Best known for her hilarious Big Ass Show, comedienne Katy Brand is embarking on her first ever tour, which stops at the Beck Theatre on Thursday, May 6. She told SIBA MATTI about her favourite characters to impersonate and playing a baddie in new movie, Nanny McPhee 2
FOR the most part, funnygirl Katy Brand's comedy music parodies have been taken in good fun by the people she has been mocking, but at least one chart-topping musician has apparently not been too impressed with her efforts...
Q: So what can we expect from the tour?
A: There will be familiar characters from the show, but also new ones like Supernanny (Jo Frost) and Nigella Lawson, plus some of my favourite songs from all three series. Lots of naughty, noisy fun and music.
Q: You've done several song parodies for famous artists as part of your show. Do they come naturally to you, and what is your selection process?
A: We tend to look at who is current and find a joke most people will 'get'. I come from a very musical family and I have been singing since I was a child, so I always love doing the music sketches.
Q: Which has been your favourite parody?
A: I like doing the big power ballads like Mariah Carey, Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke - I can do proper singing then!
Q: Has anybody that you've spoofed ever approached you about it?
A: Singers Adele and Little Boots, and Kate Moss liked theirs - they told me themselves - but Mark Ronson wasn't too impressed, although I don't think he'd be my first port of call for advice on humour. I also had a run-in with Lily Allen once, but I think we both left with our dignity intact.
Q: Are you nervous about performing live rather than recording for TV?
A: I have a long background in live performance so I am used to the nerves, but I am apprehensive and excited. It's the first full-length show I have done - it has an interval and everything!
Q: You wowed audiences with your Beyoncé spoof for Sports Relief - do you pick up routines easily?
A: I danced as a teenager, but that routine was tough. It took a lot of practice to get it right. I was very nervous for the first heat, but relaxed for the final.
Q: Tell us about your big screen debut on Nanny McPhee 2. Did you get any tips from Emma Thompson?
A: It was an amazing experience from start to finish and I couldn't get over the incredible cast. I loved playing a baddie too. Emma was very supportive and told me it was good in comedy for women to tease each other - I think she's absolutely right.
Q: Do you have any big, diva demands?
A: I have attempted diva demands in the past and been told where to stick it. I do insist on a bag of Mini Cheddars neatly arranged on a silver tray, though.
Q: Have you always wanted to be a comic? A: I have always enjoyed laughing and I've always had funny, silly friends so it seemed natural to continue that - it was brilliant to find I could do a job where I could basically mess about with incredibly funny people.
Q: Who were your comedy heroes when you were growing up?
A: Definitely French and Saunders, but I also loved The Fast Show, Big Train and The Kids in the Hall.
Q: You don't seem like the type of woman to be fazed by the male-dominated world of stand-up, although it's often said women have to work twice as hard as men to succeed in the field. Would you agree?
A: There are loads of brilliant women out there being hilarious at the moment, so it is becoming less of a problem. I try not to approach every new situation thinking 'I am a woman' and so I tend to find people treat me as an individual for the most part.
Q: What's your worst comedy moment memory?
A: My second ever gig was a disaster. The first one had gone so well, I made the classic mistake of copying what I did the first time, rather than responding to the audience in front of me. It's a good but hard lesson to learn.
Q: What is your biggest ambition now you have achieved fame in the UK?
A: I would love to get into feature films, writing and performing, and I have loads of ideas for sitcoms too.
Q: What are your plans after the tour?
A: A long lie down, followed by a new idea for a show we are developing for TV. It will be very music-based, so watch this space.
Q: You have proved you can be successful without being the regular stick-thin image of women that the media often portrays. Do you see yourself as a role model to young women as a whole?
A: I don't see myself as a role model, but perhaps more of an 'option'. It's important to be healthy, interesting, fit and sexy and you don't have to be thin to be any or all of those things.