The problem with comedy audiences - it's like the Coliseum - when they see someone struggling, they don't feel altruistic towards them. They feel slightly repulsed by it.

Jo Brand

Jo Brand

Profession: Comedian
Nationality: British

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Let's face it: I am not a professional runner.

School was great. There were no boys there, which didn't really bother me at the time because I had two brothers, so I was quite pleased not to spend any more time with boys.

I love everything about books. I love the content, the way they look and even the lovely way they smell. I think a book collection says something about you as a person, and certainly my books are something I'd want to pass on for future generations.

My father was an engineer and my mother was a social worker, and they met as young socialists. That probably tells you everything you need to know about my attitude to money - I've never really been bothered about it.

I have two brothers and we basically spent our lives playing in the woods, falling in ponds, getting chased by wasps and riding donkeys that we shouldn't have been riding.

What they did was to make a pilot and it may well go to series at the next festival but I don't have any news on that. It's already been on Paramount actually, but as it's on Paramount it'll probably be on several more times... hopefully.

My mum and my husband are from Irish backgrounds, so we have a lot of potatoes. Chips, mashed, boiled, new potatoes, I love them all. Even the slightly wonky ones like Duchess potatoes that go up in a little spiral.

There's a general sense that women are more relaxed and less defensive in comedy than they used to be. I think it's easier than it was but underlying it all there is still a pretty sexist view of women on stage, which to me hasn't changed that much.

If I am totally honest, I would have to say that 'Allo 'Allo!' was not my cup of tea, even though lots of people loved it. For that reason, I find comedy fascinating. There is a huge difference between what people find funny.

I wasn't one of those hideous children who make their parents sit through hour-long performances when you're seven. I didn't do anything like that thankfully.

I often tell audiences at the start of my shows that I'm not gay because I've got petitions from lesbian groups saying 'Can you tell people you're heterosexual because you're giving us a bad name.'

Again, with two small children it's incredibly hard to commit yourself to anything because you're just getting interested in it and someone comes along and goes I want Thomas The Tank Engine on, and screams the place down until you put it on.

It's inevitable that if you do okay on something like that you don't just annoy people, that it will make a difference because it seemed like such a lot of people so, yes I would have to say that it has done.

I've seen a lot of women give up after they've had three or four bad gigs in a row. It's very difficult to learn not to take nasty heckles personally.