Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Absolutely Fabulous is back!

Christmas Day at 22.00 on BBC1 there's the first of the new episodes of Absolutely Fabulous to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The second episode is at 21.40 on New Year's Day. Absolutely worth watching! I know coz I was there...

And here's my inner Welsh side waiting to be unleashed....

Merry Christmas!

Join me for a virtual Welsh Christmas blow-out with my Welsh besties.  I loves them. I expect you might too.

Must watch Cariad@iaith Christmas Special on Christmas Eve and on Boxing Day

The only thing is you have to watch it on Sky 134  or  Freesat 120. I'm sure you'll rally.

Wishing you and me a prosperous and pithy  New Year!


Helen x

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Star studded week – watch the vodka

The first excitement was going to open Stella McCartney’s shop

Actually I didn’t have to open it – the shop was already open – but Jennifer Saunders switched on the lights in a very witty way

big and bold expression trying to make up for dressing down

Huge Corinthian columns of vodka floated by – I made it my job to capture them lest they escape and get into the wrong hands like Richard E Grant for one –who I forced to acknowledge me.  Poor man: there was a lot of acknowledging –and it can be overwhelming unless you’re someone like me, who is quite persistent.

Paul McCartney (member of The Beatles and father of shop owner ) came over to me – yes he came over - with lovely new wife and remembered a gag I’d told once about Tippex on the sheet - I can’t remember, can you? Must have been on Naked Video

We then explained the Tippex and the sex and the sheet bits (quite a few times) to the lovely American wife who was extremely kind. I also love Stella’s bags (faux leather with zip bits on)

Next stop BAFTA for screening of AB FAB

By now I cannot stand up or focus on speech - due to the Corinthian vodka quantity consumed - our mission was to arrive early and drink the place dry which we more than accomplished. Pity I didn’t get a cab into my bedroom then and there and cut out on a high.
looking quizical at camera while waiting for a refill

I get to Bafta. More free glasses of alcohol. I say something to a star. I can’t quite remember what - but I get roundly told off. I cry (nearly) but the episodes of AB FAB are excellent (which I manage to view through my hurt tears)

Next day a lunch party – ‘what’s on stage awards’
I arrive subdued and quiet. I bump into Ruby Wax. She asks me what I’m doing there. I reply ‘not having vodka’ – but I do get invited over to a booth with my pal Kimberley Walsh who I adore-
Photo:JAB Promotions
– Kimberley to win – we did ‘Horrid Henry’ and she is rum. Mercifully no tears on this occasion.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Horrid Henry - The Movie - out today on dvd

Get the dvd if you dare

It wasn’t quite the normal première… certainly boasted a  red carpet with a generous clutch of paparazzi – but once we were inside – darling where was the fizz?

I had to ask – ‘Where is the fizz?’

A harassed PR lady from Freud’s saw the urgency and ushered me to the drink table – bottles of fizz (fizzy pop that is) and mountains of pop corn.

I dived in and sipped of my junior fizz –before watching the film of Horrid Henry  - which is now on DVD! A great Xmas gift for discerning young people – I play Rich Aunt Ruby – even greater gifts for those who like beehive hair do’s and very pink clothes.

Stars appear every second as the story unfurls and there’s only one correction to the title - Henry is not horrid – he’s adorable …

Here we are at the première...

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Got up right early on sat to beaver across to Sky TV studios for the privilege of reviewing the papers. 

However the lure and urgent need of mascara, foundation and socket line applied by a make up professional came first - leaving me with NO TIME to read the 4 stories I was expected to select and then review.

A very nice but anxious researcher hovered while my socket lines were addressed before offering (through only slightly clenched teeth) to choose the stories for me? Well I’d only just sat down and I wanted to choose my own stories thank you. The make up girl hovered with her sponge mid air – ‘Ok then you choose ‘em then,’ I reluctantly caved in – but not really wanting to do the ‘Mousetrap on tour’ if I’m being truthful.  

Worse to come – we  were about to go on air – radio pack  now firmly tucked in my pants  by a scurrying radio person who seemed to be doubling up as an everything else person saying cheerily “what else can go wrong this morning”  while I’m chasing the researcher  for the photocopies of the selected stories she’d selected   (she’d gone off with the top copies ) before I practically  snatched two of them out of her hands and dashed off to the sofa. 

A nice man journo  from The Express Michael Booker mercifully was doing  the papers as well and  - having avoided  all the shortbread  in the green room I noticed unlike me  -  offered to bale me out should push come to shove. It did.

Michael did his first story (properly) and then  the presenter  turned to me and said “and what’s your view of the strike, Helen?” Well that hadn’t officially  been my story  had it - but I mustered a response ‘Yes definitely’ I said  and waited for the subject to move on to the Mousetrap. It didn’t – The nice presenter swiftly moved to the story I hadn’t read since it hadn’t yet been photocopied about a son stealing money from his Mum to buy a house. I lamely said ‘well it's always a tricky one when a son steals from his mother isn’t it?” The stable and kind presenter did closure by saying ‘and of course there’s more info on that story that we haven’t time for…’

However for the second paper review slot me and Mike (I call him Mike now) cosied  up to share views about the plethora of ‘perfect Christmas countdown chef instructions’ across all the red tops by varyingly rich TV chefs.

Mike  was sure that in his office real men didn’t like to cook the turkey for more than two hours (controversial)  –  and as we  continued to debate this topic  in the studio together as a team I felt I had finally arrived  

I do hope I’ll be asked back  - I  felt I brought something  to the table…

Next week will be at the screening of the recent  Ab Fab  shows -  unfortunately I have had my fringe cut too short –  and it’s SO scary to attend anything glam with a short fringe – but  nevertheless doable  for  free fiz. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

More Photos from S4C Cariad@Iaith:Love4Language

Tweet your captions to me @HelenLederer and I'll feature the best ones on this blog!

"You said watch the birdy, but that's DEFINITELY not a birdy you've got out there..."

"Helen certainly didn't expect her dessert to be delivered on all fours"

Lots more photos on the Cariad@Iaith:Love4Language facebook page! Guess who's wearing stripy tights

Saturday, 12 November 2011

My return to Big Brother Bit on the Side  (Vanessa Feltz was double booked opening a ski run) required being a judge of artwork of the contestants. All of them drew a pair of eyes.  I wondered if they could draw other body parts as well? Then decided best not encourage... Sex food and body emissions are not best represented in crayon on card.

On Big Brother's Bit on the Side

My return trip to Wales for Cariad@Iaith:Love4Language out on Christmas Eve required being part of a house party in Laugharne where all the walls were painted in Farrow and Ball or ‘Farrow and Brown’ as my friend Melanie stated firmly (I let it go but only because she’s famous and play’s someone’s Mum in ‘Gavin and Stacey’) – we made mince pies in Welsh and sang about them in Welsh to keep the focus on us rather than the pies - then on the last night we listened to Lowri Evans' beautiful voice (I bought her CD and then left it there) and I morphed into a drunk free and single girl swaying to the music, shouting (in Welsh) and flirting in that way only older people do when they think they are in a house party away from home. Nothing happened and I missed the charades. Trying to persuade S4Cariad that an Easter reunion would make great viewing.

Me and Mel Waters (famous welsh actress in Gavin and Stacey)  walking in matching
 warm coats to see Dylon Thomas’s boathouse . It was locked.
I'm in awe of this man -which is why as you can see I'm
 wearing a false nose so he won't be too attracted

My plate is clean so now considering carpet

Friday, 28 October 2011

Error, Error

With Meera Syal in The Killing of Sister George. Photo:Donald Cooper

Whoops got asked to share my mistakes – where to start?
My most recent one apart from the superbly penned article above was last night.

I had been invited by Tim McArthur to go to the Jermyn Street Theatre where he is a nun to be interviewed and - I assume - manage to appear coherent in an engaging manner.

This would be after I finished the second show at The Arts Theatre (matinees on thur) – instead I downed some tumblers (four) of The Arts Theatre's house white with some other kind looking faces (also holding tumblers) and got wasted... Managed to text an apology to Tim – looked at the sent text today and it was just a jumble of letters - no words… am not proud of my irresponsible behaviour but I accept we all make mistakes and I’m moving on.  Just hope he is …

Here is a pic of me I call ‘Naked with bra straps, a duvet and pants’ taken by a very famous man Andrea Vecchiato. All for good cause - a charity calendar.

Off to film in Wales next week. The requirements are walking boots and a rainproof... am a little alarmed. Will have to borrow some ‘glamping Glastonbury poncho wear’ now

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

I bagsied the window seat - besty sulking!

I'm on celebrity coach trip just for this week. Omgd – I do a double act with new besty SANDRA DICKINSON. Have not seen any of it yet cos don't know how to set the vhs – but mostly I'm quite scared to see full on reality TV with possible mouth open shots of me eating and generally looking perplexed at other people.

Am not good on reality shows- I'm too open... (And I don’t mean that in rude way) just incompetence when it comes to doing strategies for voting off. I usually tell the person I’m going to vote them off first to be helpful. They are not always nice after that .

No it's not me talking to accountant, it's me acting...
Still performing in the play The Killing of Sister George.

I saw a small mouse scuttling away down the corridor.  I didn’t scream - just to be perverse - but told the rest of the cast about the sighting , adding that it was lucky to see a mouse on the tenth performance - theatre is steeped in tradition so got away with it.

Drinking four glasses of house white every night now – don’t know which house but it’s a pretty big one –a positive mansion of alcoholic units and calorific layers on the trunk.

Please come to play...Not begging but it finishes 29th October. I’ll be in the bar -

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Omigod omigod omigod

not my best side!
Finally get to do some publicity re the play Killing of Sister George –last minute request at theatre last night to come in to BBC Breakfast TV and talk about the play and being in the new Ab Fab.

Jane Horrocks came to see the play and I had a late night. Due to phobia can’t know who is in so would have been churlish to just go home since she took the trouble to sit and watch.

I arrived at the BBC building crack of dawn but not as early as the rest- had sensationally amusing chat with make up person and the nice sports man who won strictly come dancing two years ago and then suddenly found myself on the red sofa with Lovely Bill and Gorgeous Sian and I felt so cosy and relaxed I just wanted to sit there and curl up for a comfy snooze and maybe tops - a general exchange of cosy tittle tattle. I sensed that wasn’t quite right, but by then my brain had gone blank and I committed THE SIN – which is not mentioning my fellow actresses’ names Meera Syal, Belinda Lang and Liz Cadwallader (all of them are superb)

OMIGOD I am soo ashamed. Couldn’t focus about why I was there at all – nor could I remember data about the very interesting play I’m in written by Frank Marcus.

I have two shows to do today!!

And a man on twitter called the interview with me ‘car crash TV’ Nice.

One good thing… My pal Belinda Lang said ‘chimed’ on the Mathew Wright show cos I told her to. Beginning to feel empowered. But only slightly.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Yesterday On the Radio

Had to drive through two important protests (one being re nhs cuts-) yesterday to get to Broadcasting House to do BBC London with Jeni Barnett - talked about death, cup size and dancing on pole (her gag) do listen if you are having a tea break

Here's the link on iPlayer:
Well I have opened – no – not my own body which hopefully remains closed – I have opened in the play – ‘The Killing of Sister George’ at the Arts Theatre

Opening in this play meant that a red carpet appeared from nowhere and for one night was placed in the foyer for people to step on as they entered (it was removed for leaving)

I might have one in my own hall for everyday – so lush is the feeling
Opening Night!

Interesting that visits to the lavatory go hand in hand with opening nights and also following nights - So best not have a carton of veggie soup from Prêt a Manger as a sensible comfort food idea – I have since learned. Veg soup and nerves do not a picnic make.

Brought matches to put in the shared dressing room Loo for digestive times like these – the matches were a birthday present – a big box which says ‘ keep calm’ . (Fat chance.) I also send my flat mate Belinda Lang out for such times. She is not only a brilliant actress – but most accommodating about my need for a private moment.

I will not read any reviews in case there is meanness about me as there often is
– I might direct their complaint to the director and say he made me do it in a funny accent - or I may not since I’d quiet like to work with him again. (He directed ‘Broken Glass’ which got 5 stars )

Bought an upholstered bra specially for doing the play – which inspired a back stage exchange between us actresses of a certain age revealing one of us who is now a double G… odd that the alphabet and bra size seem so incongruous… but the older you get the more you double your letters – pity we don't double our money -but hey – who said art was fiscally rewarding …?

So off to tonight’s performance - must line my stomach with greaseproof paper this time.


Friday, 30 September 2011

Ab fab and bits on the side

Completed my AB FAB episode – am now besties with Lulu I do hope – LOVE her hair. Would have asked for the name of her hair dye if I’d thought, but was too busy remembering my lines. How does she do it? I must copy

Kirsty Walk playing herself – (not with) which is a feat in itself –listen if I could play myself I’d be the success I’d always wanted to be –but shyness always kicks in dam it.

Now then – A BIG segue into youth culture. I was invited on to Big Brother’s Bit On The Side – I got to sit between two much younger women with shiny beige corrective shoes and competing false eyelashes (both were very generous – the eyelashes) I felt like I was their Nan. I sensed they did too.

As I was required to comment on the latest ‘goings on’ in the house (studio) I made it my business to watch avidly the proper BIG BROTHER for authenticity (in between rehearsing as a lesbian fortune teller in ‘Killing of Sister George’) . Trouble was I called the STORE CUPBOARD – THE FRIDGE! I know! Everyone stared at me as if I’d said ‘plop’ (someone had mentioned fisting earlier so I felt I was safe). Then clever Emma Willis deciphered I was referring to the "store room" where I’d noticed a heinous crime occurring between the now ejected Rebekka (spelt with quite a few K’s) who had whistle blown on those Ferrals who ate biscuits: HOW DARE THEY? I loved it – am going back

• My birthday – I fell twice. Man on drugs made a play – yes I can still pull – (if people have taken artificial stimulants )

This man was not  the man on drugs but he was wearing a  hat. Name of Paul Burston ( writer)

A week to go before we DO IT. Am so scared I can hardly type.
Meera Syal , Belinda Lang, Lilly Cadwallader are all proper good actresses
Does anyone know it’s on? It’s that nice pretty red seated little theatre in Newport Street which I count as WEST END. YOU COMING?

Friday, 16 September 2011

All of this is true

Was asked by TIME OUT to cite my top film – the moment you’ve pick one – you think of loads more don’t you like ‘the wicker man’ with Edward Woodward –or ‘straw dogs’ if one is sticking with the hay theme

Omigod this week! two new jobs back to back –very exhausting trying to make new people like you – made one relaxed joke today about men and sperm that got a laugh – so maybe I’ve turned the corner

The ABFAB rehearsing week has been colourful... Baby Spice arrives – I luvs her I hold her hand for a long time – Lulu arrives –teeny, white trousers and gorgeous hair –amazingly calm and cheery for someone whose on that dancy dancy show as well - Lindsay Duncan amazing actress- and soooo normal so I start rabbiting on about clothes- and my gorgeous Jane Horrocks ( genius) who makes me talk about fabrics - And this is in the first ten minutes… don’t know if I’m coming or going

I’m going –cos I have to moonlight over to rehearse with more scarily good actresses for Killing of Sister George at The Arts Theatre – where we share the varying agendas of sexuality,  politics and minority groups….much coffee

Then a book launch - Isabel Wolff’s new book ( Bought one. Free champagne and even more brainy people ..oh nooooo. Got drunk this time. A bright young woman asked to be taken away from me by her mother. I don’t blame her.

Time Out Article:
Killing of Sister George:5th to 29th October Box Office 0207 907 7092 Open Mon-Sun 9am to 8pm (excluding public holidays)

Friday, 9 September 2011

Coming Up

Looking forward to filming Ab Fab next week –wonder what clothes will be issued? –apparently Jennifer is well up on fashion so better not turn up to rehearse in over t shirt and flared jeans (wrong denim)

I am then in a play called The Killing Of Sister George at – which will be nice. A bit like The Archers but with Lezbianz (I think) haven’t started yet –can’t wait - AND nice actresses in it hurrah

Thursday, 8 September 2011

PJs and Recovery Position

Am in recovery which is better than being in a ditch (or losing a diamond)

Did two trips up to Edinburgh this year: only a mad woman (or myself) would consider doing a try out show in Edinburgh with publicity when they had only done it once before…

You can see where I’m going I expect – well my first try out was at the Tabbard Theatre and very well it went – maybe it was the adrenalin or the fact it wasn’t Edinburgh with publicity, but I almost enjoyed it and if I forgot things (which I did) it didn’t seem to matter.

Fast forward to Edinburgh and imagine the scene. I’m in a cosy bunker – (great for some –like Kevin Orkian -v good ) it is full, there are not enough seats but chairs are being found (a bit like in a church hall) and my flip chart and screen (props I kind of need) can’t be seen by all the audience cos it’s not theatre and some people said they couldn’t hear.  Add to that there was a rather handsome pillar directly in front of me...

So er note to self -sort of have a look at the venue before you do show…on the other hand would that have stopped me? – we all love being asked to come up to Edinburgh don’t we? I patently did.

Anyway, my show was on late (and I must have been rambling) and my pal David Langham who was helping me had to hold up a note which said “wind up now!” Sadly, I couldn’t see said note without my glasses so had to put them on to read the note to tell me to get off…

So let’s hope my next appointment with comedy fares better –I’m actually doing it in a theatre!! Shock! Yes on 1st October at the Kenneth Moore Theatre –– info should be on their website soon.   At least there won’t be a pillar. Note to self – remember jokes.

On Stage at the Edinburgh Festival

Politics festival next:  Well, slightly smarting from a long mail of complaint received on my website about the Edinburgh gig ( I’d disappointed someone and I fear very possibly ruined his whole Edinburgh apparently due to my poor contribution) I ventured forth to see if I might disappoint any more folk but this time by looking into the role of satire within our political canvas.  Sure enough there was a cross gent in the audience in the Scottish parliament who expressed his right to be disappointed – I can only offer my sympathy – listen mate I'm disappointed,  we’re all Disappointed but we've got to carry on somehow.

I carried on. Stayed up to the wee hours with a nice professor Stephen Fielding and a funny writer Tim Telling which was the best bit

Am now in PJ’s on a writing binge. Did 12 hours yesterday - a record - am writing a novella for people with the reading age of 12 which is quite tricky to second guess –you can’t do too many three syllable words. Does than include consummate and consommé ?

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


Did another guest spot on Scott Capurro's show. It's getting addictive. If only I could be a guest all my life - venue a bit like a church hall. Expecting trestle tables with harvest fayre. But no - a pocket size audience with a couple of ladies from Finland and two from Dulwich.

Scott and David very ironic. I was in the middle being their feed. Scott said my boots looked "corrective" - good gag. Will steal.

Then it's time for my show... I'd like to say I stormed it. I'd be lying. But one older gentleman on the front row gave me lots of love. He may have been plugged into the football - but I'll give him the benefit.

Embarrassingly I went on too long then I heard lots of rustling like hamsters so I looked at the commotion. Had to put on my glasses so I could read the card held up by a more than frazzled producer. What did it say?

"Wind up now"

Festival of Politics

This Saturday 27th August look out for:

In Defence of Politics: What is Comedy and Satire Doing to Our Politics?
Sat 27th August 18:30 – 19:30, Main Chamber, £6.00 (Concessions £3.50). Book in advance Does political comedy and satire undermine public support in democratic politics by constantly deriding politicians and under-playing the challenges of governing? Are comedians to some degree responsible for the existence of a large number of 'disaffected democrats'? Is there such a thing as 'civic comedy' and could it be funny? Should politicians spend more time reflecting on their responsibilities to the public and less time mocking politicians? This event explores these questions by bringing together a number of comedians, satirists and political scientists. On the panel: Comedienne Helen Lederer, Tim Telling of the Daily Mash, stand-up comic Matt Forde (invited) and Professor Steven Fielding of the University of Nottingham.

Advanced Booking required for this event, I believe.

The festival of politics is on all week from Saturday 20th August through to Saturday 27th August with the main focus of events running from Thursday 25th.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Edinburgh Book Festival

I will be on the judging panel at Edinburgh Book Festival Unbound's Literary Death Match which takes place today,  Monday 22 August 9:00pm - 11:00pm Achieving cult status around the world from Beijing to San Francisco, and landing a literary punch here in Charlotte Square Gardens for one night only! The Literary Death Match sends four writers against one another with only words as their weapon, all in the hunt to win the LDM crown. These writers have to dazzle a panel off all-star judges and most importantly, you, the audience, with their most exciting, insightful, funny, moving writing. The top two go on to the evening’s finale, a death-defying battle of literary ridiculousness… There can be only one winner!

Unbound events happen every night from 14 to 29 August in the Spiegeltent in Charlotte Square Gardens as part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. All Unbound events are FREE and unticketed. To get in, simply turn up and walk in. All events start at 9pm so arrive early to get a seat and the bar will be open until 1am.

The Edinburgh Book Festival runs from 13th to 29th August, so there's still lots more to come.  Here's the event website:

Friday, 19 August 2011

Queueing in Boots

As am now in Edinburgh it is to be expected when queuing in Boots for a surrogate boho chic sandy swept sea spray for my hair (having left precious item at home) to find the customer behind me wearing full clown make up and a hessian sack. Would have been amazed if the shops were full of shoppers.

Just done Hardeep Singh's show –he had very musty cold and had forgotten his shoes. I suggested he went on in socks –but he was not understandably going to listen to a bright and keen person fresh off the train while he's been slogging his curry skills for two weeks. Couldn’t work out how he'd got to the gig without shoes since he appeared to be wearing socks but hey –me and my London nit picking –anyway the man who was chopping the onions and chillies mercifully also boasted a size 10 and surrendered his red trainers which went rather fetchingly with the tartan kilt.

In other news...

No flyers of my show –haven't sold out yet and it’s only on for ONE NIGHT. bracing myself for humiliation.

Saw Lorraine Chase bending over table in the pizza express –couldn’t hear what she was saying to the diners but I think the central point was to come to her show.

That will be me tomorrow. Best eat first.

Oh... and before I go... in case you haven't got it worked out already: here's the link to buy tickets:


Something for the little ones...

Cbeebies have some new friends. Their new series the Iconicles is on every weekday at 3.45.

Want to meet Miss Moo?

Check it out about four minutes in when I get to meet the lovely Nat!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Ready for the off

Did the try out gig last night at Tabard Theatre. Nice pub attached as I later discovered. Forgot loads. Had to put my glasses on a lot –the act of putting on glasses seemed to cause hilarity –I may keep this in for Edinburgh show out of desperation –and also because I need to see.

I am playing ‘Miss Moo’ -a cow - on Cbeebies Iconicles. My character breakdown said Miss moo is a kind warm cow. That’s me .Every single weekday 3.45 BBC. moo

Have been spray tanned for Edinburgh (medium to dark) . I may regret this especially as it's not known for being a tropical city - must wash off in a few hours or will resemble Judith Chalmers bless –didn’t have the back done as its only my neck that will be visible in my black clothes – but didn’t want to short change the sprayer - seemed a bit mean to ask for a ‘solo neck spray’.

This weekend I get to do lots of guest spots have made a list which is thus:

Hardeep Singh’s ‘Chat Masala’ at the Gilded Balloon Teviot
Date & Time Friday 19 Aug 2pm

Scott Capurro’s ‘Position’ at the Gilded Balloon Teviot
Event Website
Date & Time Sunday 21st Aug 4.30pm

Edinburgh Book Festival Unbound's Literary Death Match
Monday 22 August 9:00pm - 11:00pm I will be on the judging panel. Achieving cult status around the world from Beijing to San Francisco, and landing a literary punch here in Charlotte Square Gardens for one night only! The Literary Death Match sends four writers against one another with only words as their weapon, all in the hunt to win the LDM crown. These writers have to dazzle a panel off all-star judges and most importantly, you, the audience, with their most exciting, insightful, funny, moving writing. The top two go on to the evening’s finale, a death-defying battle of literary ridiculousness… There can be only one winner!

In Defence of Politics: What is Comedy and Satire Doing to Our Politics?
Sat 27th August 18:30 – 19:30, Main Chamber, £6.00 (Concessions £3.50). Book in advance Does political comedy and satire undermine public support in democratic politics by constantly deriding politicians and under-playing the challenges of governing? Are comedians to some degree responsible for the existence of a large number of 'disaffected democrats'? Is there such a thing as 'civic comedy' and could it be funny? Should politicians spend more time reflecting on their responsibilities to the public and less time mocking politicians? This event explores these questions by bringing together a number of comedians, satirists and political scientists. On the panel: Comedienne Helen Lederer, Tim Telling of the Daily Mash, stand-up comic Matt Forde (invited) and Professor Steven Fielding of the University of Nottingham.

Monday, 15 August 2011

This and That

Time is closing in –what if no one one comes to my show …? Have used memory and hypnotist to nail the lines – the key is association -  I am imagining a journey through my garden so when I'm sitting on my garden bench I’m really doing hilarious comedy about my divorce – and when I’m at my tomato plant I’m really doing my routine about a tantric couples' workshop in Finchley. Yes, it all makes sense.

Broadcasting House BBC Radio 4

Early start with delectable Paddy Campbell –the brain box man who chairs it- he claims to also host a programme for the BBC world news about Guatemalan angling – but I don’t quite believe him.
Reviewing the papers comedian Helen Lederer, author of The Junior Officers
 Reading Club Patrick Hennessy and Sky News reporter Mark Stone

We three reviewers were given a pile of newspapers each, a pair of scissors and a spanking new file pad . These were not gifts. No. We were to choose 5 stories each, cut them out, write down the name and page number of the paper and then take away the number we first thought of – No I mean we were to conjure an interesting and original take on said item – I was exhausted and it was only 7.45am.

Patrick Hennessy and Mark Stone were both clever and brave people as well as heroes having been on the front line in urban and foreign wars - but also gallant. I bagsied the story about male pants – interestingly Mark Stone quite wanted that one too. Some things just find their own home though …

Friday, 12 August 2011

Comic Roots

From yesterday's Edinburgh Evening News ....

"Returning to her comic roots has set the comedian thinking. She still remembers that first visit, or rather one particular review..."

Here's the full article:


Thursday, 11 August 2011

Comedy Connections

Well who’d have thought it - came upon this missive where the great Ronnie Corbett reveals how he first saw the also great Miranda ‘assisting me!’ in Edinburgh. I like this turn of phrase – perhaps one day I may be of service back –am good with carrying, fetching, wiping surfaces and small acting parts.

If memory serves I was doing a play with live food on stage – (truth be told can remember as if yesterday – and the reviews) one of those where the idea was better than the execution – but a great opportunity to get drunk in various windows of opportunities in Edinburgh.

Naturally I’m not one to trawl through the internet in search of my name (that often) – however google does have it that I am ‘the supply teacher of comedy’ – which I think is a plus.

Not only am I doing hypnosis –I’m now seeing memory man –to lock the lines down for Edinburgh that I have never done before - is this wise? – perhaps I should do what the young call ‘riffing’ and not lock it down …just a bit of pressing quite hard?

Here's the link to book tickets:

Oven man not come back with new part yet - bereft -it's microwave city here.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Not too much exciting news has happened so am making some of this up.

Ventured to Osterley –which is not a town in Austria but a TV studio to review paper for Sky news. – Might need to turn 60 before I get my own current affairs programme – Miriam Oreilly is my role model keeping my hopes alive.

Needing to learn my Edinburgh show so wonder if drawing pictures to remember points will help? Drawing pictures does not excite me as I will need 5000.

Am about to have a lesson on Facebook – as have a phobia about the layout – this is better than having phobia about breathing but only just.

The film Horrid Henry got a stinky review – am shocked and appalled .. Does the reviewer write for The Spectator?

Thankfully have put the right staples in my stapler – but have not managed to read ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ - couldn’t manage it – too scared.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Dwi hoffi coffee – I love coffee- my primary Welsh is still with me – am going to try and conquer Wales with my comedy writing and presence – it’ll be like Ruby Wax coming to England

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Excitement reigns -the box office of the ACTUAL venue for my Edinburgh show is rumoured to be 'manned' today. Do call if inclined to test this out. Performing to chairs may be strengthening - on the other hand - if memory serves... but hey what's the worst that can happen? yeah I know... call

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

It was the quietest day of my life- I heard a fly give up and that’s without my spray which I keep handy on my desk…

However I did find out the most AMAZING coincidence –wait for this … Jenny Éclair and I have the same OVEN!!! I KNOW

How did I find this out? My man who came to fix it for the 2nd times said ‘oee I’ve just come from jenny éclairs house’ – so I cleverly deduced as he is an oven specialist….. Enough said

I decided not to probe what was the cause of her malfunction but suffice it to say we must both have been writing in our houses with our scrunchies in our day wear... he said we were both ‘down to earth’ which means we were both in our scrunchies and day wear etc …

Hard I know to belief that creative people have ovens that they put things in from time to time – but even Evelyn Waugh had a baby belling

Monday, 1 August 2011

I went to the little Jermyn Street Theatre – and saw the musical of BEWITCHED, BOTHERED AND BEWILDERED. And may I say quality dancin singin and lightin….how DO people tap, sing and smile? NO IDEA. Sue Pollard was in the audience looking younger than me with impressively unusual clothes and I remember her doing that in ‘me and my girl’…we reminisced fondly until she told me that was 30 years ago. Nooooooo

Sunday, 31 July 2011

went to a quick birthday celebration of a 21 year old and bought a phallic cake from Cox Cookies & Cake - Brewer St … since I was passing – the man who sold it to me wasn’t English –I could choose from a penis with brown icing as topping or a muscly arm .. He said ‘I used to have tits’ and I said ‘ah well you can’t have everything’ ... until I got out of the shop I realised he was talking about his cake topping collection .. And I thought I was being kind and tolerant as usual.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Blast from the past

blast from past! @SOTCAA: 'In One Ear' article by Barry Took, Radio Times, 30 November 1985

excitement -found this on twitter -imagine my delight when I opened it to find a young looking team -for one moment I thought we had all re cast ourselves and we were doing a programme live… tonight …something about the lack of lines on face told me no was an archive

I wish that will happen with absolutely fabulous in September but will there be time for me to sew my own dresses which make me look as good as the other lasses?

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Colonic Woman

I wrote (and did) this for Woman magazine recently - all in line of research fort he published written word and a free back sac and crack whatever that may be...

The Flyer for my Edinburgh Show

Monday, 25 July 2011

Yesterday's Film Première of Horrid Henry

Got dressed early (after tussling with my Edinburgh show writing which requires nightwear and anxiety) to attend the première at the BFI of Rich Aunt Ruby woops I mean the film Horrid Henry where I play Rich Aunt Ruby.

Used next door restaurant to have a pee first so I could concentrate on making splash on site without having to break off.

The lace bootees killed me as soon as I zipped them up in the bedroom – so feet throbbing by time I teetered onto red carpet... thankfully some attention was shown but I timed it wrong as stepped into the flashes of press at SAME TIME as the director – OH NO upstaging BY MISTAKE.

Not sure if I was supposed to be there at all in fact –but I greeted my public who were yelling at anyone in high heels to sign the poster.

Then the cast were asked to take a bow on stage but not me or the fine actres Siobhan Hayes who plays Henry's MOTHER who was also there but we took it on the chin. She did anyway.

My part was what we call in the business un petit demi cameo and I am most grateful.

The film is tops.

There is what Rebecca Front called a ‘press junket’ today – to which she is and I’m not invited - I’m pleased for her though -  No I am …

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Horrid Henry

Thought you might like to see the movie trailer in case you haven't already!

Out 29th July

Friday, 22 July 2011

Am feeling the pinch of age

Today I have to attend a graduation of the 21 year old –who informs me she will be borrowing a mate's gown for the pics after he’s been ‘done’ - shocked – surely my baby should have her own? Then she’s ‘dashing’ to get to a pop festival straight after so I can’t tweak and fuss –Will simply have to find a bar then.

What to wear?

And double what to wear at the premiere of HORRID HENRY on Sunday at BFI South Bank.

Apparently Angelica Huston will attend - she loves the children - who will all be in the teens by now - smoking and what have you ... I play a rather Pink Rich Aunt Ruby –am waiting for the classical roles to thunder in after this of course…

Joan d’arc for one ….


Thursday, 21 July 2011

Worrying that no one will buy tickets to this – as the space box office doesn’t seem to be opening till 3rd of august omigod - maybe I'm wrong ?

Ed fringe one is manned all the time by friendly Scottish people though
Edinburgh Fringe box office: 0131 2260000

Left my climbing boots in Wales- asked for them to be posted back – as I predict will have huge need of them in Oxford Street (all those pesky paving stones) – apparently they walked  (the boots)  - but my cagoule got sent back which will see me right in Groucho – the next time I pop in to be seen - black rainproof wear is the new Rebekar nee Wade in terms of dumbed down but self aware.

It could be that I’m spending too much time on my own –this is the cause of depression. But who will sit at my desk with me? They must be silent or a genius and don’t know any one who does that.

Recorded some webisodes yesterday of  Be in the Now ( - watch out for the new series though).  Jess Robinson (top actress) asked if I had a cleaner…this made me strangely reluctant.

It’s like asking David Cameron what is appropriate conversation? Eep (have just learnt the word eep)

Friday, 15 July 2011

Last day at boot camp

Last day at Welsh boot camp ('esgid'). Award Ceremony tonight for best learner. I will neither be presenting nor receiving.But I will be smelly. Wet Wipe Dependent. Have lost bath skill-set tools.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

On with the Boot Camp

Still at Welsh boot camp! Task today quite random: skin a rabbit, pop out its down belows n wash it. I passed on supper.

We are on at the earlier time of 8.30 tonight.
  • Freesat - 120
  • Sky – 134

If you've missed any, you can find us on this link:

or there's lots of pics on the S4Cariad Facebook page. You can follow them on Twitter @s4cariad - they tell you when they post more pics!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Made it to Tuesday!

Am not proud at being exposed as a liar and being feeble re not being tall enough to fit my bike and also raising myself a mere one inch from ground on tree climbing task (I know) I excelled at pizza dough rolling and the placing of vegetables (live in real time) on dough – I won the challenge because Melanie said something Italian sounding –as this is about learning Welsh I’m glad to be part of multi layered celebration of tongues. I’m rocking

Studying hard with Josie Darby
...and with Melanie Walters.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

1st day

1st day at Celeb camp for learning Welsh. Extreme anxiety. Can't escape as it would look bad. First lesson puts me at bottom of memory ability but failed to capsize a corracle which is a plus. And in a teepee. Have to make my own fires. Whimper. Melanie helps. She has lived for 2years in a cabin. Lucky me.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

cariad@iaith: love4language

Now you know who my fellow Welsh learners are. You can see how we are getting along tomorrow from 9pm.  I'm hoping I can manage a bit more than bore da by then.  We'll see.

  • Freesat - 120
  • Sky – 134

Friday, 8 July 2011

Imminent Departure

Oh, Oh. I forgot I meant to loose a stone before I join the Celebs in Wales to do the thing - in our individual tepees.

May be too late – am leaving in few hours and have just had a vegetarian Samosa in the Iceland car park without paying (the car park – you can get away with it).

Stress means I might have upset some kind professionals who are trying to help me – so at least that’s not a worry but a symptom of stress.

Saw Dick and Dom on Breakfast TV publishing themselves in Horrid Henry the film – bless
I’m in it too but play RICH AUNT RUBY which might be of interest – although Rupert Murdoch and the red head are burying my good news today – fair enough

Have got excessive new wardrobe of glamping country casuals strewn across the floor for packing in bag.

I love it here will I love it there? Only if I take wet wipes.

Love4Language is on:
Sky: channel 134 or Freesat: channel 120 from Friday 8th July 20.25, then EVERY NIGHT Saturday 9th –Friday 15th July -

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


You know that thing where stress can inhibit your decision making abilities or rather ability to say NO? Well today I said ‘yes’ to a very nice team to film me 'regressing' –Since I already do that without being filmed - you’d think it would be pretty seamless wouldn’t you?

I was all set to explore who I might have been before I was me, but got so stressed that I wouldn’t be put in a trance and that my jeans are still the wrong height for reality TV and that I might look stupid (crazy or what) that I got 'Blocked'.

I tried. I got half way on my journey into the unconscious where I met a man in olden times who most probably could have been me – when I heard the cameraman rustle. I had got as far as visualising his shoes - then I heard the rustle and I started worrying about my Edinburgh show then worried if I should hand my nominal fee back for not being regressed sufficiently (I did. It was gracefully accepted.)

So basically whoever I was before – we’ll never know - but it may have been a man with grubby boots – or did I just see them in ALL SAINTS where all the boots looks if they have been muddied?

Thanks for listening off to book launch tonight- Daunt Books which I always want to call Gaunt books. I will be charming.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

at last ! THE EMBARGO IS OVER - am prepping to be dropped into the Fforest Camp in Cilgerran in Pembrokeshire. (This is in Wales.) I may opt for driving there to be honest, in normal clothes - but it's still jungle meets … err ....?

Wales S4C are FILMING my every move - so must check which jeans I pack. i.e. over Tee shirts -no bum reveal.

It's like  ' Celebrity Big Brother' - with lessons . 4 hours studying of Welsh per day- using "an innovative language learning technique" possibly involving some kind of coercion - like being denied wine? - lets hope I don’t lark about or get my usual attention deficit.

But the very good news is you can watch me and other marvelous folk on: Sky: channel 134 or Freesat: channel 120 from Friday 8th July 20.25,  then EVERY NIGHT Saturday 9th -15th July REVEALING ALL which may (or not) be a thing of great beauty. Don’t forget to series link it
and -for total geek dexterity I’m going tweet - follow Twitter @HelenLederer  or join the select personnel on my  Facebook Page and blog. My highly trained team of techno carers and social workers   will enable this miracle. (big Pleeease to them).

And the OTHER CLEBS? I know!!! for sheer and understandable excitement see this link
This is me practising being 'in the zone' with Welsh writer Paul Burston

Monday, 4 July 2011

celebrity cariad@iaith:love4language

The cat's out of the bag and I can tell you now...

I'm one of eight celebrities going to the Fforest Camp in Cilgerran in Pembrokeshire, Wales for an intensive week of learning Welsh under the ever watchful cameras of S4C. I have to study four hours of Welsh per day using "an innovative language learning technique called 'TPR storytelling', a method developed in the USA which uses physical activities with the initial emphasis on developing understanding." -  ahhh! sounds exhausting.

You can watch me on:
Sky: channel 134 or Freesat: channel 120

The series starts with an introduction on Friday 8th July at 20.25. and then it's on nightly from Saturday 9th, I think, - showing an hour long programme of our success (and/or failures). Don’t forget to series link it!

And omg I’m going to try and tweet this!!! You know me... I'm not great at this technology stuff but I'm going to try so follow me on Twitter @HelenLederer  or join the select bunch on my seemingly little known Facebook Page (even I don't know about it - well don't understand it, anyway) and I might even manage a word or two here on my blog (dictated probably).

Want to know who's with me? You can see the before pics on this link

Lordeee knows what the after pics will look like.

Edinburgh Concerns

So at least if no turns up to my show  I have now been invited to turn up to two other people's shows to talk about my show as if I’ve only just remembered that I’m doing one while I’m up there.

So far I have been invited to Chat Masala with Hardeep Singh Kohli - Gilded Balloon Teviot, Friday 19 Aug 2pm (for your diary in case you are coming) and Scott Capuro on Sunday 21st Aug – same day as mine –so mustn’t get confused. Don’t know venue.

I will be giving, engaging and generous on these shows – but remain ruthless, blunt and cross on mine – apparently self effacing humour is so over for the older lady. Expect some violence.

This is what it says in the programme...

"UK comedy TV favourite, Helen Lederer returns to Edinburgh, the scene of many tears and much sex (in the 80s) with her show “An Evening with Helen Lederer”. The title does not lie.

"Helen is proud to offer an intimate reveal of life as a K list celebrity. She will start the evening with a joke. After that there will be no further gags, but there will be gin. She may share anecdotes about her charity appearances ('auditions' as her agent prefers to call them), she may chat about her recent appearance on ‘Celebrity DIY’ where Craig Philips gamely offered to 'fill her crack' – but there will be no innuendo. Questions about what it feels like to be comedy's supply-teacher may be rejected in favour of ones about hairdressers"

And this is where you can book –
‘An Evening with Helen Lederer’ 21st Aug, SpaceCabaret@54(Venue54)-Box Office 08455576309

In the words of Bob Geldof  ‘Pick up the phone!’ So I can say ‘Sorry, sold out’ to nasty people who will also be attending the festival.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Alarm Bells

You find me slightly downcast.

I said yes to doing an evening with … SHOW in Edinburgh where people can CHOOSE to come and see me. Or not. This means I must say something for at least an hour. I must also write, practice and learn it.

Tweeted a comedy GIANT, Richard Herring, who has been doing more try out gigs than hot baths – he is a swot.  I on the other hand am not. Could be the new hoodia pills I’ve been taking because no one will give me any thyroid pills. Makes me drive over humps aggressively and say Oh God when people elect to cross the road when I’m waiting in my car to do the same.

Before I worry about Bums on seats i.e. will they be facing the right way - I must go to Wales do a reality show. Seven days of sleeping with other people and sharing latrines. Jealous?

Went into Fenwick’s to buy some pyjamas – no purchase made – either figure hugging with rouched sleeves or massive Hessian stripes. Will have to fashion an old nightshirt with under leggings.

Helen is appearing in at the Edinburgh Festival 21st Aug at 9.45pm‘An Evening with Helen Lederer’ SpaceCabaret @ 54 (V54) - Carlton Hotel, Northbridge Tickets £15 & £12 (concessions) Box Office 08455576309

Monday, 27 June 2011

Drinks for High Jinks

Here are some highlights of the wine article this month - it IS a stretch sampling alcohol by the computer (as I still call it) - but it's also festive and keeps me in stamps for the month. When I don’t have a wine column deadline, my desk is littered with carrots, coke and kelp - a new pash which may increase my metabolism to make me ten stone (I'm really fat now so reaching just a bit fat would be a plus).  I am prepping for 'one night at Edinburgh Festival' and already fearing that thing where people look at me and will know I bought a Monsoon over shift shirt at the airport.  I just tried on a pair of jeans after three years of elasticated skirts in lace - £250 plus - I asked the girl to repeat the price. She did. I left.

"I’m not showing off or anything, but I’ve had an intense month! What’s more, I’m prepared to share some of the highs, namely the most stunning way to drink Tanqueray No. Ten… with a cute little elderflower liqueur. The cocktail I’m referencing is The 51, served at the rather super 51 Buckingham Gate, SW1E." Read full article...
From Living South

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Ymerodraeth State Of Mind

I’d like to suggest this is a picture of me hung in the National Portrait Gallery doing Carmen at Glynbourne.

In fact it’s me doing an amusing pastiche (one verse only – the other singers are more familiar with the words – fair enough) in my back garden for a piss take of a pop song (with a similar name but not with the Ymerodraeth word in it) – but hey, if that’s the only way to get on Comic Relief then I’m in. Listen - if you get the call from them –it leads to all kinds of spin offs -Super Injunctions, a strand on The One Show trying not to do thigh touching with Giles Brandreth - or signed up for Panto which I’ve already done thank you – twice. And no I’m not bitter –cos I’ll be at the RSC this Xmas (me being nasty and no I’m not sorry).

Notice I’m the only one talking about the Welsh Comic Relief thing now – because I’m getting rather big in Wales.

I say this because I’m revving up for a top secret REALITY SHOW in July where I have to put on a WET SUIT - not all the time – I also have to remember to take my spanx, my glasses, my asthma spray but no valuables … I must also mix nicely with other WELSH CELEBRITIES and not get competitive at all….. I know it’s not the jungle – but I like to be more trail blazing than eating testes and other irritants. Bitter? Not me dears.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Miss Marple

So I am in ITV’s Miss Marple tomorrow..great excitement - except once you tell people you’re in it they think you’ll be in every episode NO NO NO –I’m at the beginning eating a slice of cake saying ‘More tea, Jane’ …at least I think that’s me – unless they edited that bit out ...

A very clever episode written by Patrick Barlow called ‘Why didn’t they ask Evans?’ – and economic use of my acting skills so as not to spoil the public for when I’m in Midsommer Murders spelt, Midsommer and also perhaps a ‘Lewis’ where I play the village eccentric or a druid perhaps.

Standing by for the call…

Monday, 13 June 2011

Here's Me, Talking about The Orange Prize

Click here to watch the video

am sounding alarmingly worthy and full of pauses  here -which must be due to a)an extradopnary amount of alcohol  or b) showing off

Orange judging an intense experience increasing my vocabulary and spread of buttocks flesh as I sat in my reading chair to consume 55 books. Worth every second. Tricky to see the novelists who didn’t make the long list or the short list at the 'do'  and who probably hate me personally-but we all fought for our books of choice so we did.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Wouldn't mind one of those, hey...

I've just been sent some lovely photos of an awards ceremony I did on the best of yachts in the world (Italy and Portsmouth as it turned out). Amazing to meet people who just design yachts and taps for yachts and also water features (for yachts). Soon beacme yacht aware and chose my fave. I came home as usual with loads of business cards but can’t match the card with the name of the person who will give me more work/free samples/confidence. Must drink less after my speech.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Meetings, Lovely Meetings

More meetings! Had to type out a list so I don’t get confused. I always wear the same - white top and black skirt – a bit like a waitress - well I am here to serve. Yesterday’s meeting was outside in a draft at Jamie’s Kitchen. It seems all those people having their Italian lemonade cans work at the BBC - they go there to get out of their own building. I would pay to work IN it.

Dangerously near Debenhams but I resisted on the way to the tube. I lied. I did not want to shop. No money and probably no development deal. They liked the ‘precinct’ but Paula Milne is writing something in a similar precinct. You know what? Paula, please step off my precinct?

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Hush...I'm not supposed to say

My other new best friend Sandra Dickinson who I was paired up with for ‘Celebrity Coach Trip’ just sent me some libido pills from the states – either they’re not working or one is not enough …(felt like I was a slipping down a Viagra) give it time – must remember to take them regularly along with the ones for joints (bones not hashish kind) ginseng for the brain and the ones for hair skin and nails – pointless really since I have to have acrylics – am a compulsive nail biter – most attractive.

We were sworn to secrecy not to say publicly anything about Michael Barrymore being on ‘Celebrity Coach Trip’ and falling over – until it transmits in the autumn but it seems everyone knows he did that – he’s the Ryan Giggs of Channel Four…

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Meet the Writers

Went to a ‘meet the writer’ event at the St Stephens Club. I was the one without a book currently in print so I took along my two old ones reclaimed from Amazon – to put on my display table…

I asked for peanuts... a bold step but one to establish status and position. Then my hosting OCDC took over… I started introducing people. I can’t bear a room full of folk at the beginning of an evening where bonhomie has not been established. I could be hired commercially for that first breaking the ice moment.

I went round and befriended the other writers. A man who had written a book about lions, an Indian who had found his spiritual backbone behind commerce and had written a self-helper (mm) and my new best friend Paul Burston who’d written the ‘gay divorcée’ which is apparently Jane Austin but male – must read.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Casualty Cameo

Have just watched The One Show. Made to feel outcast and loser while ironing pillowcases to take my mind off a script for three weeks time. How am I going to learn it in that time? It took me three days to learn three teeny sections of dialogue for Horrid Henry and that was with so-called assistance of a slow and annoyingly quiet helper (male).

The reason for my sense of alienation? Caroline Quentin not only stars in some fresh comedy with an actress who naturally is also brilliant -as she tells us - but she’s doing a house program too. She does houses up for fun…

I can’t even put up a shelf. I’m finished! Let’s hope I’m the cause of someone else’s alienation. Should I ask agent to look out for panto? Don’t think she does panto. Will ask tomorrow while reminder her in passing to send out a memo alert that I’m in Casualty this Saturday.