Wild Times

James Burns

James Burns

It all went a bit Tennessee Williams for a while there. The sultry nights, a new home with balconies, wide-open windows and curtains whipped by warm breezes. The intersection of humanity and fauna, drawn out of their usual coverings and hiding places by invasive temperatures this summer decided to unleash. There was only one reasonable response.

An unprovoked killing spree.

I cannot blame a traumatic childhood, merely the unusually sweltering conditions. This seasonal aberration and its accompanying wildlife have seen me initiate all of the following out-of-character actions in the last month alone:

Be knowingly late for a bus – and therefore potentially a live radio show – while trying to kick to death a daddy-long-legs I encountered by the front door. Flailing, desperate motions in the ever-changing direction of an innocent wisp of nature. Classy and effective.

Shout at a butterfly. Out loud. Within earshot of someone who came to see if I was OK, because anyone who shouts “Are you SERIOUS?” when alone and without warning probably isn’t. In my defence, it had entered the property without a warrant.

Enter into a co-dependent relationship with the world’s fastest spider who first made his presence felt at 1:00am and was finally exited from an upstairs window at high speed at 3. As we sat at either ends of the room, exhausted, like a warring couple who had lost the will to continue arguing over who gets the toaster he won my respect and I knew he would make it out alive (Note: I can’t absolutely confirm the spider shared my interpretation of events).

I may be ascribing too much emotion to this. Does anyone know whether butterflies have the capacity to feel shame? Can anyone testify to a spider’s love? All I can say for sure is for a while there my life became a 24/7 real-life ‘Luther’ meets ‘Karate-Kid’ with a diverse cast of aphids, arachnids and more, and I responded in the manner of Michael Douglas in ‘Falling Down.’

They worked together, I’m sure. Waiting and watching me. The neighbourhood cat, a furious ball of dirty fur, turned feral by heat and experiences undisclosed, actually ran at me. Rats so fearless they waited patiently behind plants for me get out of their way. The world’s largest moth – the size of an eagle (at least. No, really) – paid an uninvited visit turning me into a frantic, curtain-swishing matador screaming into the night my insistence it leave immediately. A fox eyed me lazily from the roof of the shed one sunny morning before dropping casually into the garden of my topless-trampolining neighbours (a reality show idea still up for grabs, if you’re quick). And the flies. Oh the flies!

Flashback to a former, some would say eccentric, colleague who insisted the natural order gave humans command over all other creatures and acted upon this by rising majestically from her seat at the sight of any invading insect and demanding while pointing to the window that they (yes, our insect brethren) leave. After several minutes’ repetition said creature would inevitably find an escape route (possibly to get away from her) which she took as a sign of victory. I moved office as soon as I realised this was going to be a regular occurrence.

With every day bringing a fresh assault from nature I have begun to wonder if I am suffering from an as-yet-undiagnosed case of Attenborough Syndrome, or whether I am about to be unveiled as the long-lost relative of the Dolittles. But no. The answer has been there all along. Why couldn’t I see it? My animal magnetism has finally turned literal. Might risk a trip to the zoo next week. You may see me on the news…

Check these out

From the Funny Women Team

Comedy in the Community

Women are the backbone of many communities such as in the running of charities, local authority services, arts organisations and more.  Yet their contributions are often invisible and

Read More »

February Gig Guide

Finally, the month is February, the mood is excited and grateful for the end of January, so celebrate than with one of these side-splittingly funny comedy shows. From fresh debut hours, established tour shows and brand new WIP material to wicked and wonderful variety nights, we’ve got it all here.

Read More »

Out of Order: Review

Out Of Order is a brand-new game show hosted by the inimitable Rosie Jones, alongside team captains Judi Love and Katherine Ryan, as well as celebrity guests.

Read More »

March Gig Guide 

What better way to enjoy the lighter evenings than booking in some fantastic live comedy. We’ve rounded up our recommendations for this month’s funnies, from some new, some not-so-new tour shows, to our very own International Women’s Day event, to variety nights and more.

Read More »
Get notified when registration opens

Comedy Shorts Award Entry Requirements

The deadline for registration for the Comedy Shorts Award has passed.

Funny Women NextUp…Comedy Shorts Award

Are you a budding Director? Producer? Screenwriter? Are you collaborating with friends to make a funny video? Then we are looking for YOU!

If you have a short film or sketch that you think is hilarious, then enter your work for our Comedy Shorts Award to be in with a chance of winning some life-changing support and mentoring from comedy professionals.


A 1- 6 minute film that can take the form of anything comical. It’s a great opportunity to show us your creative flair and have fun!


This award is open to all women filmmakers and content developers. The film must be an original narrative created, produced and devised by a woman, or women, although male cast and crew members are allowed.


Yes – we require all films to be 6 minutes or under, to be entirely original dialogue, to not feature brand logos and most importantly, to only use music with the written consent of the performer and/or publisher either personally or via the PRS system https://www.prsformusic.com/ .


We will broadcast selected entries on our Funny Women YouTube channel and social media (so keep an eye out) and the top 10 finalists’ films will also hosted on a dedicated Funny Women Comedy Shorts Awards page on our website. We will also broadcast the final 3 entries as part of the grand final night.


Films are judged for production, concept, delivery/performance, creativity, writing and overall funniness. The top 10 films are then viewed by an independent judging panel of top television and film industry professionals who will choose one overall winner and two runners up. The final three will be invited to attend the grand final in London on the 23rd September.


2021 Funny Women Awards Prizes

The deadline for registration for the Comedy Shorts Award has passed.

If you need further information please contact us here