Get back to nature with this season’s best coats. Comedian Jack Whitehall shows you how.
“How about ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’?” says Jack Whitehall, helpfully suggesting possible headlines for this article. “Wait, that makes me sound really bad. Erm, ‘master of… some’?”
Still only 24, Whitehall is already a seasoned stand-up comedian and panel show regular, with slots on Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo and 8 Out of 10 Cats under his belt, and a regular spot on the latest series of James Corden’s sporting quiz show A League of Their Own. “How about ‘50 Shades of Whitehall’?” he proffers.
With an agent father and actress mother, Whitehall comes from show business stock — but it was only in 2011 that he began adding professional acting credits to his precociously overstuffed CV.
He appeared in Fresh Meat (the university campus sitcom created by Peep Show writers Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain), and Whitehall’s performance as petulant ex-public schoolboy JP proved to be the series’ breakout talking point, winning critical plaudits and a Best TV Comedy Actor nomination at the British Comedy Awards.
Unashamedly posh, gallingly young, in theory it seems easy to dislike Whitehall. In practice, however, he’s a winning proposition — he uses his privilege to his advantage, like Boris Johnson, and delivers his stand-up with an energetic, theatrical, self-deprecating zeal. It’s almost impossible not to be won over and his role as a mainstay in the firmament of mainstream British comedy seems increasingly assured.
Sitcom versus stand-up — does Whitehall have a preference? “Well, there’s a real sense of camaraderie with sitcoms,” he says. “I love stand-up, but the process of writing is a little more lonely. I want to keep doing both, though.”
For now, that plan seems to be working — Whitehall is busier than ever. He’s releasing his first DVD, he’s written and starred in his own BBC3 sitcom Bad Education, in which he plays Alfie, “the worst teacher ever to grace the British education system” (it’s recently been re-commissioned for a second series), and he’s starting to plot his 2013 live stand-up show.
And now, following his Esquire shoot, might Whitehall also find the time to pursue professional modelling as well? “Erm, not really. The clothes are nice, but I have to fight the compulsion to gurn in photos.” Ah. “And to be honest, in real life I just tend to wear black most of the time, like Queen Victoria. Ooh, how about ‘Once You Go Jack, You Never Go Back’?”
Jack Whitehall Live is available on DVD from November 19th
It’s fine to wear a properly practical, rambler-style coat so long as you keep everything else very simple. This shearling-collared windbreaker from Timberland works just as well on a hike as it does with a pair of jeans and a shirt; just keep the rest of your outfit dark.
Quilting is big news this season with brands like Burberry Prorsum, Giorgio Armani and Bosideng all getting in on the trend. The key item is a quilted blazer, but if you’re yet to be convinced, opt for Victorinox’s understated black padded jacket, instead. Team with brighter shades and bold patterns to pep up the look.
Photography by Dan Burn-Forti
Fashion by Gareth Scourfield
Words by Max Olesker