Written by Standard Issue


Getting to Know You… Rachel Fairburn

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 Rachel Fairburn.

Rachel FairburnName: Rachel Fairburn

Location: Manchester

Official job title: Comedian

What was the first thing you wanted to be? A jockey.

When did you know you wanted to be what you are now? Probably when I was about 23. My mum had always said I’d be good at standup and nagged me to do it, so I eventually relented and gave it a go.

What’s your strongest memory from school/education? I found school tedious as I only liked English lessons, so most of my memories are either the annual trips to Alton Towers or the various occasions I was told off in maths class for messing about. Looking back, school was boring but a laugh riot. I think I miss it now.

When you’re not working, what else do you like to do? I love writing, whether it be for work or in my spare time so I’m always working on something. I read, watch horror films and frequent local ale houses. Frequently.

What has been your proudest creative moment to date? There’s a couple. Performing my first hour of standup at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe. When I started comedy I never thought I’d have 10 minutes of material, let alone an hour so it felt like a great achievement.

I’m also very proud of the podcast I do with Kiri Pritchard-McLean. It’s called All Killa No Filla and every episode we discuss a different serial killer. It’s amazing (and concerning) how many people love it.

What was your favourite day at work? Again, so many. A recent one is when I went to London with two of my comedy pals, David Stanier and Danny Sutcliffe. We write and perform sketches as Your Kids and we were doing a competition at the Leicester Square Theatre. We didn’t win but I had possibly the best laugh I’ve had since maths class.

“At the moment I feel success is getting paid to do something you love. Further ahead I will see it as having enough money to have a fridge full of M&S food every week.”

What would you like to erase from your past? Nothing. Not even dreadful mistakes. I like to look back on things and think, “Well, that was weird.”

What brings you the most joy? Friends, pubs, having a laugh and performing. I’m also a huge Oasis fan so if I’m with pals in a pub and Oasis are on the jukebox, I’m in my element.

What makes you angry? Classism. There’s a lot of it about. I also find the north-south divide we have in this country frankly bizarre.

Professionally, who has been your biggest inspiration? I don’t really have inspirations, I admire people’s achievements. I love Micky Flanagan and admire the fact he grafted for 10 years on the circuit before hitting the big time.

Have you ever met someone who made you go weak at the knees? Ha! Yes. But I’m definitely not telling.

What advice would you give a woman who wants a career like yours? Don’t think about it, just do it. There’s enough obstacles in the way without creating your own. Work hard, write and enjoy it. Oh, and don’t compare yourself to others. Ever.

How do you define success? At the moment I feel success is getting paid to do something you love. Further ahead I will see it as having enough money to have a fridge full of M&S food every week.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever had? Be yourself and write what you know.

rachel1What’s your favourite photograph of yourself? This is me aged about one or two at the front door of my grandparents’ house.

Where did you go on your favourite holiday? Memphis, Tennessee. I’m a big Elvis fan.

Who can’t you live without? I certainly wouldn’t do well without her advice so I’ll say my mum. Note to Mum: Don’t worry, I won’t follow you immediately into the afterlife. I’ll give it about 20 years.

What can’t you live without? Good times.

Who is your favourite person? Too many to choose from. Plus I change my mind like the wind. I’d best not say.

Who are you calling a dik?

Who are you calling a dik?

Who’s your favourite animal? DIK-DIK.

Which song could be used to soundtrack your life so far? All These Things That I’ve Done by The Killers.

What are your favourite three articles at Standard Issue (written by other people)?

I like anything written by Dotty Winters and Lou Conran. I also enjoy QOTM as it’s always entertaining.

Which question would you have liked to have answered in this questionnaire, but weren’t asked? What’s your favourite horror film?


Listen to Rachel and Kiri Pritchard-McLean’s podcast, All Killa No Filla here.

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Written by Standard Issue