Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The St James Theatre asked me back to do two more nights on November 7th and November 28th.

Naturally I was flattered, so I said ‘yes’ but not having the personnel of most modern comedians – (agent, manager, carer, driver and product provider) I’ve been drawn to crowd funding. If it works, I might be asking you to crowd fund me a modest flat in Byranston Square as well - but for now it’s just for the show thanks
I’ve got wonderful Suzanne Moore and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on 7th Nov. Beyond excited.

I was sent a ‘mind map’ to explain the crowd funding ethos which triggered a dizzy spell. Before saying ‘yes’ to this excitement I resumed my role as Miss Bowline-Hitch for CBeebies with Bernard Cribbins playing the man.

Also played a cameo (more than five lines, less than 5000) on a trendy film called ‘Chicken’ directed by Joe Stephenson
Talented actor, Scott Chambers, being bloodied up

And another cameo in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks which is out Monday Oct 21. It’s a very controversial storyline so simply mustn’t speak of it. I can share this pic though but don’t show it to anyone in case I get sent to Coventry for boasting

With lovely Alex Fletcher
Been having subsidence, so builders were in banging a lot – they found my testosterone gel in the fridge (it goes off once you’ve opened it) – Thankfully didn’t squeeze it over their lunch baps.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Rich, varied and tragic

To be invited to comment about the individuals who have volunteered themselves to be encased in a televised Orwellian construct is surely too good an opportunity to pass up? I enjoy taking part in the earnest validation of this pop-up community – as we ponder over who said what to whom and also if they are 'playing a game'. I put it to you that they are.

Peeking in on 'camera run' in 'the house' as it's called

An unexpected thrill came last week when I was invited to peer into the studio and comment on live action. Sadly I couldn’t spot any. Only a dead cat which turned out to be a grey sodden towel lying inert.

I learned of the untimely death of Mel Smith – when a BBC news chap called me up and asked me to comment. I wasn’t a close friend but I was a true fan and swung into action to offer my thoughts on 80 and 90s comedy. I auditioned for Mel once but decided that wasn’t in the public interest (I didn’t get it)

I was then invited to give my thoughts on LBC. Also BBC Breakfast TV news where you have to put an ear piece in and look thoroughly composed when it's your turn.  And then to Radio Five live. Tragically I left my phone at home and was in the pub when I realised I was supposed to be doing the interview. I’m sorry Mel. But I know you understand and RIP

So here’s to laughing...

Tributes to Mel Smith from BBC News

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

You had to be there

Bought in a flea market. yeah well…
Back from a Parador in Spain.  Paradors are posh, state-run suntraps for slightly older people.  Camped on a day bed which was not overlooked (except by seagulls who reluctantly allowed me to share their communal toilet area) and decided nudey sunbathing with no speaking to be the perfect antidote after mounting the wtf show, which I’m told will now find a place in Edinburgh! Gawd. The last time I took part in The Edinburgh festival I cried. But then, I always cry in Edinburgh, be it from a review or from thrush – it’s a toxic place - aw memory lane….

The Seagull

Just saw a bit of press about my show: I loved my two guests, Michael Crick and Mark Lawson, with a passion and found them to be two charming and dedicated individuals – so I do hope the attendant press coverage didn’t offend them. I am red from embarrassment. Witty and clever people like these make witty and clever conversations, visiting the joke format with repartee, complicit exaggeration, rhetoric, sarcasm, irony and brilliant humility - which is why I was so lucky to have Michael and Mark – any quote taken out of this context is ... Well it's like explaining to your granny that wearing a tee shirt stating ‘shit happens’ isn’t swearing – but some newspapers refuse to attend the same party.

Am choosing to see the off field coverage as a punctuation point about column inches rather than on site reportage (she said rhetorically)

This says it in a far more accurate manner

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Am turning into a slight politico journo groupie: slight shame I wore the wrong bra but there’s so much to think about - under wiring bust dressage is the last thing to get right on the day of a gig. This pic would not look out of place in The National Portrait Gallery – and I have told them this.

Michael Crick and Mark Lawson smiling lightly
Here I am with M and M looking a touch like Jenni Murray in blonde wig – but oh how I enjoyed. 

My band became like my sons (only more attractive) and my guests became projections of all the bright clever males I’ve ever wanted to do stuff with. The words in the song of the great Victoria  Wood weirdly came into my head as we were discussing creationism  ‘bend me over backwards with the hostess trolley’

I don’t think anyone else is doing this kind of work? – If there is a gap in the market my girth is more than ample to fill it

Writer will be away for a few days not drinking or eating white bread due to shocking over reveal of some of the show photos - not included here   

Thursday, 23 May 2013

First WTF Show

First WTF show – It did the biz

Huge anticipation about stepping out on stage after a moribund period of activities including hypnosis, eating and not buying clothes. Would I make a mistake?

Yes. but the shiny DB COHEN house band more than made up for it with three male horns, gorgeous drummer, enigmatic guitarist and lead songwriter Dan Cohen - I felt I was at Glastonbury with wedges.

Mark Lawson turned out to be a winning guest - by affording serious consideration to my highly researched questions – would he marry an Eskimo for instance? Which I felt raised the bar. Mark is coming back by popular demand on June 6th. Tom Daley would have joined and sends his love but is revising. Alan Yentob sends his apologies but is travelling and Suzanne Moore could only do it earlier damn damn. But watch this space – a third guest chair is being wiped in readiness.

I did this gig for water aid in Harrogate –( Helen Lederer, speaking on behalf of WaterAid - YouTube WaterAid works specifically on the WASH crisis: water, sanitation and hygiene. Their vision is of ... ) and having looked at the footage I seem to be all hair and glasses –with a few jokes – but hey …I love Water Aid. And I got given a paperweight.

Have popped up in Psychologies Magazine and have revealed a teasing swimwear preview.

Hannah in Some Girls (BBC3)
Took advantage of my girl being away filming Some Girls BBC 3 (jealous not proud) to clean her very small bathroom with moistened wipes then I felt guilty and put some rubbish back in the fragrantly lined mini bin.

Back to WTF...Some clean theatre seats have been bought by kind strangers already - it’s a small theatre so you might want to book. It’s June 6 Your call.
For tickets:

Monday, 6 May 2013

No turning back

The new try out show is nigh

It’s going to happen this Thursday. A few windows of public display behaviour have been afforded: here I am nursing my home-made cushion in the “Sunday Express afternoon trivia” section.  I decided to come out about the cushion sublimating interest - which fortunately is very apposite to the show – since WTF  tries to nail what is meaningful. Excited? (There will be a joke at the top of the show as well)   

Great excitement at Channel 4’s ‘What’s Cooking?’ on Friday.    

Deep  gossip in Green Room with hot actor Sean Maguire – the more you talk to him the more you realise he’s done amazing stuff only he doesn’t say it in the first few secs.  Just about managed to hold back giving him my card and asking him to do a  swapsie with his agent's details in LA. (But only just) Emma Kennedy is a heroine - clever funny with a nice skirt – while being tasked with creating an emergency meal in ten minutes (as oft happens.) Her emergency sandwich got my maximum vote, which I’m pleased to report pushed her to the top of the leader board. Top Gear with garlic.

whatscookingtv What's Cooking? 3 May

It’s been confirmed Mark Lawson is my First Guest on Thursday 9th  - Omyword. I have bought a proud blue plastic clipboard out of respect. Gravitas is needed with such an intellect.

Didn’t manage to loose the two stone I’d planned for the first stage appearance due to a sudden sandwich surge during rehearsals – so will not be sporting the Joan Rivers diamante comedy silhouette. (Keeping it real)   DB COHEN are my new house band (not husband) yet. Top sound 

See you on Thurs 9th or if you have something on that night - there’s June 6th  


Friday, 5 April 2013

Slightly heightened time so must share.

Writing the new WTF? show and asking followers to contribute their view as to what is the point of life - so I can reflect a true barometer of passion. Followers have been generous with revelations about what is meaningful - so far the majority have cited their children and husband so while I try not to look too surprised at this laudable display of meaning, I’m keeping back my own passion – cushions - for the show.  Sorry so very sorry.

Scoured the TV version of Comic Relief does the Great British Banquet and for a nano second caught this smiley chubbed-up face on camera – eating and not talking with mouth full which was perhaps
for the best

In a fleeting pic at the Comic Relief Great British Banquet

And now to the most exciting reveal: MY SWIM WEAR RANGE (I KNOW!)  For those who wish to hide the tum tum and nether area with lace trim and discreet netting I AM YOUR WOMAN

Here is an exciting preview –I actually felt the burn when my silver, and lace and ELASTIC all came together in one glorious hugga-body-cossie You saw it here - from a woman who truly knows what it’s like to have a camera up her Jacksie on a diving board. I said to the camera man, ‘I don’t want any beaver shot!”  He replied, ‘None will be.’

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Why The Fuss?

stop press

'A miracle of comic compression and control' - Tony Patrick,  The Times

UK Favourite, HELEN LEDERER, is to return to the London stage to host two new shows called

 on May 9th and 6th June at the St James Theatre, 12 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5JA.

 In these new shows, Helen is determined to tease out the meaning of life with the help of an eminent guest and the undoubted intelligence of the audience.

She asks: What is happiness? Is there a point? What’s better, laughter or sex, and does anyone use side-plates anymore?

In an ideal world, such noteworthy heavyweights as Mary Beard, Jeremy Clarkson, Kevin McCloud, Chris Evans, Gareth Malone or Gok Wan will be joining her on stage. And if not. Helen promises to offer up someone else famous. Either way WTF? promises to be a pleasurable journey and one that Darwin would be sad to miss.


12 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5JA

 The theatre is a 5 minute walk from Victoria tube station.
 T. 0844 264 2140   E.


To book Helen’s show on either Thursday May 9th or Thursday June 6th go to:

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Wine Relief, Parties and Juicing

Of course one is more than thrilled to get the call - being asked to do anything for Comic Relief is something one secretly covets even though one doesn’t like to broadcast. As I did the first one in 1988 and haven’t been asked back except to ‘man’ the phones I was particularly chuffed. A kissing sketch with Hugh Grant perhaps? A spoof ‘Come Dine with Me’ with Miranda?

In fact I was asked to do a wine tasting for guests of Welsh chef, Richard Tasty Davies, for Comic Relief’s Great British Menu. If I can’t do comic, then I might as well do wine.

If one digs deep, a keen viewer of GBM might conclude that my wine teachings tends to stay within the Sauvignon Blanc range – but SB does go with everything apart from, maybe, jumping and yoga. 

The Welsh lad did good.

Sky news still seems keen to invite me over on a Sunday to review the papers for Sunrise. They used to put the newspaper in the car, so at 5 a.m. I’d be making myself car sick trying to ear mark four stories for the first slot, so as not to get told off by a frantic producer and still have time to get my hair teased into order. A stray sticky up hair can get a make up girl the sack, since rogue hairs in the morning is their responsibility.

Alarm! Last Sunday there were no papers in car. I didn’t get car sick but certainly got somewhat focussed in the green room with Stuart Miles as we threw papers around in a disorderly fashion. When time is of the essence, I’m ashamed to admit I find it easier to pick an animal or gender item instead of relishing the latest international fiscal outrage with an opinion on top. A twitter man this week said I was dull dull dull. On the plus side I wasn’t drunk.

Here are Stuart and I trying to look very bright and intelligent and tidy. There have been complaints from other guests that there’s nowhere to sit when we’re on, as we like to cover every possible space with newspapers. This Sunday we made an effort. Gratis Sky canteen Marmite bagels help us achieve this.

Picture: Dave Benett

Obviously it’s my duty to attend as many literary parties as possible so I can catch book envy from the other smarty pants and finish writing my novel. I seem a bit loved up at the Costa, so I must have been hiding my envy quite well. Hilary Mantel won this. But when I went along to the David Cohen Book Trust award party, I found Hilary there as well! I was so overawed by the attendees of high brow literati, such as Eleanor Bron in a sling (bandage not type of sarong) and a Very smart literary agent in a cream lace dress and shiny shoes, that I hadn’t realised the reason Hilary was making a speech was because she’d won that award as well. Blimey. Let’s hope Hilary will be at the next party. In fact I won’t go unless she’s there.

Hugely rewarding five days spent at the Obsidian Retreat.  In fact, pouring quality juices down one’s neck and being enchanted by two lovely life coaches to die for and finding very kind people everywhere one looked was a mini miracle. I was all sad and blue when I arrived and then went home very slightly tanned and optimistic. I think one could call this a result. I actually lost 8 pounds (flesh not cash) How do they do this to people? You’ll have to go. It changed me and I’m a stubborn old git. I love the juices. Here's a pic of what we could have.

A good tip I learned is to be thankful. You can be thankful for your bed or your mobile phone or your curtains – no one minds. I’m thankful for this blog. And thank you for reading it.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The sudden and involuntary exposure of my thighs...

Have not engaged in too much chitty chat on Splash – apart from mentioning to the very wise and adroit Richard Bacon on his show on BBC Radio 5 live... …that all new reality TV formats are inevitably derided until they become part of the school curriculum - ‘Celebrity Naked Potholing’ is likely to get as much flack as diving when it airs. If it does.

 I also wrote this which was more swim wear based than diving tips 

However the sudden and involuntary exposure of my thighs has lead to a few invitations...

Big Brother’s Bit on the Side has beckoned this Sunday:  I am looking forward to being the oldest person on the wacky green sofa who is not wearing a swimming costume. Tuesday, I will be commenting on that mother ship of all radio progs, Woman’s Hour  – always a joy and privilege . The subject is ‘Comfort Eating’ - am mystified why they came to me - could be the pic of moi mid-air in the swimming costume in the Mail that piqued interest?

Then Wednesday, it seems Alan Titchmarsh’s people (Alan Titchmarsh Show, ITV) have asked me to comment on the NTA. (National Television Awards – I checked.)  I will do my best. I tend not to go to awards events due to the amount of white rolls one can get through with one's melon balls (I can see why Woman’s Hour might want me on now.) And not being up for anything

And then, as if that isn't enough excitement, I'm debuting on the Simon Lederman Late Show, BBC London 94.9 that evening – at around 11pm. Apparently I can be political or lite - or litely political – depends what I've eaten that day …

Saturday, 5 January 2013

OMG it is today

Thank you for all those good luck wishes.  Need them...

Omid said it was okay to go public

Thinking of bribing Jo Brand tonight who is a judge but she has integrity .slightly annoying. 

Omid and I were on Radio Five Live this morning (just before the end around 8.50)

Friday, 4 January 2013

Tom Daley's Making A Splash

This  was a clip on daybreak featuring me being tipped into the pool on on nappy mat by Tom Daley. Listen.. It was the only way I could get to meet the man.
He does not disappoint. I might do though.

Splash is a programme about diving .....and swimwear ...

This was in the Evening Standard ...

and check out Jade's pic to see I'm not the only one nervous...

'Brave or insane?' people ask. I'm still asking myself...

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


It’s Christmas. I’m in a shop. The mobile rings. Agent ‘Would I do a TV show?’ Me ‘Yes’. Agent ‘A reality TV show? ’ Me ‘If it's ‘Celebrity Mastermind’ how long do I get to think of a specialist subject?’ Agent ‘It’s not Celebrity Mastermind’ Me ‘So ...what do I have to do?’ Agent ‘Dive’ Me ‘Seriously -what do I have to do?’ Agent ‘Dive with Tom Daly. They need to know in the next hour’ I immediately felt depressed. Dive? I had to Dive? I rang back 59 minutes later and said ‘Yes’ in a sulky way.

Next day, I’m having a medical. The day after that I walk into a pool wearing an unsightly costume. We are asked to look skywards. The diving boards are built on a level parallel with the planet Uranus... (High) . From out of the clouds dives a young man. Tom Daly. Our mentor, our guide and all round smiley man in a whisp of a cossie. It’s even made the papers...

Hel wants rid of belly flop
  'No time for comedy' ... Helen Lederer
FUNNYGIRL Helen Lederer has admitted the secret behind her taking part in Splash! – she wants to tackle her middle-age bulge.

The comedy star is hoping the challenge, which has caused several sleepless nights and endless nerves, will help her lose a few pounds at the start of 2013.

 Helen said: “I try to do as little as possible, being the oldest. I walk slowly, I spend a lot of time in the loo hiding. I can’t even think about my old body walking up the stairs and taking off my dressing gown. But I’m hoping it might make me go off my food, which would be brilliant.”

The Absolutely Fabulous star added she was concerned that her dives may be more belly-flopping than jaw-dropping. But while she admitted she wasn’t in the show to win, the blonde insisted she wasn’t going to become the token comedy act.

Helen – who also confessed she takes comfort from being surrounded by hunks Jake Canuso and Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley – said: “I know I’m not going to be good, so that’s not my journey. People do laugh when I say I am diving. Me and diving just don’t go together.

“While I’m well known for my comedy roles, there won’t be any time to bring comedy to this. I have to take each day as it comes, as there is no running away. The three-metre dive is everything to me, that was my mountain. That took an hour-and-a-bit. It was like a horse refusing to jump.”

 Read more: 

The Team Photo
My team is fab. I love them very much even though they are all better than me. While I’m mastering getting out the pool steps while trying to un - plug my cossie legs (yes my cossie has legs) the others seem to be running, jumping or doing three point turns in the air. Jake from TV Benidorm was born to dive and is my new boyfriend – I thought I’d tell him that on Saturday (as I will get chucked out then). Omid is fearless, funny and the nicest person to talk to in the water partic. when I'm sporting a mascara and snot malfunction, Jenny Falconer is superbly good at everything she does – and very knowledgeable thankfully, while sweet Jade is a really good singer with The Sugar Babes who I now like to cite as one of my top bands next to the Killers. Here are my achievements: I can now get out of the pool without tugging my cossie (tick). I can now dive off the one meter in a downwards direction with out bruising mostly double tick but that’s not good enough, I have to dive off the 3 meter and I can’t…!!! 

To do List: before Saturday Show.
Find several therapists who aren’t still away on a New Year away break.
Fashion my own banner for my supporters (3) to wave to demonstrate my huge following

 Would being in the ‘Big Brother House’ have been easier? Wouldn’t have needed quite so many blow - drys….