Written by Cariad Lloyd

Voices

Odd Job: Emma Freud

Cariad Lloyd didn’t become a character comedian until she was 27 – she didn’t even know it was a thing. In the first of a new series about unusual roles, she talks to script editor, producer and fundraising demon Emma Freud about her odd job(s).

Emma Freud and Kanye the rabbitEmma Freud is a script editor, broadcaster, writer, charity pioneer and also a bloody brilliant woman. If you want something done and you want it to be warm, witty and ridiculously dazzling we recommend you ask her, although she will modestly and hilariously disagree with your choice.

What did you want to be as a child?

A Blue Peter presenter. Didn’t everyone? I was desperate to do it – practised making the advent crown and everything. When I eventually auditioned for the show in my 20s I wrote a whole song for the audition trying to pitch myself as the dream candidate. Desperate much? It was tragic.

How would you describe what you do?

The short answer is I’m a mother. The longer one involves working at Comic Relief, co-producing movies, script editing, writing articles, broadcasting on Radio 4, presenting NT Live, some campaigning and activism, and a lot of time spent being in love with Mary Berry. People tend to glaze over when I answer this question.

“I started out licking stamps and am now director of Red Nose Day. I literally slept my way to the top.”

How did this become your job?

I don’t know. I don’t really know how anything in my life ended up being there. I was a not particularly good TV presenter who has spent the last 23 years not being married to Richard Curtis but creating a busy, messy, chaotic, interesting life with him. I began working at Comic Relief partly because of Richard. I started out licking stamps and am now director of Red Nose Day. I literally slept my way to the top. I can wholeheartedly recommend that route.

Has being a woman affected your work?

Being a mother has affected my work massively. From 21 June 1995, my priority has been my family and that affects every work decision I have taken. And although I haven’t travelled as much as I’d have liked or been free to explore as many jobs, it does make life simpler when there is an immovable unavoidable compelling centre to everything.

Emma Freud with Kanye the rabbitWhat’s the best thing about your work?

Working for myself so I can be flexible when things go tits up. That is such a massive privilege. Also working mostly from home, which means I can work in my pyjamas with extreme bedhead and no one knows. Apart from the guinea pig on my shoulder and rabbit [Kanye] on my lap, which is another great home-office perk. I feel I may be coming across as feral. Would this be a moment to mention I am an OBE?

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Never mention your OBE when you’ve just admitted to working in skanky PJs while covered in small animals.

@ladycariad

Cariad is part of improvised comedy troupe Austentatious!, who you can (and should) catch at the Udderbelly festival on 1 and 15 July. Click here for details or visit austentatiousimpro.com

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Written by Cariad Lloyd

Cariad is a comedian, actor, improviser and writer. Her dream is to one day pay off her student loan and to finally find the perfect concealer. @ladycariad