Flash interview: Jo Brand
|February 13, 2012||Posted by James Harle under entertainment, interviews|
Comedienne Jo Brand was recently asked by David Miliband to give the annual South Shields lecture at Harton Technology College. The lecture, instituted by Miliband in 2001, has been spearheaded in the past by personalities as diverse as Tony Blair, Bill Bryson and Patrick Stewart. Brand is known for her hilarious contributions on panel shows such as QI, as well as her unique approach to stand-up comedy. However, what she is less well-known for is her staunch support of the Labour party – and so I caught up with her for some lightning questions after the big event.
So, how does it feel to have entered the world of politics?
I haven’t just entered the world of politics! I’ve been a supporter of the Labour Party for a very long time.
You worked in a mental home in your younger years; were the two experiences similar?
Oh dear, “mental home” sounds positively Victorian. I worked in a 24-hour walk-in psychiatric emergency clinic. No similarities that I can think of.
Were there skills you could re-apply?
I suppose interpersonal skills are always useful in politics.
What do you think of Dave?
Dave? Do you know him personally? I think he’s a decent bloke who works very hard for his constituents.
Is he nice in person?
Yes, he is a very nice person.
You’re a labour supporter, of course – but you’re also a republican. Do you think that you’d make a good non-hereditary ruler?
Don’t be daft, of course not.
Was it nice, visiting the South Shields?
I actually visited somewhere called South Shields which is a town. Yes, it was great and everyone was very friendly and welcoming.
What do you think to the north in general?
I find the friendliness refreshing as Londoners tend to be somewhat reserved.
You’re a big fan of Countdown, I’ve heard – do you think Nick from The Apprentice makes a good host?
I’m too busy to watch Countdown at the moment, but I like Nick Hewer very much as I met him when I was doing The Apprentice for Comic Relief.
From your experience in comedy, can you divine any sort of principle of comedy?
Bloody hell, what a question. The main principle of comedy is “be funny” in my book. You can preach all you like, but if it isn’t funny people won’t laugh. Also, lots of different things make different people laugh, so there’s plenty of room for different types of comics.
What is the essence of being funny?
If I could tell you that I’d be a genius.
Your fans know a lot about foods that you like- but if you could erase three foods from the world, what would they be?
Gooseberries, gooseberries and gooseberries.
What one question have you always wanted to answer in interview, but you’ve never been asked?
What’s the capital of Peru? It’s Lima.
Jo will be touring again in 2012.