He was born in Gants Hill, Redbridge and went to school in Ilford. Coming from a Jewish family, he regrets having been circumcised as a baby. He says he realised he was gay at puberty but only came out aged 20.
He has appeared on various TV shows, including Popworld and the pop music panel game Never Mind the Buzzcocks. He won the 2006 Royal Television Society Award for Best Entertainment Performance. In December 2007, he won two British Comedy Awards for Best Comedy Entertainment Personality and Best Comedy Entertainment Series for Never Mind the Buzzcocks.
He was listed number 36 in the Pink List 2010. The citation said:
- "Only 30, Amstell is the king of the withering observation, but has put the music-panel show Never Mind the Buzzcocks behind him to focus on acting and performing. He's written and stars in an upcoming BBC sitcom, Grandma's House, and his live DVD is out in November."
- http://www.simonamstell.co.uk/ Simon Amstell's website
- http://www.gigglebeats.co.uk/2012/05/simon-amstell-numb-tyne-theatre-newcastle/ Andrew Dipper, "Simon Amstell: Numb;– Tyne Theatre, Newcastle" Giggle Beats;– The Independent Northern Comedy Guide 16 May 2012.
- http://www.ygm.org.uk/home/comingout/simonamstell/ "YGM:Coming Out: Simon Amstell" THT
- http://www.rts.org.uk/Information_page_+_3_pic_det.asp?id=34868&sec_id=906 RTS Archive