Angela Barnes: ‘Falling over is the funniest thing’

Comedian Angela Barnes
Comedian Angela Barnes
The Field Street Monologues in rehearsal before showing at Titchfield Festival Theatre. Picture by Jules Garvey-Welch

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Since trying her hand at stand- up in a 12-week workshop, Angela Barnes has gone from strength to strength as a comic.

She won BBC Radio 2’s New Comedy Award 2011 and has since appeared on numerous TV and radio shows.

When did you first realise you were funny?

I’ve always been clumsy and lacking in common sense, so I think people laughed at me rather than with me from a very early age. I think I’ve just managed to channel that into a career.

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

Well, I trained as a nurse and worked in various roles in health and social care before becoming a comedian, so I imagine that I would still be doing that. Or, instead of comedy, I would by now have found a job I can do in my pyjamas. Romantic novelist perhaps?

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

Oh blimey, that’s a tough one. I’m going to say supporting Alan Carr has been a highlight. There’s nothing like working with someone brilliant to really spur you on and encourage you to get better at what you’re doing.

Tell us about three things that make you laugh.

1) Adults falling over, 2) Children falling over, 3) Animals falling over. Falling over is the funniest thing that happens. I live in fear of tripping over on my way on to a stage, because nothing I say after that moment could possibly be as funny as when I just fell over.

Tell us a joke.

No, what are you, a taxi driver? Come to the show!

Who’s your biggest hero?

I’ve many heroes, but my biggest is Linda Smith. Linda possessed one of the funniest, wittiest, sharp and accessible minds that I have known. She was able to tackle big political ideas, without ever being patronising. I first came across Linda on the News Quiz on Radio4 and was instantly a fan. She made me realise that you could be a comedian, even if you weren’t male or privately educated. Linda sadly passed away in 2006. I never got to meet her, but I now work with many people who knew and loved her, and I reckon we would have got on.

What have you got in the pipeline?

Well, I’m starting work on my new show for 2015, so plenty of writing, gigging on the circuit and working to get it in shape for Edinburgh.

Angela is joined on the bill of Laughter Live! at Ferneham Hall in Fareham by Joel Dommett, Sean Hughes and compere James Alderson on November 13, doors open 8pm. Tickets £10. Go to She is also headlining the Spinnaker Comedy Club on November 21, go to