Women in comedy

Are the countless female comics getting rave reviews finally redressing the gender balance in what has always been a particularly male-dominated industry?

Jen Kerrison asks how our three panellists found their way into comedy, and hears their tips for a successful career. We also hear what it’s like writing for other comedians, how the Fringe festival has improved for women comics and which one of our panel accidentally heckled Paul Merton.

"If you look at stand up until fairly recently it's been very male dominated. But there are now more and more women coming into stand up comedy." – Tilusha Ghelani

Actor and stand up Jessica Fostekew has been praised by reviewers for her 'unquestionable acting ability, natural comedic timing and sparkling ease', and is currently performing her show Brave New Word, described as a ‘must-see for grammar nazis’. Interestingly, Jessica originally trained as a lawyer but a chance encounter with a BBC Three comedy competition changed everything.

BBC Radio comedy producer Tilusha Ghelani started out in theatre production, which gave her a great grounding for the move into comedy production. Tilusha’s credits include Radio 4’s Quote... Unquote, Just a Minute and Chain Reaction. She has helped launch BBC Radio 7 and most recently Newsjack, a radio comedy show designed to promote new talent.

Comedian and writer Gráinne Maguire, who drew her childhood inspiration from Blackadder, Father Ted and Sean Hughes, has the honour of contributing two of the ten funniest jokes of the Fringe as picked by the Independent, and has received acclaim for her Fringe show Where Are All The Fun Places.

Recorded at the BBC @ Potterow venue at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe festival.