The Funny Women Comedy Industry Award with Comedy 50:50 and The Comedy Crowd is an industry nominated award, created to recognise the women amongst our oft unsung heroes of comedy. Now in its third year, we were delighted to catch up with Amy Annette to talk about her win, the industry and what she’s up to…
Funny Women: How does it feel to have been nominated and then win the Industry Award?
Amy Annette: I’m so pleased to be nominated as, despite my therapist’s best efforts, the opinion of my peer group and industry really is the only thing that matters to me. Making comedy / TV is just the best thing in the world when you get the right collaborators, and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the industry’s best and brightest. This is going to really put me back mental health wise, but it’s absolutely worth it! Thank you.
FW: Tell us about the kind of work you do, nominations cited your work as a producer and creator constantly pushing to elevate others voices.
AA: I’m a Producer, Script Editor, Podcast Host / Comic who has worked across many facets of the comedy industry from live; producing Edinburgh shows, agency work, working at Latitude festival, and then TV production where I found a passion for telling ‘untold stories’. I’ve been lucky enough to work with amazing female and non-binary talent such as Bisha K. Ali, Lazy Susan, Sarah Keyworth, Tessa Coates, Desiree Burch and Bolu Babalola, producing Bolu’s latest C4 show Big Age last year. I recently co-produced Lazy Susan‘s BBC series, produced and directed Tessa Coates’ R4 Show, and I continue to work with established and emerging talent to bring their stories to life. I host ‘What Women* Want’ a podcast that discusses the misconceptions and misadventures around being a woman. As a stand-up I recently supported Lou Sanders on tour, opened for Rose Matafeo’s Special Taping and was lucky enough to be featured in C4’s online series The Paddock.
FW: How did you get started in comedy?
AA: I chanced into it at university – applying to help some recent ex-students produce a show last minute. I did it because I was envious of my best friend who was producing shows at Uni and having a great time – so thank God she was doing that and not something else – or I’d have a very different life now. I spent the month in Edinburgh with them and was hooked. The next year I was a PR assistant (the hardest job in comedy), and the year after that I produced two more sketch groups. After graduating, I worked at Independent Talent as a comedy booker. There I was working with an amazing list of comedians like Aisling Bea, The Demetrious’, Sheeps, Flick Ward, and many more – they were at various stages of their careers, and it was equal parts inspiring and useful to see how they went about their craft. Now I’m represented by them – so a very nice full circle moment for me.
FW: What do you love about the comedy industry? And what do you want to see improve?
AA: I love that there are so many ways to ‘do comedy’ – as a genre it goes across many different industries from live, scripted tv, entertainment tv, presenting, writing, mime – and you can make a living in any of them. Comedians have space to create their own work, which they then can develop into any avenue, in large part due to the UK’s uniquely well served and well-tended live comedy audience. I love that there are so many independent bookers and promoters who love comedy and love to bring comedy to every corner of the UK. The inverse of this amazing array of ways to work in comedy in the UK is that there is space for cowboys and lack of accountability that I think happens less (still happens, but less) in other better regulated, more single focus, industries. I applaud comedians like Sara Pascoe with Equity, everyone at the LCA and Kiri Pritchard Maclean with ‘Get Off Live Comedy’ who are working to set industry standards and spaces for reporting bad behaviour.
FW: Do you have any upcoming projects?
AA: I run a monthly (ish) show at the Bill Murray with Tessa Coates, and I’m performing more and more stand up. Producing wise – I am continuing to develop and work with writers for TV and script edit existing projects. I am also trying to learn how to ride a bike with no hands. Every day is a school day.
FW: And lastly, who are your favourite comedians (preferably women/nonbinary/trans but also give us a big old list if you like)?
AA: TOO MANY TO SAY. Maria Bamford is probably my all-time favourite. I just saw Dee Allum at a new material night and was blown away. It’s hard for me to say anyone else is my ‘favourite’ there are too many UK and Irish comedians who have moulded me and my tastes. A favourite moment instead: I still remember losing my mind watching Mae Martin in Sneaky Petes in 2013? describing themselves as a spider as they ran after their crush at camp – life changing for me.