His viral videos earned him a sell-out tour and a new late night TV show – can the character comedian become the Instagram era’s Chris Evans?
Two years ago, Mo Gilligan was selling jeans in the Levi’s store in Covent Garden. This month, he’s fronting – as creator, writer and host – his own Friday night entertainment spectacular on Channel 4. There are meteoric rises, and then there’s Gilligan’s, which has propelled him from DIY comedy videos via a sell-out tour to the bright new hope of weekend TV in the time it takes to wear out the knees on a pair of 501s.
No effort is being made to conceal that The Lateish Show – the Gilligan vehicle in question – aspires to be a TFI Friday for the Snapchat generation. And you can see why the south Londoner might be just the man to host it. His fast-track success was triggered by a series of character-comedy shorts filmed in his bedroom and posted online. He made them before his retail shift started at 4pm, snuck into the workplace loo to upload them, then logged on after work to gauge the reaction.