Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Some Pics from The Prince's Trust Gala Night

For your amusement - for we were most amused, were we not?


All these wonderful pics are by the super talented Christie Goodwin.

And here we are in full flow ...

"The Prince's Trust is a youth charity that helps change young lives." Here is the link to their website for more information.

Friday, 30 November 2012

The Red Carpet

Helen stands on a red carpet! causing one to 'act up' with what my headmistress called 'silly behaviour' if there had been no red carpet I might have just shared about the #Leveson inquiry -but as it was, I found an overexcited twirl with the lovely spirit of Richard Arnold to be more immediate.

If you missed Daybreak yesterday you get another chance! Here's the link (I'm on just before 8!):

Will tell all soon (maybe) x

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

We Are Most Amused: The Prince's Trust

The thing about working with all the comedy national treasures is that one can feel a bit sick the day before. And so this is a photo of me and some other comedy giants on the big dipper in Thorpe Park when I wasn’t feeling sick...
We were filming Happy Families written by Ben Elton, Dawn French,
Hugh Laurie, Jennifer Saunders and moi 

Ben Elton is now directing and writing sketches for this gig …  I will be the only participant without my own TV series and while that is a distinguishing fact, I also used to run my own bespoke travel agency called Helen Travel (aged 10) which is another.

 Mission statement for the week? Keep boundaries firm and try not to annoy people.

We Are Most Amused, Wednesday 28th November, Royal Albert Hall, 7.15pm start
For Tickets: 

Friday, 19 October 2012

Sun Tan Grief

It’s fading. So keen am I to hang on to the last vestiges of being beige (in hue, not personality) I dash into a stand-up skin dying booth. Shock horror. I see my trainer in the reception area. We do the decent thing. We ignore each other. Me because I’m no longer training with him (or anyone) and him, I assume, because it’s a bit feeble to be seen tan topping when one is a big bloke.

Am wearing a talisman around neck (see pic) from Egypt to ward off bad omens and with this new vigour I have decide to up my income. My new approach thus far has been to beg for work on the internet. So far I have received three replies out of my 70 warm and friendly invitations to employ my versatile voice. These were to thank me for my interest but to share that I got their name wrong and also to mention, in passing, that they don’t make TV programmes that need voices any more. (Surely this has to be a lie?)

Undaunted, I am also selling my quirky, vintagey clothesies. A lady is taking photos of all my stuff. (Not undies – as if.) She lays my j brand velveteen jeans out on the wooden floor in an expert manner. ‘Are these clean?’ she asks sternly. ‘They most certainly are,’ I retort. And then secretly worry as I see her pick a fleck of something off the thigh …eew
No one was killed in the taking of this photo of my J brand jeans.
 Although it look as if they have been.
I want to sell my two antique French tables bought under duress so as not to disappoint the vulnerable antiques lady who was selling them. I phone up a new ‘old items’ shop in Dulwich to see if they want them. It seems that every yummy (not me as I am not yummy on purpose) mummy has tried to do the same thing and flog their faded, flecky, caravan fold-away camping item to said shop. The answer was a Scandinavian, stylish but firm ‘NO’.

Celebrity news? Was in Voice of Russia, St James Square, yesterday. Met the owner - a nice Russian man who was sporting a fisherman’s jumper (which didn’t surprise me) while Peter Hitchins plugged. 

Am mugging up on the news for SKY TV this Sunday  and  preparing for my STAND UP COMEDY APPEARANCE at THE ALBERT HALL where I am not headlining in any shape or form #Most Amused 28th November. Coming?

At 'Stand Up To Cancer' Gala last night
 wearing my mother's shoes.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Windy in Whitby

I have been filming a TV series with Bernard Cribbins. I find walking, talking and riding a tricycle tricky enough - but remembering lines at the same time has slightly tipped me. Or maybe it was having to ride my adult trike down a ravine in the rain and say ‘busy busy’ in a cheery voice and try not to think about losing my life as I flew off into the sea. How do they do it on ‘Call the Midwife’?

One poignant memory is of Bernard and me sheltering in the rain... waiting for the raincoats to be cruelly whipped off before we did some acting. We were so blue our teeth were clicking

Bernard is not wearing wig.  I am.
The props were excellent. I nearly found myself eating a rubber fish it was so life like …

Me n the rather lovely Paul Hawkyard being actors quite near some water.
Very essential to keep energy high as it was also my birthday while I was away and there was a reasonable expectation for me to drink vodka. I couldn’t disappoint.  I double dosed on my Youth pill which is a food supplement and brilliant. I saw Dinny Hall had spoken about it in a newspaper and since she does nice ear rings and said the Youth pills gave her more of everything - I decided to have some of what she was having . It certainly does that. The make up girl said I had more hair than most people (on my head) and she should know – she had to plait a strange plait into my hair every morning at 6 am. But she was stoic about it. I credit this hirsuteness to Youth and have vowed to book in to their Medi Spa in Notting Hill 8-9 Lambton Place, Notting Hill, London, W11 2SH T 020 7221 2248 to have what they call pampering but in a medi spa sort of way.  The L-Argonne gives the peppy energy and since this was invented by a Doctor who is also a hormone specialist .. who am I to jettison at this heightened time?

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Missing you missing me possibly

Haven’t blogged for a wee while, so missing you missing me possibly

Got a scary twinge of the dark side of the internet after being a guest on Big Brother’s Bit on the Side on Monday.

Got carried away by the celebration sweeties in the Green Room and aligned myself needlessly for and against various celebrities I had never met before or heard of and I started to ‘Over Connect’ as opposed to EM Forster who ‘Only Connects’ ( Howard’s End before you ask, but you knew that ). Got my knuckles rapped from said celebrities’ loved ones on facebook and twitter and found myself feeling rather sick and vexed. I hate upsets. That’ll learn me.

Mind you Julian Clary spoke out against republicanism which may have been a departure for the CBB viewers.

For those not on a diet , and who haven’t given up drink in order to loose the weight for a job not vanity (I lie) and who therefore are not watching Celebrity Big Bro in their pj’s at 9, 10 and 11 respectively - it may be diverting to learn that I went to Jonathan Harvey’s book launch as well.

I was also invited which made the entrance less stressful. The shabby chic pub (velvet and peeled paint) was positively teeming with talented, good looking literati so had to immediately request vodka being too much of a suburban to ask for an absinth and a quill. Jonathan’s tweet on the night: “It’s my book launch tonight and I’m a bit over excited. I may actually piss myself” will whet your appetite. I can’t wait to get stuck in.

Did a few Sky News reviews since I last saw you. This time no one said my hair was like a dog’s dinner on that forum I accidentally came upon. Bloody right they didn't  - I had it tongued and sea salt sprayed as a precaution. Finally topical news not about me : Jeremy Hunt is a lucky ...

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

On Radio

The joys of radio are that all the people who act in radio plays are very nice - and also one has a laugh. I have not fathomed why this should be but it's true. I met some marvellous people in Manchester while doing the series Higher -where I play a woman who is long suffering and helpful (very similar to myself) This series is funny and written by a real academic so there … tune in

Afternoon Drama - Higher - Series 4

'Return of the comedy series by Joyce Bryant about the worst university in the UK - ranked 132nd in the academic league tables.'   Listen to the first episode - 'Clearing' - on iPlayer  (available until 6th August)

Next episode is on  Monday 6th August.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Heavy work and sexual enlightenment

I made my speaking debut at the Saddleworth Women’s Institute where I discovered that - to a man - every one of these stalwart members had read ‘Fifty Shades of Gray’. And there was me thinking I was being gently racy. In fact more than fifty hands shot up when I enquired (somewhat cautiously) if they had read this book of enlightenment and I was pleased to be told the book is now two for one in Smiths including free galaxy should I be interested.

So that’s a book group worth popping along to next time I’m passing by the moors.

But this wasn’t just a one way learning curve. Since I had been rashly invited up to talk about myself, I mentioned my daughter had been filming with Alan Partridge (sorry Steve) in his new film ‘King of Soho’ where her part had been promoted from prostitute to actress (understandably very proud) and where she had to do – I quote - ‘girl on girl action’ as well as wear a merkin (not to be associated knowingly with Firkin but then why would you?)

However when I enquired of the avid lady readers of Saddleworth if any of them knew what a merkin was I was greeted with a less unanimous reaction. Typically some members kindly explained to the less informed what a merkin did – which, I was pleased to observe, clearly demonstrates how the spirit of the WI is alive if not throbbing up north. When it was spelled out that a merkin served as a coverer upper for the private hair dept one lady in the front became stumped for the rest of my talk. She kept saying to her neighbour in mystified tones “but why would you want to?”

More good news in the enlightenment dept. I was presented with a pair of teapot book-ends in china – thankfully didn’t have to travel to said country to receive

More excitement at the Huffington Post first birthday party where I got caught up in the hip tingling sounds of the Noisettes - a welcome awakening I can tell you. I star-spotted Ken Livingstone in a crumpled beige linen number and Peter Tatchell who I noted opted for dark and white clothing on this special occasion. I remained on water and yet still jiggled. I even participated in great conversations which I can still remember - another first.
This is me finding my inner jiggle with an
amazingly invigorating NOISETTE … 

And now to tackle the lanes with the circles on them – or rather not tackle since Boris will charge me if I go in them - but I’m not going to be cowed. I’m going about my business as usual in my Ford Escort - Olympian presence or no. The only difference now is a new awakening in the joys of sports wear and it’s going to grow...I have just spent a bit of extra on quality lined leggings – I can now boast a shortened rouched mini trouser length with a hidden aertex gusset that lets you BREATHE … no merkin required …

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Party Time

I was a ‘plus one’ for the HARPER COLLINS summer party – being reliably informed this was THE ONE to go to. Indeed it was – as thus far have not been acquainted with any other invite with the words ‘Summer’ or ‘Party’ It was to be held in the Orangery and since my invitation went to the wrong house number (I think this was an accident, but who knows?) - I assumed it was the Orangery where I had already been lucky enough to attend a book launch and a wedding ie a Posh greenhouse in Holland Park. So I buy high wedge shoes. I meet my friend. I insert wedge shoes on both feet at door and we are welcomed with a tumbler of elderflower cordial. (We could have had champagne but I am temporally off sauce and my friend doesn’t drink). A kind waitress offered to walk me to the lavvy which was right, right and right again – understandably I needed help given mild dyslexia but mostly due to the wedge shoes.
Quite high for a person used to wearing Scholl sandals or clogs
 and not a million miles from a cork notice board

When Diane timidly suggests the venue is smaller than last year, I say ‘Rubbish! This is The Orangery because I’ve been here before and anyway it says ‘Orangery’’.  Suddenly it dawned on us that the kind folk with shy smiles and gestures of middle class hospitality were not in fact members of the Harper Collins literati –i.e. no soft linen sports jackets and pashminas. Dianne firmly said ‘This isn’t the right party’. We panic. We then learn there is another Orangery in Kensington Palace. I reinstate my flip flops in order to walk to the road and hail a taxi. Our taxi driver is dripping. Diane suggests he lie on the grass in the nude to cool off.  He is polite. We now enter another Orangery - a hallowed party of proven wordsmiths, agents and others who have given their lives to the infrastructure of publishing and its testing demands. Did I say I am not drinking? (A temporary pause as I inch my way down to a normal size.) This means I can not slide into a alcohol fused banter where no one minds what one says because one looks glazed and benign. I am shocked to discover that for the first time in twenty years I am almost tongue tied. Had a good exchange with Nick Cohen – who sadly absented himself for a fag. And even though I had a catch up with Tracy Chevalier who has been fellow judge (darling), when I encountered Jonathon Lloyd (Curtis Brown literati and scribe) in a group he also left to circulate. My presence is causing a departure of guests – it’s now happened TWICE.    I back out smiling.  I walk past the mini-meringues without even stopping to pop one in bag.

Pic taken by Diane J Connell. She consumed 7 meringues and 8 éclairs.
 Fifteen sweet units in all - but I suspect it was a bit more.

I sail into a taxi still smiling. In my bed by 9.15 and ready for Jeremy Paxman.   Next challenge the Saddleworth Women’s Institute without a bevvy - can it be done?

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Two festivals in search of an author

Just back from two festivals in Hay on Wye where the addled brain has been flossed by these gentlemen below

Rob Cowan,(journalist who shared my cab (£50) ) Gabriel Gbadamosi (brainy chair of my debate). Rob’s good looking mate, who is in the military, and I spoke on a platform seated on a very cosy chintz chair at HowTheLightGetsIn Festival (The title comes from Leonard Cohen but I didn’t know that and it didn’t stop me from attending).

The venue for the lovely event, Globe Hall, had an old pulpit at one end and filmed footage of the sea to look at on the side wall if one's mind dared to wander. Mine was firmly gripped into place as I had to offer views on ‘In an age of self publishing how essential is writing to individuality?’ among other punishing conundrums.

Then there was cider in huge great bottles that were handed over the bar top as if they were bottles of wine. 'All for moi?' I asked, before anyone could say ‘No they have to be shared you greedy old person’ and the afternoon tipped by in a rainy haze of other intelligent people watching.

The folk who turned out to my talk at the Hay Festival were consistently smiley with a lot of rain wear between them but at least there were a few questions – and not just about where I got my highlights done. I like to be interactive when it’s a small crowd and ask questions. One bright attendee suggested that ‘paedophile’ might be a suitable suggestion for a three syllable word which although correct, was a surprise. I thanked her and moved on. Always nice to get ‘input’ from the floor.

This is me trying to look like Joanna Trollope at my book signing  

And this is me not looking like her at all  
I have shifted a bit of merchandise – a few less copies of Finger Food left on Amazon now

A sign about a sign

This is me with a young poet Luke Wright who has an ironic look about him - we are signalling something implied to be in keeping with the philosophy of ideas theme 

Preparing for my WI talk somewhere in Manchester next.  Wonder if I’ll get scones? I bloody hope so

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Showbiz Week

Show biz week for me and my two black jackets – first some free loading at The Orange Prize for female fiction. I was a judge last year which justified my guiltless speed at making the beeline for waiters to fill up my Glass from VERY LARGE bottles of REAL champagne
I arrived with Paul Burston and Dianne Connell – both very talented writers. Dianne and I spilled champagne over Paul at different points of the party – giving him time to dry in between. Dianne smashed a glass and two women moved away. Horrified.

 The winner’s novel by Madeline Miller was a ‘fusion of myth and a love story’ – which excites me – similar to last year’s winner The Tiger's Wife which I like to think is down to me personally. Although so far I haven’t been thanked.

 After several refills I found that joining in other people's conversations was not necessarily the way to go. Well one conversation in particular – trouble is when squiffy, one's brain works faster than one's lips –so one is left stumbling over a sentence when one's brain has already left the room - and the party. You’d think I’d have learned that by now- but what makes life so exciting is that some lessons cannot be learned in a life time

As documented - I own two black jackets - both are very similar in the sense they are both black but I wore the other one to the Grouch Quiz hosted by Stephen Fry. He rightly warned against the use of mobile phones – any table found transgressing was to be disqualified and very possibly black listed. For ever.
Victoria Wood answered most questions and what’s more they were correct. I answered the least. I was the eye candy I told them.

 Next week I go to Hay on Wye. The HOWTHELIGHTGETSIN FESITVAL is very groovy apparently Web: Twitter: @HTLGIFestival

 I’m on Thursday 7 June 2.30 at the Globe Venue (MAYBE IM IN A BIG TEEPEE?) I will be on a panel discussing the role of the author and he similitude of the internet. It may not be the similitude but these are the types of words I may employ at different times – it being festival of philosophy and ideas.

 Then on Saturday 9 June at 9 AM!!! so top spot timing wise as you can see - I will be having a chat with lovely poet and publisher, Kathryn Gray …. All about ME ME ME Helen Lederer talks to Kathryn Gray, Saturday 9 June 2012, 9am • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage 'The comedian, author of Coping with Helen Lederer and Single Minding discusses her new Quick Reads story - A Comedy of Ambition, Dreams, Treachery and Daytime Television' Event Website:

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Looking back at a bit of work – but there’s always HAY on WYE

Apparently ‘they’ are commissioning sitcoms – clearly not mine – so to comfort myself I was pleased to travel up to the all new ‘Media City’ in Manchester to be an actress for three days in a BBC Radio play called ‘Higher’.

 What is the new BBC building like? Well, the same joke was offered by quite a few local user groups – it goes like this “Welcome to Stanstead”

The repetition made me feel that the actors might be suggesting the new building simulated an airport? But I couldn’t be sure. Certainly lime green chairs in the coffee bar area would not be out of place near an aircraft holding bay. I bumped into a nice welsh man – Alex Winters - who does Cbeebies and he told me there had been a piece of art set in the reception for a few weeks - but it had gone. Shame. I like a bit of art in an empty space. Because then you can say the space is there to set off the art - without the art the space is... well just very spacious in a pure sort of way. Pure except for the Pyrex barriers that garrotte you if you forget your BBC pass and sometimes if you don’t.

 3 days of radio acting without line learning is my idea of bliss. I stayed in the hotel next door – the ‘Holiday Inn cum Groucho Club to host visiting guests on BBC Breakfast TV’ – Jon Cooper Clark joined my seating group and we made merry. He has a very wide vocabulary and I told him so.

 Friday was spent in Cardiff visiting a heritage site. My Cadw guide had emailed ahead to suggest the wearing of sensible foot wear. I must have been boiling the kettle at that bit- as I appeared to be wearing my best stage wedge suede black ones. Found myself gamely walking over a deeply muddy field of bullocks and clambering over several complex built styles to get to a lovely castle with a man I’d only just met. Luckily I’m trained - I can change in lavatories, sing (badly) without any sheet music and deal with silences
Me outside Old Beaupre Castle, not far from Cowbridge
I am getting very excited about appearing at The Hay Festival and the How the Light Gets In Festival.

My first turn is where I will join a discussion about this: ‘In an age of self publishing and writers' workshops, the idea that we all have a novel inside of us has become commonplace. But how essential is writing to individuality? Has the internet facilitated one of our most deep-rooted desires, or has it opened up the false hope of a readership, a performance without meaning?’ Wowsa!
Six Billion Authors in Seach of an Audience Thursday 7th June, 2.30pm, Globe Hall.
Caroline Smailes, Helen Lederer, Ewan Morrison, Scott Pack. Gabriel Gbadamosi chairs. Here's the event website:
As long as I get to moan about agents, the media, and innuendo on panel games - I’m sure I’ll get a biscuit after.
The 2nd appearance is at the OTHER Hay Festival next door - talking about ‘Finger Food’ my book for ‘Quick Reads’ to Kathryn Gray

Helen Lederer talks to Kathryn Gray,  Saturday 9 June 2012, 9am • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru - Wales Stage
'The comedian, author of Coping with Helen Lederer and Single Minding discusses her new Quick Reads story - A Comedy of Ambition, Dreams, Treachery and Daytime Television'

Event Website:

Then I get to hang about for three whole days – anyone know of any Hay on Wye –ish parties ? If so I will collect the boots back from the cleaners to bring with and network like crazy.

Monday, 14 May 2012


this is  unusual  - it's on Channel 5,  Tuesday at 8pm - the programme invited me to take part and so I did -but filming it was quite hard - and then after a time, just as the big brother contestants  will tell  you,  I  really did forget the camera was there - I had a lot of gin in the evenings though - and what's  more I found me a cousin !   anyway I wrote this which explains it

normal jocular service of wry veering on bitter sweet observations of the shallow world of showbiz to be resumed I hope...

See Helen Lederer in War Hero in my Family,
Channel 5, Tuesday 15th May, 8pm

'Helen not only found  her grandfather  to have been a hero she found a cousin who survived  Auschwitz and is reunited with him.' 

Monday, 30 April 2012

War Hero in my Family

There's a new series starting on Channel 5 on Tuesday 1st May - War Hero in my Family - not to be missed. And I'm not saying that because I'm in it - but because it reveals compelling stories that should not be forgotten - but as the programme highlights 'How can we remember - if we were never told'. There are secrets in every family that come out when Channel 5 do the research as I can now testify!

I was cool about being invited to take part in War Hero in my Family as our family have not spoken about the painful memories that WW2 holds for them but there is crying. Soz.

I was able to see first hand the horrors of the concentration camps and with great sensitivity by the director of the programme, Serena Davies, I was steered toward discovering a cousin who is not only still alive but whom I have visited again and who I now have as part of my family. I have just sent him a dvd about liverpool and Bolton football teams. Together we can piece together what happened to my Father and Grandfather when he came to England and more amazingly still over how he played his part in the war by incriminating captured SS officers for trial at Nuremberg.

My programme goes out on 15th May but don't miss the first episode on Tuesday 1st May in which Chris Tarrant and Lisa Faulkner set off on an emotional journey to discover more about the role their family members played in WW2. I don't know their stories yet. I've only seen the trailer: but from my own experience of being involved in the series I know it will be a must see. I'm going to find it hard - I know - but I'm going to watch.

For a further taster :

Friday, 27 April 2012

What's On

What's On? I'm on. That's wot. With Scott.

 I've been invited by the fragrant Scott Capurro to be there or be squarer than if you said square. New venue 'Soho Downstairs' - that's at The Soho Theatre - their new cabaret venue, but doesn't it sound so, well 'downstairs'? More below mezzanine.

Anyway, in haste, as having to buy biscuits to hand round in case no time for gag prep - will have done the papers though for Sky so maybe I'll go for some James Murdoch hair gel material. Here's the link for you to take a look. It's on tonight and on tomorrow (I'm on tomorrow ;) Enjoy!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Several outings serviced by the same black jacket

Here’s me with ‘newspaper story selection’ envy – checking out which story lovely Stuart Miles was putting across in a light but informed manner as befits appearing as a guest on Sunrise on Sky at the weekend with gorgeous Stephen Dixon.

Everyone was so relaxed you’d think I hadn’t just been woken up at 4.25 am to be reassured by the car firm that a car would indeed be collecting me at 6 am –that’s in ONE AND A HALF HOURS TIME - leaving me with one and a half hours to process this very advanced car arrival information.

My FAVE story was the one where the female producer of Miriam O'Reilly (the woman who allegedly took The BBC to court over the delicate subject of roots and other words not a million miles from botox)... wrote a two page spread with a differing view. I love using the word ‘complexities’ for this kind of debate.

And here’s that black jacket coming out again at The CHORTLE Comedy Awards.

This time the jacket is teamed with a vest including a loose thread – this same ensemble has accompanied me to 3 award jobs in the same week – it's only until I loose the weight –(after Easter and very possibly some of the summer ) then I can morph into the 'stripey with lacey' Stella McCartney over the 'vest under jacket under blouse' ensemble. I gave an award to ‘best club comic’. He wasn’t there. A nice man claimed it. I kissed him. Hattie Hayridge danced round her handbag until her ankle broke. Annoying. More for her than me. Have offered to rally with some groceries but her cupboard is stocked, I’m told.

Another outing for the black jacket at a Water Aid event at the Festival Hall with JP Morgan people who had raised money. My job was to make the odd joke (not too odd, they were bankers) but a heavenly evening. The prize for the fittest employee was a decanter shaped like a pair of buttocks. Joy. I felt both parties.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Latest outings this week

This is me trying to hold my note in a descant with a nice nun with hairy arms (aka Sister Mary Macarthur at her chat show) 

This finds me a touch concerned that fellow guest witty Wincey Willis is mistaking her microphone for a rabbit. Paul Phear from Magic Radio is trying to cover. What a nice man.
The same day of this gig - I had a team of specialists round to do a piece for Mail On Sunday this week - on the theme of ‘dysfunctional mother and daughter’. I was thrilled to be selected! Not only did we get a free make-over from a lovely make up man but we met a bright young journalist. She was more than able to tease out the dysfunctional past of our scary food eating and weird relationship. Hannah and I have stoically developed over our years as a singularly aspiring dysfunctional family unit. Heaven!

We made a cake for Les, the cameraman, and the journalist, Holly, bravely bit in to a half cooked batter with mushy strawberry. Game gal. The photos for tomorrow’s article won’t show they had loose fermenting batter within, will they?

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Omiword, I am doing this gig on Friday.

Luckily I wavered a fee in order to toy with the luxury of not being prepared and one hundred percent ‘impromptu’.  I met David Mills with Scott Capuro in Edinburgh and experienced their heady mix of humour when they asked me why I was wearing corrective shoes. I found this funny.

I may venture into experimental psychometric personality testing . Wonder if Jackie Mason's doing that?

Last Wednesday I was tending my own computer screen when I got the call. It was from BBC Newsnight. I didn’t pick up. Then I was too tempted so I rang back. Would I come on and talk about how society is sick to its bones with drunk people and could I discuss this with a public heath authority …?

Earlier in the evening I drank 9 diet cokes with two female producers who are taking me to Prague for a big dramatic TV programme that I can’t talk about yet (partly because we haven’t gone yet and there isn’t much to report). I drove to TV centre. Lee from the Blockheads hopped in to act as human sat nav kindly.

This photo was taken in the make up room:!/The_Blockheads/status/169902111545491456/photo/1

Lee has played music with Gavin’s musician wife. Gavin and Lee had a nice enthusiastic chat while I had my foundation put on and pondered the scare mongering and truthful drunkenness statistics versus unemployment figures and wondered would I in any way make a salient point.

Then I made my debut. Later I got tweeted by a man who observed it was like watching Katie Price. Not in bank balance – but in looks? Certainly. Well observed

So this Friday then, I maybe doing humorous psychometric testing? Coming?
You can get your tea there as well I’m told. 8pm

Friday, 10 February 2012

Cabaret Time

This is the quietest month ever. Even the geek next door is playing his questionable music at a lower pelt. What to do?
Take youth pills, get extra strong coffee, stay on the cross trainer for longer than 15 minutes. (A good sixteen - and I felt ready to tackle the walk to the car).

So having held a clothes sale in house – with a friend who can charge more than me and keep a straight face for a ‘well loved’ pashmina (with bobbles) - I agreed to pop on to that sofa at Breakfast TV to talk about ANOTHER finding from the government about drinking. This time saying two days off is good.
(The message was the same two weeks ago when I went on to say it then – but possibly some people didn’t see me say it .)

Anyway, I do love an early start i.e.  the prospect of sitting close to Charlie Stayt. I make one joke - My doctor asked me ‘Do you drink to excess?’ ‘No,’ I replied. ‘I drink to anything.’ (hilarious for 7.30 am).  This was met with a concerned tweet that I wasn't doing myself any favours. I beg to differ. A small remuneration in these hard times is better than a poke. I apologised to the worried tweeter and thanked her for her interest. Perhaps she’d like to come and see me in this? I’m branching in to psychometric testing as a comedic art form. I’d be glad of her (and your) feed back. Coming?

To book here's a link or you can phone 020 7170 9100.

See you there!

Friday, 27 January 2012

Quick Reads

So here am I doing a quick few words thanking my family, my agent , my double gusset support wear - na only kidding. Here some pics from this week’s launch of the Quick Reads series at the Senedd in Cardiff. Proper posh government do with nice sandwiches

Here is very important Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert. He lent me his specs as I forgot mine. I luvs him.

and here we are supporting the heart. He is holding my book which was more than gallant so I let him have a gratis copy. For you it's £1.99
And here I am with a lovely Miss Wales, Courtenay Hamilton, who is holding her own

After the launch I was interviewed by the wonderful Roy Noble on BBC Radio Wales. Here we are swapping our lovely books.

The Roy Noble show - My interview is in the last hour of the show.

Monday, 23 January 2012

A Bit on the Side

omiword...The Big Brother Bit on the Side is the best bit
me acting Nan to my glamour grandchildren, Lisa and Jessica Jane

BBBOS boasts the only green room where bowls of chewy sweets are replenished as soon as one bowl disappears. Service! No matter the caramel gums the teeth up – loving the gratis toffee adrenalin kick back.

In danger of getting obsessed with the celebs – luckily all the little details I have noticed on Big Brother watching 24/7 are picked up on BBBOS – e.g Gareth eating with mouth open bless (a small weakness to offset his perfection) also Natalie’s extreme wiping of surfaces behaviour (sadly now departed) brings out the wry laughter in me.

Just as death comes to us all – so too will the inevitable departure of all housemates –this should unify them but it seems to be getting them twitchy.

Maybe they should be carried out in wicker ware humanist baskets to cut down on humiliation and regrets? (I will suggest this)

BOOK SIGNING - Wednesday, 25th Jan, 2-3pm at Waterstones, The Hayes, Cardiff.
Am more than a little concerned re book signing of FINGER FOOD. What if there isn’t a queue of keen fans around Cardiff high street ? My famous welsh actress friend Melanie Walters can’t make it .. so that just leaves er me.. And me books.

Still, I’ll be getting some nice sausage rolls at the Senedd – and maybe a welsh cake at Waterstones if not – I’ll bring me own.

Diolch in advance

Friday, 20 January 2012

Goings On

Omigod dear reader – recorded an episode of BBC TV ‘Pointless’ – with Russell Grant who sported a glittery matching eye shadow and tie set. I got two answers right which lulled me into complacency – I came down to earth soon though when I faced the audience of my after dinner speech that same night. At least three of the celebrities in the audience were the very same ones who I make gentle ironic use of in my wry and surreal attempt to be hilarious. Panicked. Borrowed a biro to substitute other celebrity names who were not there to defend themselves before I stepped up to the plinth –  to be hilarious. Note to self ‘get new jokes’. Anyone’s.

But hey, got a gig this Sunday – for charity – will be able to swear at that one so looking forward already. I’ve been put on very early. Is this good? Should I care?

Next Wednesday I do my launch of the 2012 Quick Reads / Stori Sydyn series at the Senedd (POSH ARTY NEW GOVERNMENT BUIDING) in Cardiff Bay. Joining me will be Paralympian, Dave Roberts, and Cardiff City footballer, Robert Earnshaw and some sausage rolls, I hope. But back to me me me - my contribution to the Quick Reads series is my book called ‘Finger Food’, a comedy of ambitions, dreams, blackmail and daytime TV. Where DO I get my ideas from?

The cover of my new book 

Me in my comfort zone

And now for more hot Welsh news...

I'M GOING TO BE in Waterstones Cardiff from 2 - 3pm to have some fun with anyone who cares to drop in. Looking forward to and will answer any questions about Day Time TV (and other subjects to do with hair dye, botox and politics). I'll be signing copies of 'Finger Food'. Coming? It’s that or the pub. And more crisps.

You can follow the action on Twitter :  @wstonecardiff and  @storisydyn2012

That's 2-3pm on Wednesday 25th January at Waterstones Cardiff,
2a The Hayes, Cardiff, CF101WB

And THEN...I'll be on the BBC Radio Wales' Roy Noble Show from around 3.25pm.

Listen to BBC Radio Wales in this fashion.
FM: 93-96 & 104 FM 
Medium wave on 882 & 657 AM
Sky - channel 0117
Freesat - channel 714
Freeview - channel 719
Virgin Media - channel 931

So no excuses really – unless you’re in the cinema or have gone swimming.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Busy, busy

This was me in Dublin with two very nice clever funny presenters of The Daily Show.  I love Claire’s hair style. Someone said Jedwood. I beg to differ. Jedwood's hairs are completely vertical. You will see here the hairs have been contained close to the crown.

Quite a busy week ahead – I can’t be doing with anyone who is de-toxing right now. Please have a sense of decency and those in the ‘no raw after 4 brigade’ keep your healthy distance.

a flat spritzer never hurt anyone
Lucky for me the new rules on drinking from The Dept for Health have drawn me into the lime light as a coveted commentator - huge gratitude and general thankfulness - see my Huffington Post article. But just to be sure here are the basic rules again. Women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day; (one glorious alcopop) and lucky men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units a day (two cans of cider). Apparently the old rules were deemed unclear so lots of MPs assembled (over a nice glass of wine) to draw up some new rules.

I’m sure I told you all about the last time I was on the BBC sofa (if you missed it The Guardian can enlighten you so naturally anxious to get it just right.

Was on with a dashing doctor from Kings who sees a lot of liver damage in the young –so together we must strike a balance over liver damage and comfy drinking (lots in my case) then met twinkly MP Chris Bryant in the green room who assures me the glass size in the House of Commons is the same size as normal. I challenge him to give me the opportunity to see for myself. He offers. I accept in a heartbeat . No sooner do I get home I get a call from a gentleman at BBC World at One – he asks me to summarise the facts of the official advice and measurements with an humorous twist if you please. I dash off a piece in twenty mins and before I’ve got time to change out of my leisure pants and whip off my scrunchy I have to enter the tardis - sorry - radio car where I stumble over some statistics which they kept in and some jokes which they kept out. Never mind - drinking is a serious business - that’s why you have to keep at it.

But if I thought that was totally showbiz- how about this on Wednesday  I must boldly venture out in black dress to do an after dinner speech – someone dropped out. I wonder who it was? But hey, I’m rallying the Daily Mail Inspirational Women of the Year Awards. ‘As in previous years we expect this to be a wonderful, fun, glamorous event.’ Yeh - well they hadn’t asked me at that point had they, but will do my best not to wear the laddered penis-proofs – even though they hug the thighs nicely when one is clutching the plinth.

I am recording Pointless on TV - a quiz programme in the day time , where you MUST NOT SCORE.
I'll be on Big Brother’s Bit on the Side Thursday afternoon on  Channel 5. Must swot up On Celeb Big Bro.
THEN I will be doing this on Sunday 22nd Jan:
No one dropped out for this - but I will be dropping in – hope they have nice crisps in the dressing rooms – so depressing to race down to the bar for one's own bespoke beverages and sundries – at my age.