Written by Standard Issue


Getting to Know You… Maureen Younger

If you’re a regular visitor to Standard Issue, you won’t need telling that we’re lucky enough to have a cracking team of contributors who we love dearly. We thought it was about time we let them introduce themselves properly. Say hello to Maureen Younger.

Name: Maureen Younger, although my dad is convinced I’m called Mavis.

Age: Well, I’ve been 38 for most of this century, so I’ll stick with that.

Location: All over the place

Official job title: Standup comic, actor, writer, presenter. It depends who is asking.

What was the first thing you wanted to be? A nurse and then I realised I couldn’t stand the sight of blood.

When did you know you wanted to be what you are now? I didn’t. Someone suggested I should try standup and nagged me until I did it.

What’s your strongest memory from school/education? Arriving in Moscow as part of my Russian language course and being interrogated by a Red Guard at the airport. (It was then still the Soviet Union). It turned out all he wanted to know was why at the grand old age of 20 I didn’t have a boyfriend!

My friend has a cat with thumbs which is weird, especially when she opens the living room door by turning the door handle.

When you’re not working, what else do you like to do? I love lounging, reading, watching films and visiting friends. Not necessarily all at the same time.

What has been your proudest creative moment to date? Crying with Laughter which was a sell-out, West-End show in aid of the Helen Bamber Foundation. I organised it in association with Emma Thompson, and acts on the bill included Jo Brand and Jenny Éclair. Every single penny went to the charity. What’s more it was a fabulous night of comedy.

What was your favourite day at work? As a standup, it must be the mini tour I did of Cyprus. I spent most of the four days by the pool and only had to work 20 minutes a night. It’s times like that you really love your job.

What would you like to erase from your past? All the time I wasted procrastinating. I could have got so much more done.

What brings you the most joy? Time spent with old friends.

What makes you angry? Quite a lot of things. From injustice to people being foolhardy enough to try to push in front of me in a queue.

It turned out all he wanted to know was why at the grand old age of 20 I didn’t have a boyfriend!

Professionally, who has been your biggest inspiration? Katherine Hepburn, Jean Arthur, Joan Littlewood and Aphra Behn.

Have you ever met someone who made you go weak at the knees? No, but I live in hope.

What advice would you give a woman who wants a career like yours? Carry on regardless and don’t let the bastards grind you down.

How do you define success? On the most basic level when people call you for work rather than the other way round.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever had? Act today for a better life tomorrow. It’s actually a saying in French. (Agir aujourd’hui pour vivre mieux demain.)

What’s your favourite photograph of yourself? This is me in California during a round the world trip and having the time of my life.

Maureen does glam lounging in California, and she does it well.

Maureen does glam lounging in California, and she does it very well.

Where did you go on your favourite holiday? My favourite holiday was my round the world trip. It was one of the happiest times of my life. I went to Vienna, Australia, New Zealand, Cook Islands, Fiji, Tahiti, Moorea, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, LA and New York!

Who can’t you live without? My oldest friends and my dad, despite the latter insisting on calling me by the wrong name.

What can’t you live without? Money.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Having strong friendships that have lasted over three decades.

Who is your favourite person? The person who inspired me to be more creative in my life.

"Think of the havoc I could wreak if I had opposable thumbs" *evil laughter*

Tinker, showing off his door-opening capabilities


Who’s your favourite animal? I don’t have a favourite animal! Though my friend has a cat with thumbs, which is weird, especially when she opens the living room door by turning the door handle. I saw Shazia Mirza scream once watching it do that.

Which song could be used to soundtrack your life so far? This Woman’s Work by Kate Bush

What are your favourite three articles at Standard Issue?

Anything Jen Brister writes. She’s hysterical.

Julie Mayhew’s History of the Nazis in Pictures.

Kit Finnie’s The Quality of Mercy .

Which question would you have liked to answered in this questionnaire, but weren’t asked? Can we book you?

MY comedy

Maureen is MCing her show at the Kitchen Garden Café, on York Road,  Birmingham tonight. Doors open at 7pm for the MY Comedy Christmas Show with Annette Fagon and Mandy Muden. Tickets are £10/£8 concessions and are available via www.wegottickets.com/mycomedy  or the venue at [email protected]  or call 0121 443 4725.


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Written by Standard Issue