Comedy Women In Print with Helen Lederer

Comedy Women in Print Panel founder Helen Lederer has a bit of chat with 2020 published CWIP winner Nina Stibbe, shortlisted winner Michelle Gallen and unpublished CWIP winner Faye Brann with Jasper Rees on Victoria Wood. They share their success stories without boasting 


We want your questions about humour, wit on the page  and how it gets published  - oh and do we need a prize for women's witty fiction? because CWIP is one.


Ask away – this will prevent awkward silences. Otherwise we will boast.

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The Comedy Of Error

The desire to laugh is universal. But why do we find some gags hilarious, whilst others fall flat? Why does explaining a joke make it less amusing rather than more so? Why is laughter contagious, and why did it evolve in the first place?


Using the oldest jokes and the latest science, in The Comedy of Error, Jonathan Silvertown, Professor of Evolutionary Ecology at the University of Edinburgh, investigates why we laugh: from laughter’s evolutionary origins, to similarities and differences in humour across cultures, and even why being funny makes us sexier.


Here he’s in conversation with comedian Robin Ince, co-host of Radio 4’s Infinite Monkey Cage, pioneer of live shows mixing science, music and comedy, and author of I’m A Joke And So Are You, which uses the life of the stand-up as a way of exploring some of life’s biggest questions.


Adam Buxton:
Ramble Book

Adam Buxton's Ramble Book is a collection of essays and reminiscences from comedian, podcaster, actor and director Adam Buxton about growing up in the 1980s, the friends he made and the films, TV and music - with particular emphasis on David Bowie that, helped define the person he is today.


It's also about families, especially his Dad, Nigel Buxton (aka BaaadDad), and the experience of having children of my own. And then there's random chapters detailing confrontations on trains, arguing with his wife and his friendships with Joe Cornish, Louis Theroux – and Rosie the dog.


Adam will be discussing the book with journalist and comedian Viv Groskop, author of How To Own The Room and the stand-up memoirs I Laughed, I Cried.




Frank Skinner: How To Enjoy Poetry

Frank Skinner wants you to read more poetry. Whether you're a frequent poetry reader or haven't read any since sixth form, Frank's infectious passion for language, rhythm and metre will win you over and provide you with the basic tools you need to tackle any poem.


In his short, easy-to-digest and delightful book, Frank guides us through the twists and turns of 'Pad, pad' by Stevie Smith, a short, seemingly simple poem that contains multitudes of meaning and a deceptive depth of emotion.

In conversation with comedian and Peep Show actress Isy Suttie


Michael Spicer: The Man In The Room Next Door

Michael Spicer is the man behind The Room Next Door, the viral sketches about a fictional political adviser that have amassed nearly 50 million views online. In his new book, The Secret Political Adviser, the comedian, and Mash Report regular, lifts the lid on the secret files of the world's most influential – if fictional – political media adviser.


Letters, memos, texts, tweets, leaked documents and crude doodles reveal who The Man in the Room Next Door really is and his thoughts on those who employ him, including Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and more…


Interviewed by journalist and comedian Viv Groskop, author of How To Own The Room and the stand-up memoirs I Laughed, I Cried.


Matt Forde: Politically Homeless

Comedian, and former Labour Party adviser, Matt Forde writes on the new series of Spitting Image and voices the puppets of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer.


He hosted four series of Unspun with Matt Forde on Dave and his weekly podcast, The Political Party has had over 5 million downloads. Guests have included Tony Blair, Nicola Sturgeon, Sadiq Khan and Michael Heseltine. His first book, Politically Homeless, is part memoir, part fascinating behind-the-scenes insider view for anyone who feels annoyed by the current state of politics.


Which should be around 65 million people in the UK alone. Matt has also appeared on Have I Got News For You, Mock the Week and he currently presents Absolute Radio's Rock 'n' Roll Football Show.



Tim Key: He Used Thought As A Wife. 

Tim Key is an actor, writer, and performance poet. He has won the Edinburgh Comedy Award and on screen he plays Sidekick Simon in the Alan Partridge franchise and has appeared in Inside Number 9, Peep Show and The End of the F***ing World.  Tim Key's Late Night Poetry Programme has run for several years on BBC Radio 4.

When he got locked down, found an orange pen and started writing poems. Then he started writing down his conversations. Zoom, phone, yelling down onto the street. He scribbled them down. Then it was a case of splicing them together a bit as it became apparent that it would probably be a book.


He reached out to his long time designer, Emily Juniper, to make it look beautiful and the two of them began collaborating to give their Lockdown a bit of purpose and colour.

The result is Key’s fourth book, timed, unintentionally to be released at the back end of the second lockdown. It’s humorous hopefully, but was also very useful to write at least. 

To be interviewed by Alex Horne.

Mark Watson: Contacts

Mark Watson is an award-winning comedian – familiar from Taskmaster, Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls, his own Radio 4 series and much more – and the acclaimed author of eight books.


His latest novel, Contacts, is a funny, wise, tender and moving story about what happens when a man sends a message to all 158 people in his contacts, telling them that he plans to end his life.


To him, it’s the end of his story, but across to his mum, his sister, his ex-best friend, the woman who broke his heart, people he’s lost touch with, people he barely knows, the message is only the beginning of the journey…

To be interviewed by Dominic Maxwell, theatre and comedy critic of The Times.

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Grace Campbell: Amazing Disgrace

Grace Campbell is a force of nature on a constant mission to undermine the patriarchy. Also an acclaimed stand-up, law-changing feminist activist, and co-host of the podcast Football, Feminism + Everything In Between with her father Alastair Campbell,Tony Blair’s press secretary.

Now, in her wildly outspoken part-memoir, part-manifesto, Amazing Disgrace, Grace explores her relationship with shame and tells about how she learned to understand herself better, and ultimately become her No.1 Fan.


Interviewed by writer and comedian Sophie Duker, a regular on panel shows including Frankie Boyle's New World Order and founder of the successful comedy night Wacky Racists.



Caimh McDonnell - Stand-Up, Sit Down, Write A Book

With Covid throwing stand-up comedy into crisis every former working comic is writing a book: unless you're a familiar panel-show face how can you hope to compete? 

By publishing it yourself,  of course.

Caimh McDonnell was a stand-up and TV scriptwriter for 13 years before he switched to writing words in-between where the actors spoke and quickly became a best-selling novelist. His debut novel A Man With One of Those Faces was nominated for best novel at the 2017 Independent Author CAP awards, and his book I Have Sinned was shortlisted for the 2019 Kindle Storyteller Award. 

He joins former stand-up and TV writer Dave Cohen (Comedy Store Players, Have I Got News For You, Horrible Histories) to discuss self-publishing, how to do it and why you have to change your name ever so slightly in the process.

The Stranger Times by CK McDonnell is published by Penguin in January 2021
How I Invented Alternative Comedy And Other Delusions by David J Cohen is published in March 2021


Laura Lexx: Klopp Actually

Laura Lexx is an award-winning comedian, actor and writer who lives in Brighton. She has a real husband, but in these uncertain times we all need a coping mechanism. And hers was imagining life married to the sensible, no-nonsense Jürgen Klopp. She thinks maybe he has something to do with football?


Inspired by a tweet that went viral, Klopp Actually: (Imaginary) Life With Football's Most Sensible Heartthrob is a deeply silly diary of her entirely fictional life with everyone's favourite baseball-cap-wearing, bespectacled German football manager.


To be interviewed by Emma Kennedy, author of 11 books - one of which was turned into the BBC comedy The Kennedys – as well as countless comedy, children’s, animation and drama scripts for the screen and stage.


Daliso Chaponda: In Conversation

Former Britain’s Got Talent finalist Daliso Chaponda has appeared on QI, The News Quiz and The Now Show and his own Radio 4 show. His stand-up has attracted more than 300 million views online.


And in addition to comedy, Daliso is a prolific fiction writer who has published science fiction, murder mysteries and fantasy fiction. In this interview he talks about his career, his writing and the books that have got him through lockdown…


He will be interviewed by stand-up and writer Athena Kugblenu, a regular co-host of Radio 4’s Loose Ends and the Guilty Feminist podcast.




Let's Do It! The life and genius of Victoria Wood

After Victoria Wood died in 2016, the trustees of her estate asked Jasper Rees, the journalist and author, who interviewed her more than anyone else, to tell her extraordinary story in full.


He was granted complete and exclusive access to Victoria's rich archive of personal and professional material, and conducted more than 200 interviews with her family, friends and colleagues to create Let's Do It, a definitive portrait of a true pioneer who spoke to her audience like no one before or since.


Jasper will be interviewed by journalist and comedian Viv Groskop, author of How To Own The Room and the stand-up memoirs I Laughed, I Cried.


Richard Herring: The Problem With Men

Richard Herring has enjoyed phenomenal success as a comedy writer and performer, an innovator in the world of podcasts, and a contestant on the current series of Channel 4’s Taskmaster. And for the past decade, he has been answering sexist trolls on International Women's Day when they ask 'when is International Men's Day?' in the mistaken belief there isn't one. It’s today – November 19.


In his new book, The Problem With Men, he expands on his Twitter discussions and tackles the problems toxic masculinity has for women, and for men.


Interviewed by Rich Wilson, stand-up comedian and host of the award-winning podcast Insane In The Men Brain.



Andy Hamilton: Longhand

Andy Hamilton is a comedy writer, performer and director; a regular on Have I Got News for You and on Radio 4’s News Quiz, whose writing credits include Outnumbered, Drop the Dead Donkey, Ballot Monkeys, What We Did On Our Holiday and Old Harry's Game, in which he also plays Satan.

His new novel, Longhand, is a publishing first, reproducing 300 pages of handwritten manuscript. It tells of Malcolm George Galbraith, a large, somewhat clumsy Scotsman, who is forced to leave the woman he loves behind, and needs to explain why in a long, handwritten note…



To be interviewed by Veronica Lee, a writer and critic who contributes to the Daily Telegraph, Observer, London Evening Standard and The Arts Desk.


Don’t Applaud. Either Laugh Or Don’t. The serious business of stand-up at New York's Comedy Cellar

Amy Schumer. Louis CK. Jerry Seinfeld. Chris Rock. They all worked the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village, honing their acts, experimenting, taking risks.


But how did a New York taxi driver, born in Tel Aviv, create comedy’s most important stage? How did he influence some of the biggest names in stand-up? What are the limits of a joke? Who decides? And why does the comedians’ table matter so much?


For his new book, Don’t Applaud. Either Laugh Or Don’t, Andrew Hankinson spoke to the Cellar’s owner, comedians, and audience members to create a conversation about modern comedy and the widening chasm in contemporary culture.


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How To Live To 100

Comedian Ariane Sherine has always been determined to live into her hundreds, but never knew how.


With so much conflicting and confusing health information out there, she didn't have a clue where to start until she met David Conrad, a public health expert, who helped her to weigh up all the research and evidence and explained exactly what to do to live a long and healthy life.


Their book, How To Live To 100, has all the facts, stats, inappropriate jokes and shameless puns you could ever need to make it to your 11 decade.


And celebrities weigh in with their own thoughts too with contributions from Derren Brown, Richard Osman, Lou Sanders, Charlie Brooker and many more. In this session they share those tips so you could live to 100 too…


Rewriting The Narrative

Join one of the circuit’s frankest and funniest comedians Thanyia Moore (Black British and Funny, Ch4) as she talks to the comics trailblazing their way through the whitewashed world of publishing.


Sharing their insights on putting pen to paper, breaking down barriers and overcoming the odds, we have national treasure and author of I Used to Say My Mother Was Shirley Bassey, Stephen K Amos, powerhouse comic and published author of Don’t Panic I’m Islamic, Esther Manito, and prolific stand-up, novelist, and stage and screen writer Anuvab Pal.


Get inspired as this cohort of incredible comics reveal how the power of humour got them standing up and standing out. 


Why I'm no longer talking to white people about publishing

In the second of our panels confronting the shocking dearth of books published by comics of colour, fiercely funny comedian Thanyia Moore ((Black British and Funny, Ch4) talks to the industry activists and game changers working tirelessly to tackle the diversity deficit.


Black Writers Guild co-founder and author of Think Like A White Man Nels Abbey, Saqi Books publisher and activist Lynn Gaspard and Aliya Gulamani from writers development agency Spread The Word take the mic in this upfront and frank discussion tackling systemic inequality whilst raising up writers of colour.


NextUp Comedy will also reveal the real action they are taking with exclusive news on a very exciting new book commission...



Ian Stone: To Be Someone

In his new memoirs, To Be Someone, comedian and broadcaster. Ian Stone tells his story story of growing up in London in the seventies. Of trying to ignore his parents arguing, of watching Arsenal play (in the main) terrible football and of listening to and going to see The Jam.


The book is part autobiography, part social history and part love letter to Paul Weller and 'the best band in the world'

To be interviewed by journalist Sharon Lougher, head of features at Metro

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Lynn Ruth Miller: Getting The Last Laugh

At 87, Lynn Ruth Miller is the world's oldest performing female stand-up comedienne. Dubbed ‘the new Joan Rivers’, she now travels the world telling inappropriate jokes and shattering stereotypes. Her autobiography, Getting The Last Laugh, is the extraordinary story of one woman’s determination to succeed.


After spending her first seventy years finding success as an author, a newspaper columnist and a TV pundit, she stumbled into her new, life-changing career as a live comic by accident, and now for more than 15 years, she has travelled from one country to the next, in search of the next big laugh…


To be interviewed by Emma Kennedy, author of 11 books - one of which was turned into the BBC comedy The Kennedys – as well as countless comedy, children’s, animation and drama scripts for the screen and stage.


Arthur Mathews: The Cumming Files

Arthur Mathews co-wrote Father Ted with Graham Linehan as well as Toast of London with Matt Berry. His other credits include The Fast Show, The Tracy Ulman Show and the 2019 BBC TV show The Road to Brexit.

In his new book, The Cumming Files Confidential: Thoughts, Ideas, Actions, Mathews channels the voice of No 10's chief advisor Dominic Cummings. In this collection of diary entries, blog posts, post-its and notes to self he offers valuable insight into the Cummings brain, including the full story of the infamous trip to Durham. And who's really in charge at No. 10! 


To be interviewed by Dominic Maxwell, theatre and comedy critic of The Times.