Ooh, she’s got a dirty mouth on her, that JENNY ECLAIR, and it’s heading our way soon. Words: Allan Radcliffe

here‘s definitely such a thing as an interviewer’s nightmare: that moment of shivering fear when the entertainer you‘ve loved and admired for years responds to your incisive. wide-open questions with monosyllabic


brevity. And then there‘s Jenny Eclair. whose generous

verbosity knows no bounds. No sooner have we exchanged verbal bows and curtseys on the phone than the world's first and only solo female Perrier Award-winning comic has launched into a grimly graphic description of the sickness that’s confined her to a chaise longue. ‘l‘m feeling a bit better now. though.’ she confides. ‘l‘ve summoned up the strength to have my first cigarette of the day.‘

Since scooping the coveted comedy prize in 1995. Eclair’s career has become as busy as her industrious tongue. She‘s toured widely. dabbled in acting. receiving plaudits for her performances in stage shows such as Mum's the Word and The Vagina Monologues. She even took time out two years ago to become a turban- clad lady novelist. the fruit of her scribblings being the fizzy. entertaining Cambertve/l Beauty. The peroxide funny girl is also one of those game souls who'll pop up as a pundit on every light entertainment chat show UK television has to offer. sometimes blethering wittily from This Morning in the early hours to V (Ira/1am Norton at night.

‘I find myself on the substitute‘s bench quite a lot with those programmes.‘ she admits. like when Adam Ant went mad in the dressing room on Richard and Judy. and they needed a replacement or when Britney Spears missed her plane before Graham Norton. 1 got the calls because I live in the area. The truth is. I like a lot of variety because I‘ve got a very low boredom threshold. In fact I'm auditioning for second cow in an Anchor butter advert soon.‘

One television phenomenon Eclair‘s loathe to turn her talents to is a reality show. Having turned down two series of I'm a Celebrity Get

Me Out of Here (‘l‘d jUst look too shit with my hair

scraped back and no make-up‘) she was almost tempted by an effort on channel five which would have involved having her bowels irrigated on air. In the end. Tamara Beckwith and Kim Wilde were among those who said yes.

‘I think reality TV is kind of inevitable for me at


Jenny the docks :

The Middle Aged Bimbo comes to town

some point.‘ she admits. ‘lt‘s either that or panto. Mmmmmn . . . maybe I could play Snow White.’

liclair does. however. speak very enthusiastically of

her lengthy spell on the London stage. joining the glittering likes of Naomi Campbell as part of the Vagina it/Ionologuex stage phenomenon (‘Yes. I became very involved in my vagina for a long time.‘ ). She was particularly enamoured of her co-star. the diminutive thesp Miriam Margolyes.

‘01]. I‘d work with Miriam again at the drop of a hat. She’s the only woman I know who can fart louder than I can.‘ With that difficult second novel and the acting on the

months. liclair is about to embark on her first stand-up tour in ages with a reworking of last year‘s fringe show Middle Aged Bimbo. So. does she relish a return to live comedy?

'Well. it‘s more a case of I can still do it. and I haven‘t really worn the juice out of that show yet. And my management are very greedy. so everyone‘s a winner.‘

Falkirk Town Hall, Fri 14 Nov; Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, Sat 15 Nov.

back burner for a couple of


Gigs, gags and glugs . . .

IT'S BEEN SUGGESTED THAT there are simply too many stand- ups in the world. But that‘s just nonsense. We need more. And better ones. So. a new weekly Glasgow comedy night will give budding gagmeisters the chance to take the plunge and make it on stage for the first time. Bed Raw will run at the Stand Comedy Club every Tuesday night with each show featuring eight beginners getting a chance to roadtest their perfect heckler put-down. The best of the debutantes are assured regular opportunities to work at the club.

THERE MAY BE SOME CRUEL wags out there who would suggest that all three are diving into bed together to save their flagging reputations. Others will be absolutely delighted that Steve Coogan, We Reeves and Bob Mortimer are teaming up for a new ITV comedy show. Yes, you read that properly, that’s ‘ITV’ and ‘comedy’, both in the same sentence. The All Star Comedy Show has just been commissioned by lTV1 bosses and will be written by and star the trio.

AND ANOTHER FUNNYMAN turning his substantial comic talents towards the box once again is Johnny Vegas. who has signed an exclusive deal with the BBC to develop his own comedy series. A six-part show is being t0uted with an intriguing contribution being made by Nottingham film director Shane Meadows. A pilot episode of the as yet untitled programme will be screened on BBC2 next year. ‘l‘m chuffed at the prospect of working with such established and original folk and proud to spearhead any idea that focuses on Northern talent.“ breathed Vegas.

V8.8 on

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