From convicts to stand-up comedy for Fern Brady

Fern Brady ' catch her at Jongleurs
Fern Brady ' catch her at Jongleurs
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Going from working in a rehab hostel for ex-convicts to comedian may seem like a complete career U-turn, but this is what happened for Fern Brady. Fern, 26, from London, got a spot on Comedy Central’s Alternative Comedy Experience and has since appeared on 8 out of 10 Cats and Seann Walsh’s Late Night Comedy Spectacular.

When did you first realise you were funny?

I was supposed to give a presentation to some local businessmen and all the teachers and pupils in the sixth form, but I just got up and mocked the whole thing. The businessmen loved it. The teachers, on the other hand, were furious.

What would you be if you weren’t a comedian?

I was supposed to be a local news journalist after uni but I hated it. I fell into support work with ex-cons by accident and actually loved it. There’s never a dull moment when you’re on a night shift alone with 14 murderers and sex offenders.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Getting chased out of a gig by my own audience, such was their intense hatred of me.

Tell us about three things that make you laugh.

Goats yelling like humans on YouTube; babies dressed as Victorians in period dramas, and drunk people fighting.

What have you got in the pipeline?

I made a sitcom pilot that’s coming out as part of BBC3’s Comedy Feeds, I think that’s in July but I’m not sure. I should really know these things.

What was the last gig you went to?

I did a gig for Occupy Democracy protesters last night outside in Parliament Square. I was on two crates as a stage and my jokes kept getting drowned out by either Big Ben or a very confused homeless guy.

What’s your favourite TV programme?

Orange is the New Black. Or Transparent. They’re both so much funnier than any sitcom.

What was the last film you saw?

My boyfriend put Birdman on the other night twice. I did not enjoy this.

Fern is at Jongleurs Comedy Club, Tiger Tiger, Portsmouth on Saturday, May 9. Tickets at £15 are available from or by calling 08700 111 960. Doors open at 5pm and the comedy starts at 8pm.

Fern is joined by Andy Askins, a relative newcomer to the alternative comedy scene. He’s travelled the world as a professional musician for the past 15 years. His quirky songs are peppered with inspired patter.

James Dowdeswell, who has appeared in Ricky Gervais’s Extras, The World Stands Up, and Edinburgh And Beyond on the Paramount Comedy Channel, will also be performing.