Jonathan Ross reveals his surprise role in launching Michael McIntyre's career

Jonathan Ross has revealed the role he inadvertently played in landing comedian Michael McIntyre his big break.

McIntyre is one of the most popular stand-up comics in the UK of his generation, and it now transpires we (kind of) have chat show host Ross to thank for years and years of lols.

Ross explained all during Channel 5’s Michael McIntyre: In His Own Words, revealing that his agent used him as leverage to get the then-unknown performer a slot in the Royal Variety Performance in 2006.

He said that his late agent, Addison Cresswell, who also represented McIntyre, told the show organisers that Ross would only host the show if they added ‘his favourite comedian … Michael McIntyre’, to the bill.

Ross said: ‘I mean, obviously, it was a nice thing to be asked – for me to do. I was riding fairly high at the BBC at the time but I share an agent with Michael.

‘Addison was a very brilliant man, and he’s sadly dead now, but he was a super, super-talented, brilliant agent.

‘As I understand it, he said to the BBC – he didn’t tell me this – he said ‘Jonathan will definitely host it for you but only if you take his favourite comedian at the moment, Michael McIntyre.

Ross added that ‘no-one ran this past me’ and that he had ‘no idea’.

‘I did like Michael a lot. I didn’t know that … and so I think there was a quid pro quo went on there.

‘I think Michael knew it was an important evening for him because he was going to be performing, potentially, in front of a far larger audience at home than he had ever been exposed to before.

Michael McIntyre: In His Own Words is a look back at the comedian and TV star’s career and life so far, documenting his early struggles through to his hugely successful sell-out arena tours.

Ross appears as a contributor alongside Eamonn Holmes, Marcus Brigstocke, Rob Rinder and Andi Osho.

McIntyre’s career saw such a stratospheric rise in under 10 years, he was named the highest-grossing stand-up comedian in the world in 2012.

As well as his stand-up success, he also hosts the hugely popular Michael McIntyre’s Big Show on BBC One.

Michael McIntyre: In His Own Words is on Channel 5 at 9pm on January 1

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