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Jenny Eclair Interview

Posted on 20 January 2004. © Copyright 2004-2024 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
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WriteWords talks to Jenny Eclair, stand up comic, dramatist, novelist, short story writer, journalist...

Tell us something about your background.

So far, two published books, one a novel, Camberwell Beauty, the other a comedy thing, The Book of Bad Behaviour.Have also contributed short stories to Girls Night Out and Stand Up's Sit Down novel due out later this year, title- a secret ( can't make up my mind)! Biggish back catalogue of articles for magazines and newspapers, plus a hand-full of co-written plays and radio comedy dramas for Radio 4. These include 'On Baby Street', 'Just Juliette', 'The Inconvenience' and 'He's Leaving His Wife’. All of which were co-written with Julie Balloo, as were a couple of one woman plays, 'Mummy's Little Girl' and 'Mrs Nosey Parker', both of which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival and went on to tour the country

How did you first start writing?

At school, they made me, I was happy in the sand pit up until that moment. I was never academic and I went to a very dull girls grammar school in the North, my essays (according to old reports) showed flair but my punctuation and spelling was, and still is! appalling. Later when I left Drama School, I fell into punk poetry, this was to get an Equity card and I began writing my own material. Gradually, this evolved into stand up, these days I write stand up with a grumpy old man called Pete Richens and I co-write plays and radio drama with Julie Balloo who is my best friend, even though she gets bored of me. I write novels and magazine articles by myself and get very lonely.

Who are your favourite writers and why?

For years I resisted the classics, I never realized how witty Emily Bronte was. I like a mix of soppy and hard, my favourite book of last year was the Booker nominated Notes On a Scandal by Zoe Heller. On the other hand, even though I like DBC Pierre’s Vernon God Little (the winner of the Booker) and I think it's funny, I haven't bothered to finish it! Jonathan Coe is good and I'm a very big fan of Liz Jensen, 'War Crimes For the Home' is brilliant. I like my comedy dark.

A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

Comments by other Members

Nell at 17:11 on 20 January 2004  Report this post
Great interview - Jenny's personality comes zipping off the page!

roovacrag at 19:59 on 20 January 2004  Report this post
I enjoyed this. yes Emily bronte was witty and talented as we all know. I relate to the rejection. Most publishers do not say what you did wrong. I was lucky and got one who actually told me, because i was so persistant in sending work in. good interview. x Alice

Zigeroon at 18:13 on 23 January 2004  Report this post

Great matter of fact response's with a comedic dash of practicallity.

Facinating that when the writing is put out there, there is still a feeling of concern. Even if you're talented and successful the audience's reaction is still everything; obvious I suppose.

PeterOC at 18:52 on 24 January 2004  Report this post
Good interview. I love Jenny Eclair. Very funny lady. It's hard to reconcile the bubbly vivacious on screen Jenny with somebody who holes up and sits biting the end of a biro trying to come up works of literary genius. But there you go, just shows you how versatile she is.

MariaM at 20:13 on 23 March 2007  Report this post
I loved, loved, loved Camberwell Beauty and can't understand why it didn't get hugely recognised for its wit, honesty and sharp-eyed observations.

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