(‘reating comic history was never part of Cameron‘s masterplan. however. ‘I just wanted to have a show with my name on it.‘ says the diminutive stand—up over a Starbucks coffee in Belsize Park. the fashionable London quarter where her neighbours include Ben Iilton. Noel Gallagher and Jerome Flynn. 'When I first thought this tip three years ago. the British sitcom was a bit llat: there was Ali/'21!) btit there was jtist something lacking. I’ve always liked American sitcoms more because they‘re better at dealing with relationships and they concentrate more on dialogue and characters where the British ones were jttst a bit over the top.~

While no one could accuse leiiu of being ()TT. it does have its moments of

flightsome fancy: Rhona‘s best friend Lisa (Mel ‘.\’lel And Sue' (iiedroyc) has

an encounter with ()inar Sharif while she is letting off steam at the bottle bank. ‘My

writers and I simply find ()inai' Sharif

amusing; he‘s a ladies' man and of our mothers. generation. The only problem was trying to get a lookalike to play his mouth.‘

Musselburgh girl Rhona (‘ameron has had a yearning to perform for most of her 34 years. As a child. she would write poetry. ptit on plays in her back garden and create radio shows in her bedroom btit she was never graced with the major roles in school productions. 'l was never a looker. I was never a Ruth: that‘s the girl who got all the good parts. I was always the messenger or the housekeeper.‘

The first serious recognition she received came when she was aged ten and in the (itiides. ‘ITsually all you had to do to get your entertainer badge was to make a cup of tea for an old person btit I really went over the top. getting my mum to be my stage manager and doing impersonations of Jimmy (‘agney and

Max Bygraves. I really ptit an awful lot of

effort into it and took it all incredibly seriously.‘

While she was deadly serious about pursuing a career in entertainment. it didn’t always run smoothly. She received the fated rejection slip from the RSAMI) when she was eighteen and having moved to Iidinburgh. she went through a period of her life which makes it difficult for her to look forward to visiting home.

'W'hen I go back to lidinburgh I feel very disorientated and very confused about what I’m doing now and how old I am and what I used to do.‘ she says. 'When I lived there 1 was mostly very lost and isolated and very seriously drunk and otit of it for quite a long time. I don‘t remember an awful lot about how I conducted my relationships. other than

appallingly. how badly I treated myself

and other people. When I go back. I feel in a dark. alcoholic despair without even drinking and I feel very conftised. I go otit at nights and have dinner. maybe have a couple of drinks and when I‘m walking about the streets it feels like a dream: I have massively strange links with the place. and I feel very edgy there.‘

The state of British homophobia is another aspect of life which makes Rhona


(‘ameron uncomfortable. ‘I saw some signs at Iidinburgh Airport like “protect

our children" or something] she recalls of

a visit here during Brian Souter‘s Section 28 campaign. ‘To have someone like him fronting his own campaign against gay people and hating gay people that much so that they would spend every penny on it: there has to be some personal issue there. Things like that make me think things aren‘t any better.‘

So. while a very public lesbian getting her own mainstream comedy series may seem like an event to suggest a more relaxed and self-confident culture. you have to respect the views of someone who has been upfront about her sexuality since she was thirteen. ‘l)o I think you see gay people being represented more in advertising and the media‘.’ Yes. Was there an American lesbian who came otit on a TV show and then it didn't go anywhere and she lost advertising'.’ Yes.

‘I think people are more used to seeing gay people btit homophobia has got no better. I'm pretty confident in knowing that there are lesbians in the media that are scared to come otit and we’ve had the Soho bombing and Brian Souter. So. no I don‘t think it‘s any better. I would never ptit myself tip as a political hero. I see myself as an artistic person just trying to fulfil my own ambitions.~

Rhona starts on BBC2, Wed 19 Jul, 10pm.


Rhona Camera to put herself i

n isn't the first Scot n the sitcom firing

line. Here are a few Caledonian

comics who ha energise a kna ‘xVords: Brian Don

Rab C. Nesbit undoubted king Scottish e><istenti

angst had more strings to his philosophical

bow than there \

ve attempted to ckered form. aldson

The of alist


in his vest. Even when he became a

grandparent in tl

ie last series, he

continued Govan it his all.

Billy Long befor

SOCial coiiimenta just blame Pamel

e the days of Frasier, Seinfe/(l and Larry Sanders, the US sitcom was a wasteland of deeply non-ironic garbage. Into which sprang a Glasgow welder and once-edgy tor. Perhaps we can

a Stephenson.

All Along The Watchtower A non-

descript Saturday evening TV s( hedule

was complete wl this hobbled, nie briefly, onto our srreens. Almost i

Viewers take to their

nearest watt htoi. and leap from it

The Creatives

ien r( ifiilly



Jack Dochei‘ty and

Moray Hunter had already gone for the

postmodern El'l( ’n’ Ernie angle With their Absolute/y spin—off, nir (/on and mr george. More mainstream and less hilarious was this ’satire' on advertising agencies.

The High Life Alan Cumming

(pittiii‘edi and F0

rbes lvlasson were

more Joan Crawford and Bette Davis in their ()(tasionally funny satire on the air

stewarding biisin Siobhan Rediiion

j()|lt(?(l them in their

thesps' tea party prove that (oiiiet

tends to be better

served in the han (oinetlians,

ess. (l

to W

(ls of

67-20 Jul 2000 THE "ST 29