"Not that looks matter, but Katherine Ryan's face looks INCREDIBLE and FLAWLESS from every angle" Idle chit chat with Lou Sanders
This round of idle chit-chat is with comedian Lou Sanders. Described by the ever-reliable Wikipedia as "an English writer, stand-up comedian and actress", Lou has appeared on British TV loads of times on programmes like Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled, and written for shows like 8 Out Of 10 Cats. She's made multiple trips to Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and we caught up with her ahead of her run this year, with new show 'Shame Pig'
Hey Lou, how the devil are you?
Oh yes, I’m on glorious form. 16 past midnight and still some oil in the old buns yet.
What have you been up to today?
Exercise class (thanks for asking - good to let people know about that), pond swim (very me), couple of comics came round for a write club. Then filming a football thing with comedy’s Ms Annie McGrath (got some free crisps and hoodie) BINGO. So a lovely day. Oh and I had left over pizza for breakfast.
Describe your comedy style.
Tell us about your current show, Shame Pig, in two sentences?
Might I direct you to the blurb on the Ed fringe website.
And use this last sentence to talk about my charity work. (I don’t do enough of it).
You’re off to the Fringe soon, how many times have you been, and what’s your best memory?
Best memory is laughing all night with a group of pals, climbing Arthur’s seat and watching the sunset come up. And for the later part of the night, I was holding hands with a boy. Just hands.
You supported Katherine Ryan earlier this year, how fun was that?
She has lots of different supports but I have done tour support for her and she’s the most chill, generous, business savvy person I know. She’s never threatened by anything or anyone - I guess because she’s so good. Her comedy is exceptional and she’s a hardcore angel from heaven. And not that looks matter, but her face looks INCREDIBLE and FLAWLESS from every angle. Shit, I’ve written too much about this. If I was a guy you’d think I was going to kidnap Ryan.
You’ve had a lot of coverage in the Guardian; how does that work for your street cred?
Hmm I don’t think it brings the zero up or down.
You’ve got a podcast with Luke McQueen, what is it about podcasts that have made them really popular again?
People are scared to be in silence or with their own thoughts. So I guess we are adding to the general lowering of consciousness. Shit.
You’ve done many comedy-related activities, where would people know you from?
Well if your name is Kathrine Ryan - outside your house.
And if you could choose, what would you actually want to be known for?
Not murdering Katherine Ryan.
What’s your favourite TV or radio show to do?
I like anything with a degree of winging it as I think that’s where I’m at my best. Panel shows, chat shows and acting - it’s all great.
And the hardest work?
Being a nurse?
Is it patronising that the BBC has to dictate that there has to be a woman on their panel shows, surely the idea is that the guests are funny? (Just to clarify, I’m saying there are loads of funny women who should be there due to their hilarity, not their gender.)
What winds me up is that on the comedy shows so much of the time will have a male host and two male co hosts and so that’s three men already. Then they will get male comics on but FEMALE presenters, actresses, reality tv stars - and then people say ‘women aren’t funny’ yeah cos Claudia Winkleman isn’t a comedian. It’s chicken and egg. You have to put the women on there, trust in them and give audiences time to get used to the fact a woman is talking and making jokes because the language of tv for so long is that the girls are there to look pretty and laugh. We all need to invest in changing this. Subconsciously some execs (men and women) don’t want to. So they need to take a look at why and take the Kathryn Ryan approach and not be threatened by anything or anyone. Radio X is the worst it’s just older white men. Have some diversity on air and off air. It’s embarrassing.
More generally, how is the gender balance in comedy these days in your experience?
It’s practically 50/50 with the new generation.
You’re on Twitter a fair amount, but the question is, social media… bringing people closer together or destroying civilisation?
God knows, lemme just check twitter and get back to you. No, I think you can have a mix of both but you gotta connect in the real world for your own sake. Force yourself.
When was the last time you heard a joke or anecdote that was genuinely funny? And where were you?
Today my brother sent me a picture of the Father’s Day card he sent our dad. He was clearly drunk when he wrote it cos he’d written HAPPY BIRTHDAY In scrawling red writing and signed it love from him and the dogs. But he’s got kids and cats.
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve gigged?
A cave. And a police station - which wasn’t a gig per-say but I had been arrested and I was making it work for me.
I want to ask which city you hate touring to, but that’s probably not a good question to answer. So… what’s your favourite city to return to?
I like Wales cos it’s pretty - in particular Mach Fest I love. Wells Comedy Festival I love.
What other comedian is worth checking out?
Ray Badran, Lazy Susan, Luke McQueen, Brett Goldstein, Sara Barron. Five for the price of one.
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
I like my coffee like I like my men! There in the morning please.
To catch Lou's show, 'Shame Pig', at Edinburgh Fringe you'll need to be at The Monkey Barrel Comedy Club at 12:30pm any day from 2nd to 26th August (excluding 13th). Tickets from the Fringe website.
For more information on Lou and her tour dates you can visit her website. To gauge how funny she is follow her on Twitter, or you can like her on Facebook, or stalk her on Instagram. Actually you can't, she ain't on Insta.