In 2009 London Hughes became our youngest ever Funny Women Awards winner, since then she’s become a successful TV presenter, comedy writer and actor. You might have spied her on Fleabag and now London is taking her debut Edinburgh Show London Hughes: Superstar (It’s Just Nobody’s Realised It). We caught up with London to talk about her new show and diversity in the media…
Funny Women: Tell us about your Edinburgh show London Hughes: Superstar (it’s just nobody’s realised it)
London Hughes: Bit of a tricky one to explain but it’s a one woman show full of dance, stand-up comedy, acting and audience participation. It’s the story of my life played out through 90’s TV shows and it’s bloody hilarious!
FW: In your show you talk about some of your negative experiences as a black woman in comedy, why do you think the industry is still struggling to represent more diverse talent?
LH: I honestly think it’s because the people at the top calling the shots aren’t diverse enough, the industry is still run by older, middle class white men. The moment the people in charge diversify we will then start to see more and more changes in front and behind the camera.
FW: What inspired you to go into comedy?
LH: I always loved comedy, but I never saw myself becoming a comedian. Mainly because I could never take a joke! But I’ve always wanted to be on TV and get into the entertainment industry, mainly because of watching the likes of Lenny Henry and Gina Yashere on The Lenny Henry Show and Meera Syal in Goodness Gracious Me they were absolute telly heroes in my eyes.
FW: You won the Funny Women Awards in 2009, what prompted you to take a show to Edinburgh this year?
LH: After winning the Funny Women Awards I decided to focus on presenting and entertainment and sort of put stand up on hold for a bit. I didn’t want to force myself into doing an Edinburgh show just for the sake of it, or one that wasn’t exactly ‘me’ as I’m not just a stand-up. That’s why I’m so proud of my show now. I’ve collected material and experiences over the years that I think helps make my show great, and it’s not just stand-up it’s an amalgamation of everything. Everything I love doing tied in with a really strong and relevant message. I’m so happy I waited until now to tell this story.
FW: Have you got any advice for women who want to get into comedy?
LH: Do it! We need more and more of you! Write, enter competitions, do open mic spots, email tv producers, start a YouTube channel do whatever it takes to get seen and then KEEP GOING!
FW: Who are your favourite funny women?
LH: My mum, she’s the funniest woman I know for the least funny reasons. Her sense of humour is so off it’s actually hilarious! If everyone’s laughing at a joke, my mum’s the one laughing at the hat the guy was wearing whilst telling the joke.
And Queen babes Whoopi Goldberg.
Catch London Hughes: Superstar (It’s Just Nobody’s Realised It) at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 2nd August, 7:15pm, C Venues – C Royale. For tickets visit: tickets.edfringe.com.