Rob Beckett has admitted he developed an "animal" obsession in his early career with comparing himself to rival comedians.
The 35-year-old stand-up comic and TV presenter — who has just published new autobiography A Class Act — confessed he would trawl other comedians' Wikipedia pages to see if his career was going better than theirs.
Beckett told The Guardian he was an "animal", adding: "I’d read every comedian’s page on Wikipedia and I would judge myself against them. So, Russell Howard won that competition at the age of 25, after three years; I would think: ‘Brilliant, I am 24 and I won that after two years.’
"Honestly, it was a complete obsession.”
The London-born performer began doing stand-up in 2009 and became a co-host of ITV2 show I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here NOW! in 2012.
Beckett admits he struggled academically at school and feels under constant pressure to be found funny, even by his own children.
He said: “My GCSEs were s***. I worked so hard. I’d go to after-school clubs, I’d get up at 8am on a Sunday. I was obsessed; this constant perfectionism. Even then, I got all Ds and Es.”
Beckett co-hosts Lockdown Parenting Hell with friend Josh Widdicombe and revealed: “We had Jessie Ware on, and she was talking about singing to her kids. I realised that she would just beautifully sing to her kids. I’ve only ever sung to mine for laughs.
"And I thought, ‘God, some people’s first thought isn’t trying to be funny.’ That’s a different way to go about it, wandering about being pleasant and nice. What a waste of your life.”
The TV funnyman opens up about experiencing a mental health breakdown in his new book.
He said: "A lot of working-class men struggle with mental health and I think I can’t go out there and be Mr Jack the Lad, constantly on the telly, and not tell the truth of how I’m feeling.”
If you are in need of emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email email@example.com, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website, www.samaritans.org.
Watch: Rob Beckett documents his wild night out celebrating England's success in the Euros