short pen portrait here on Click on Wales, as well as raising their profile on Twitter using #IWAnext30 and #GreatWales to highlight the exciting contributions these people are making to Wales’ future.


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