Hot off the Wembley stage, Melbourne-bound and really needing no introduction, 2016 Funny Women Awards finalist Rosie Jones talks to Alumni Awards Coordinator Gemma Higgins about living the dream, performance nerves, the prospect of early retirement and why she’s still apologising to Ryan Gosling…
Photo credit: Karla Gowlett
Gemma Higgins: I mean we can’t not start with Wembley. 9,000 people for the Comic Relief Spectacular! How was it?
Rosie Jones: Well it was about ten days ago now and I must say, I am still on a high! It was an absolute dream come true. Everybody was lovely, and so supportive. It just went too quickly… as soon as I came off stage I wanted to go back onstage and do it all again!
GH: People will have seen you on The Last Leg and 8 Out of 10 Cats but you’ve also written for both The Last Leg and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. Would you say you prefer writing or performing?
RJ: I’m actually in a great position where I don’t have to choose; writing and performing go hand in hand. I write during the day and I perform during the evening. So right now, I’m truly living the dream.
GH: You once said: “People feel awkward about disability so I always have jokes in my back pocket”. When did you realise you were funny?
RJ: I come from a very funny family, so I think funny bones are in the genes. And because I’ve always been disabled, from a young age I did use humour to break any tension they might feel about my disability. It’s just what I’ve always done!
GH: What made you enter the 2016 Funny Women Awards?
RJ: To be honest I just wanted an excuse to gig more. It was very early on in my comedy career and the more gigs I could get, the better! I didn’t for one second think I would get anywhere near the final! The Funny Women Awards final was actually only my tenth ever gig…weird eh?
GH: Who was your mentor for the Awards and did they influence your comedy?
RJ: My mentor was the very brilliant Sara Pascoe and we’re still friends. She’s a big influence on me, and she gives the best advice; she’s a gud’un!
GH: Romesh Ranganathan recently called you “a legend”, which you are, and your comedy is very much about both owning the material and the stage – you always have this utterly badass confidence when you perform. Do you still get nervous?
RJ: Every day! I think nerves are good though; it keeps you on your toes and makes sure you perform your best.
GH: Hypothetical saw you compete with fellow Funny Women alumnae Kerry Godliman. Have you kept in touch with any of the women you met through the Awards?
RJ: Yes, and I have the awards to thank for meeting my wonderful flatmate, Rose Robinson. We were both in the finals together and became firm friends immediately. She’s great and it is a very fun flat!
GH: Your shows Inspiration and Fifteen Minutes both received rave reviews at Edinburgh Festival – will you be heading back in August with a new one?
RJ: Of course – my year wouldn’t be complete without my month-long trip to Edinburgh! I’m really looking forward to this year because it is my second hour show, so it feels like a bit of the pressure is off; I’ve done my first hour and now I can get a bit more into things, beyond my disability!
GH: So the Wembley box is ticked and you’re officially a gif! What’s next?
RJ: Erm, retire on a high? I am pretty damn happy now! No, I think now I’m focusing on writing; I’m working on a few sitcoms, which is very, very fun! Hopefully, they’ll be on TV soon, fingers crossed!
GH: What would you say to anyone out there thinking about entering the Awards?
RJ: Oh do it, you really have nothing to lose; go for it! It’s a great experience and such a good opportunity to meet other comedians at the same level as you. And you never know; you might meet your future flatmate!
GH: Metro once listed you as one of the “hilarious women to look out for”. Who are your favourite funny women right now?
RJ: So. Many. Women. I love Kerry Godliman, Jen Brister, Jess Fostekew, Suzi Ruffell, Helen Bauer, Chloe Petts…I really could go on, at the moment women are storming the comedy scene and it’s great!
GH: It’s almost Easter and your ‘Virtual Advent Calendar of Eggs’ was by far the best thing on Twitter all December…I can’t go without making you choose an egg.
RJ: Well this is harder than the previous question; stop making me choose my favourite things! But I think because it’s Easter, I’ve got to say Crème Egg… they’re great, and last Easter I managed to eat forty-eight during the Easter weekend!
GH: Damn – did I miss the opportunity to ask about Ryan Gosling?!
RJ: Ha, never. Oh I do love Ryan, even though I am very naughty about him in my stand up! I don’t mean it Ryan and I profusely apologise for killing him every night on stage!
To watch Rosie plan a strategy to make Lorraine Kelly break her own arm, Hypothetical[ly], click here!
Keep an eye on our website for details of how to enter the 2019 Funny Woman Awards!
Oh, and if you happen to be in Melbourne over the next month, SO WILL ROSIE!