Features

Sandi Toksvig Talks WEP, Comedy & Boris Johnson

The Women’s Equality Party (WEP) has announced An Evening with Sandi Toksvig on 27th June at Hackney Empire in London. Following her sell-out tour National Trevor the host of QI, The Great British Bake Off and co-founder of the WEP Sandi Toksvig returns to the stage for one night only to share unimaginable stories, absurd facts and frivolous jokes. Funny Women editor Kate Stone talked to Sandi Toksvig about politics, comedy and why Boris Johnson won’t be invited onto QI any time soon…

Kate Stone: What can we expect from An Evening with Sandi Toksvig at the Hackney Empire?

Sandi Toksvig: A laugh, hopefully! Possibly some very tall tales. Certainly some short ones. No circus tricks but a very good story about an elephant and a mouse and some entirely non-embarrassing audience participation.

KS: The evening is a fundraiser for the Women’s Equality Party, which you founded in 2015 with Catherine Mayer. Having been active in politics since the 1980s (if not before) what took you so long?

ST: The misplaced optimism that WE weren’t needed. But equality failed to materialise and it became clear that, as so often in life, if you want something done you should ask a busy woman. Or a whole group of busy women for that matter.

KS: As a co-founder, how active are you in the WEP policies?

ST: I wish I had the time to be more active! But I do think the policies are brilliant though, and I help wherever I can.

KS: Funny Women and the Women’s Equality Party were both formed to give women a greater platform in a male-dominated world. Did you think such organisations would be needed by 2019?

ST: I hoped they wouldn’t be. It’s been a whole century since women were literally dying to get the vote, after all. But progress is fragile and easily overturned and politicians are fantastic at ignoring what’s important, so we need keep the pressure on.

The Women’s Equality Party must be the only political party that is working to make sure it’s no longer needed!

KS: You’ve said, “Frankly, we could all do with a laugh right now”. How do you balance comedy with politics?

ST: Politics seems to be nothing but comedy, at least at the moment, so it’s easily done.

KS: With combining comedy with politics in mind, do you think more politicians should use comedy to their advantage in the manner that, for example, past Have I Got News For You guest regular and Tory leader frontrunner Boris Johnson has?

ST: If doing more comedy would mean our current political set did less politics then perhaps we should encourage them. I think that Boris Johnson is spectacularly unfunny though, so he won’t be invited onto QI any time soon.

KS: And finally can you tell us who your favourite funny women are?

ST: My daughters and my wife are all hilarious. Theresa May has also been fairly entertaining, although probably not in the way she hoped.

An Evening with Sandi Toksvig is at Hackney Empire on Thursday 27th June at 7.30pm. All proceeds go to the Women’s Equality Party. For tickets and more information click here!