Student doctor from Bedford wins major comedy award

The accolade has previously been bestowed on the likes of Joe Lycett and Phil Wang
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

A student from who fell in love with comedy when he was 12 has won the Chortle Student Comedy Award 2023.

Riki Msindo joins the likes of Joe Lycett, Jamali Maddix and Phil Wang who have also won the accolade.

Read More
Magic mind reading goose set to appear in Bedford this summer

The 24-year-old from Bedford battled through multiple heats to make it to the finals, where he faced nine of the UK’s best young comics – including fellow University of Bristol student Muhsin Yesilada.

“It felt incredible to win,” said Riki. “In comedy you do so many gigs – often after driving to the middle of nowhere – and a lot of the time you aren’t sure if you’re any good or if you’re progressing. The award was recognition that I’m actually entertaining people. I’ll really hold on to that.”

Riki fits in multiple gigs a week around his busy medicine degree. But long before he became a student at the University of Bristol, he was a student of comedy.

For his 12th birthday, Riki was taken to watch Trevor Noah, which sparked a life-long love of the artform.

Riki Msindo at the Chortle Student Comedy Award (Picture: Chortle)Riki Msindo at the Chortle Student Comedy Award (Picture: Chortle)
Riki Msindo at the Chortle Student Comedy Award (Picture: Chortle)

He has since consumed comedy voraciously, including watching all 245 episodes of the BBC’s Mock the Week “four or five times”.

“Name an episode and I can tell you the contestants and the jokes they made,” said Riki, who grew up in Zimbabwe and moved to Bedford when he was eight.

“My mum tells me the first thing I wanted to be was a comedian, but it was seeing Trevor Noah that really got me interested.

“The only other thing I’ve wanted to do is to work in medicine. When I was a kid I was burnt badly when some boiling water fell on me – I spent three weeks in hospital and learnt that this thing called medicine existed.”

Riki hosts a podcast called Oh Captain My Captain, where comic Mark Olver helps him navigate the highs and lows of starting out in comedy. He’s also performed around 150 gigs and supported Russell Howard and Nathan Caton.

Now graduating, Riki will continue gigging as he takes up his first job as a doctor in Brighton.

Related topics: