In 2004 Zoe Lyons won the Funny Women Awards, since then Zoe has gone from strength to strength, popping up on panel shows on TV and radio and bringing hilarious shows to the Edinburgh Fringe. This year she is bringing her show Entry Level Human to the Fringe, in between a very busy schedule Zoe talked to our editor Kate Stone about how to survive Edinburgh, cookery and taking back control…
Kate Stone: Why have you called your new show Entry Level Human
Zoe Lyons: Entry Level is a term used to describe so many things that you purchase, it means basic, a starter kit, no flashy accessories. It amuses me as an expression and because my show is sort of about stupidity it fits perfectly.
KS: Your debut Edinburgh show was nominated for the Perrier Award, any tips for comedians making their Edinburgh debut this year?
ZL: As nice as it is to be nominated for a gong it is not the be all and end all. Your comedy career will be a long slog of many ups and downs. The only thing you can do is try to get better and keep enjoying what you do. Edinburgh can be overwhelming the first year you do it, so take care of yourself and also go and see as much as you can.
KS: Last year you won Chortle’s Best Club Comic award, what do you think makes a good club comic?
ZL: I guess it is an ability to play most rooms. Having a twenty that lands on a Friday and Saturday night but also having enough material in your arsenal to adapt it to the crowd. I have said things on stage to get a laugh that I am not proud of now because I was desperate for the audience to like me. I have played clubs where I didn’t feel comfortable on stage. I think what makes a better comic is reaching a point when you care less whether the crowd like you or not and you do the stuff you want to do.
KS: You’re going on Celebrity Masterchef – are you a good cook?
ZL: I am a very good one pot wonder. I like to cook, actually let me rephrase that, I like to eat, so I have got better at cooking over the years. Masterchef is one of the most nerve-wracking things I have ever done but I loved it. And yes, my cooking has improved.
KS: As well as Masterchef you have your own show Passport Paddy going out on Radio 4, tell us about the show!
ZL: The show is about me getting my Irish Citizenship post-Brexit so that I can “take back control” of my own life and still benefit from freedom of movement within the E.U. It seemed rude simply to take the passport which I am entitled to due to my Irish father, so I have revisited Ireland and some of the places I grew up to reconnect to the land of my new citizenship.
KS: Who are your favourite funny women?
ZL: My friend Kerry Godliman always makes me laugh, she is in Edinburgh for just one week this year. My current fave on the circuit is (fellow Irish citizen) Eleanor Tiernan. She writes such stonkingly good material. She is at the Fringe all month so go see!
Zoe Lyons: Entry Level Human is at the Gilded Balloon, Teviot, in the Dining Room (with the candlestick) at 17:45, 1st-26th August. For tickets click here!
You can also see Entry Level Human on 13th August at 22:30 at the Gilded Balloon at the Museum Auditorium. For tickets click here!