My chum Scots comedian Janey Godley rarely performs her one-hour shows in London. That is London’s loss.
Last night, she was at the Comedy Cafe Theatre performing a preview of her upcoming Edinburgh Fringe show Janey Godley Is Ungagged and afterwards, outside, what appeared to be a police helicopter was hovering, static, overhead.
A complete coincidence, I am sure.
Janey’s show was recorded by new audio outfit Just The Greatest (who are also sponsoring The Increasingly Prestigious Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show at the Fringe this year). So her show will soon be available as an audio download.
“Will you also be selling physical CDs after your shows at the Gilded Balloon in Edinburgh?” I asked. “I dunno what percentage the venue takes.”
“Nobody takes a percentage from me, John,” said Janey. “Nobody.”
I asked: “Why are you doing a show at the Fringe again, after three years away?”
“I’m just doing the first two weeks,” said Janey, “and my daughter Ashley is going to support for the first 15 minutes, then I’ll do the new material I did tonight all about Twitter and Facebook and being ungagged. People are getting death threats; people are being not allowed to speak. I do nothing but fight like fuck on Twitter with people like Donald Trump and 50 Cent and there was that Tim & Freya situation.”
A series of live Tweets which Janey made last year, recording an argument between a couple on a train, went viral and triggered articles in the press about invasion of privacy.
“Ask about something else,” said Janey.
“The Duke of Edinburgh thing surprised you, didn’t it?” I asked.
A fortnight ago, Janey was asked if she could present the awards (with HRH Prince Edward) to the 30 gold winners of this year’s Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards – in the gardens of Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh, on 3rd July.
She was told: “The Awards are given out to young people who have gone through a rigorous programme to achieve their award and we invite people of note from Scotland to present them with their certificates… It would make this special occasion even more memorable for the young people.”
“I did write back to them,” said Janey, “saying You do know it’s me you’re asking? You’ve not got me mixed up with someone else? They said they’d chosen me because I work for several children’s charities. I’m a bit flummoxed. Those poor kids are expecting a celebrity and they’re gonna get me.”
“But you are a celebrity to them,” I argued. “Former Scotsman columnist, best-selling author, award-winning comic…”
“My ass I am a celebrity,” said Janey.
“You’re ideal for them,” I argued. “What was that ‘scum’ thing Ned Sherrin said about you?”
“He said I was educated scum,” replied Janey.
“Didn’t he say you were Glasgow scum made good?” I asked.
“No,” said Janey, “Educated scum.”
“Well, he should have called you Glasgow scum made good,” I said. “And Ned adored you. You’re zero to hero. Inspirational. All that stuff. Ideal for presenting the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.”
At this point, the helicopter overhead came lower and drowned out our conversation.
I find paranoia can be very distracting.