Written by Standard Issue


Q&A: Jenny Eclair

In the lead up to our big Standard Issue Stands Up For Comic Relief gig on Monday 11 May at the Lyric, Shaftesbury Avenue, we’re asking each of our line-up a few questions. Today we’re having a chinwag with brilliant, nay, award-winning gobshite Jenny Eclair.

Jenny EclairWe’ve been merrily banging on about our brilliant forthcoming gig for Comic Relief (Monday 11 May, The Lyric, Shaftesbury Avenue, ON SALE NOW). And yes we’re biased, but it is one hell of a bill: Sarah Millican, Jo Brand, Jenny Eclair, Katherine Ryan, Susan Calman, Jessica Fostekew, Sara Pascoe and Holly Walsh. And there are still more names to be announced.

Along with Jo Brand, former punk poet Jenny Eclair was one of the first women to break into the standup comedy boys’ club, bagging the Perrier in 1995 – the first female solo act to do so. Her caustic, brutally honest, potty-mouthed comedy has made her a Marmite standup. Standard Issue bloody loves Marmite.

Eclair is a proud founder of the Grumpy Old Women TV series and live shows (with whom she’s currently on tour). Other small screen highlights include I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here – about which she penned a brilliant piece for SIM.

What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you onstage?

I do like a standing ovation – even if in reality it’s just people getting up to leave at the end of the gig.

Where do you get your inspiration for material? 

From the depths of my soul, the scrapings of my brain and the back of the bus.

When did you realise you were a feminist?

I just took it for granted, but actually I was lousy at it until I hit middle age.

Which women have inspired you and how? 

Any stroppy old bat that refuses to take any rubbish does it for me.

If you could befriend anyone from history, who would it be and why?

I’d like to have hung out with Leonora Carrington.

What were you like as a kid?

A show-off.

What brings you joy?

My family being safe; an unusual bird in the back garden; swimming; sketching – a fuck-off view of the sea; St Ives; flowers; the sight of my daughter’s peroxide head; posh crisps; a good book in a hot bath; getting laughs; a curtain call; a soft mattress; America’s Next Top Model.

Please could you share the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given. 

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

What’s always on your ‘to do’ list that never gets done?

Dentist and the gym.


Most people are well aware of the vital work Comic Relief does at home and overseas, but might not be as aware of the work it does with women. All the money raised by Standard Issue Stands Up for Comic Relief will be used to help vulnerable and disadvantaged women and girls here in the UK and across Africa.

From tackling violence against women, raising awareness and educating communities about the harm caused by female genital mutilation to ensuring that the number of women dying in childbirth across ub-Saharan Africa continues to fall, the cash raised will help to make a big difference to women and girls living incredibly tough lives.

Standard Issue Stands Up for Comic Relief is on Monday 11 May at The Lyric, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, 7:30pm.

Visit nimaxtheatres.com/lyric-theatre/standard_issue_stands_up_for_comic_relief for more information.

All profits from this event will be donated to Comic Relief.

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Written by Standard Issue