Rob spent the first twelve years of his life in West London, living near Heathrow Airport. Woo-hoo!
His primary school was progressive, and it is unclear whether this environment was what led to his understated but deep-rooted dislike of authority and resistance to proper jobs.
They certainly didn’t drum it out of him.
At twelve, Rob’s extrovert nature and love of a good quiz led to his first TV appearance, on the successful and well-known TVam game Crack It.
Rob was nervous, and didn’t do as well as he’d hoped he would.
That rubbish answer meant he didn’t win the fantastic star prize – a Sinclair ZX Spectrum – for his school!
In 1986 the Deering family moved to Oxfordshire, where Rob did a great deal in the way of drama and music, and very little in the way of hygiene and personal grooming. After failing to get famous in a variety of bands – Wax Lyrical, The Jemimah Stepdads, Giant, Silver, The Glass Needle, Galar – he focused on drama.
Rob’s theatre career continued on and off for nearly a decade, during which time he visited a lot of countries – he loved Sweden in particular, Belgium less so. Non-comedians sometimes express terror at the idea of getting up behind the mic in front of a drunken crowd on a Saturday night, but to Rob it feels like home compared to a Catholic school in Belgium on a November morning.
He first visited Edinburgh in 1992, and even lived there briefly ’94-’95, and still loves it, even if the residents may not feel the same way about him. He is, after all, English.
A brief spell writing theme tunes, pop songs and jingles combined with the love of a good woman to bring Rob back to London, where at the beginning of 2000 his stand-up comedy career began in earnest, although he had already spent a decade or so finding any excuse to get up on stage, leading, for example, to a legendary sing-a-long of the Home And Away theme tune late one night at the Edinburgh Festival in 1994.
In 2000-2001 his sets were memorable for featuring some top-notch falling over, but his trusty Stratocaster didn’t join the act until 2003
His first TV appearance was on RI:SE, far and away the best breakfast programme ever produced by Channel Four.
His debut was memorable for featuring some top-notch falling over.
But it was when Rob joined the intrepid cast of 99 Things To Do Before You Die (Five) that his Mum and Dad truly felt proud.
Meanwhile his stand-up act developed and spread, through a dozen countries, as many Edinburgh Festival shows and tours, and beyond the guitar. Now he’s a 21st Century one-man band – albeit avoiding the mouth-organ-on-a-frame, drums-tied-to-the-legs, borderline-nutjob cliche.
But what had happened to those dreams of quiz-based glory? Well, they never died. Rob contented himself with infrequent appearances at the Rose And Crown pub quiz.
As for falling over, Rob’s career in that area had its swansong with his appearance on Celebrity Total Wipeout in 2011 – now, as an achy quatrogenarian and keen mid-life-crisis-marathon runner, he’s hung up his… falling over equipment.
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