Comedy writer for TV, radio, stage and print
Hello, I’m Karl Minns
I’m a comedy writer for TV, radio, stage and print. I’m a third of Norfolk sketch duo The Nimmo Twins and also perform solo theatre shows. I’ve also been known to pop up in serious stuff on TV every now and again.
I’ve been writing comedy professionally for nearly twenty years, providing material for Loose Ends, Russell Howards Good News, Charlie Brooker, Unspun with Matt Forde, Al Murray the Pub Landlord and Have I Got News For You, amongst others.
I’m available for hire as a writer, voice-over artist and actor from here.
I’ve been a comedy fan as long as I can remember. I had a Penguin joke book when I was five (a book of jokes published by Penguin, as opposed to a book of jokes about penguins) and did my first stand-up gig aged about nine in front of my school friends. I died hard. So hard. Undeterred, I became a comedy anorak. J.B. Morton, Spike Milligan, Viv Stanshell, Galton and Simpson, Python, Eric Chappell, Ronnie Barker, Perry and Croft, Curtis and Elton, Linehan and Matthews and Fry and Laurie all informed my teenage years. I had my first gag published in Private Eye when I was fourteen and in my early twenties, was lucky enough to join a local theatre company that encouraged nascent writers. Through an uneven mixture of luck, work, good-timing, bad-decisions and fate I’ve ended up doing the job I’ve always wanted. (Actually, I wanted to be the bass player in Talking Heads, Marillion or The Cure, but those jobs were taken).
The Nimmo Twins
The Nimmo Twins began life in 1996, when Owen Evans and Karl Minns along with Nigel Woolston, teamed up after working together in local theatre groups in Norwich.
Their first Edinburgh Festival show, 1997’s Posh Spice Nude! gained them four star reviews and lead to three appearances on BBC1’s The Stand Up Show, with Ardal O’Hanlon. The 1998 Edinburgh show, Charged and Sentenced, sold out its entire run at the Pleasance Theatre and was awarded five stars from The Scotsman and The Guardian, who added “The intelligence of this show’s writing ought to produce mass gory hari-kari amongst stand-up comedians”.
Karl and Owen became regulars on Radio 4’s Loose Ends, presented by the late great Ned Sherrin broadcasting live from Studio B13 at Broadcasting House. The boys also made appearances on Loose Ends from the Glastonbury Festival, Bristol Old Vic, Glasgow and Paris.
In 1999, The Nimmo Twins’ returned to Edinburgh with a new show and received another five-star review with The Scotsman calling it “anarchic, off-the-wall and eye-poppingly innovative”. The show’s success lead to a week-long residency in New York’s Soho Theatre, at the behest of NBC Television. In 2000, The Nimmo Twins starred in their first Radio Four series, The Nimmo Twins In…, which was recorded in front of audiences at both the Edinburgh Festival and the BBC Radio Theatre.
In 2000, the boys performed a week-long sell out run at the Singapore Comedy Festival, returning in 2002 for another sell-out week. The same year, their second radio series: The Rapid Eye Movement, starring Martin Freeman, was broadcast. Two more series followed and the series was nominated for The Douglas Adams Award for Radio Comedy. The same year, the boys also popped up on Radio Three in Shakespeare’s Fools with Joss Ackland, Roger Lloyd Pack and Sylvester McCoy.
In their native Norfolk, The Nimmo Twins sketch show, Normal for Norfolk, began in 1996. From humble beginnings in pub bars and foyers, the show has grown year on year, culminating in residencies at Norwich’s Playhouse Theatre and Theatre Royal. Their 20th anniversary show in 2016-17 sold out its entire run and was seen by over 17,000 people.
Photo: Theatre Royal.
Candice didn’t mind rowing with Judy. It was her use of thermonuclear weapons that she didn’t like. “Why is it that every petty little argument we have ends up with ten to fifteen million innocent people being vaporized?” Candice would ask. Calmed from her storm and...
Lucy only went with thin men: the thinner the better. She liked her guys to look like lab skeletons in flesh-coloured body suits. For her, there was nothing better than the sight and feel of elbows, ribs, tibulas, fibulas, sternums and vertebrae jutting through skin....
A short story by Karl Minns: Fed up with being set up on a succession of blind dates that went nowhere, Hal decided to change tack. “Mute dates?” asked his flat-mate. “No conversation”, explained Hal, “we communicate just with our souls”. The first date was with...
2001 Daily Telegraph Open Mic Award winner
2002 Douglas Adams Award nominee for The Rapid Eye Movement
2006 EDF Energy Regional Columnist of the Year winner.
2006 Press Gazette Regional Columnist of the Year finalist.
2009 Golden Rose of Montreux nominee for Russell Howards Good News
2011 Digital Broadcast Awards finalist for Russell Howards Good News.
2017 Norfolk Arts Awards People’s Choice winner for The Nimmo Twins.