Derek star Kerry Godliman comes to Laughter Live at Ferneham Hall, Fareham

Kerry Godliman
Kerry Godliman
All those present at the official opening of Tonic.

Picture by Keith Woodland

Music is ‘key’ to mental health issues

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Being offered a plum job without the need to interview or audition is a lovely thing in any field of work.

But when that call comes from comedy giant Christopher Guest – part of the team behind classics including This is Spinal Tap, Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman – to be in his next film, well, it’s all the sweeter.

And it was her role in the acclaimed Ricky Gervais sitcom Derek that helped stand-up and actress Kerry Godliman get one such offer.

She tells WOW247: ‘Christopher Guest is a good friend of Ricky – they have a mutual appreciation society and Christopher saw me in Derek, no doubt.

‘It was a dream come true for someone to call up and say Christopher Guest would like you to be in his next movie.

‘It was a straight offer, which is kind of what happened with Derek as well, which is so unusual.’

Comedians are kind of like a cult, or AA – you’ve always got a comedian buddy you can call. It’s a support network for people who are addicted to stand-up comedy and need to get a gig in the diary

Kerry Godliman

However, Kerry emphasises: ‘It’s worth pointing out these are the only two times it’s happened to me, and you’d better believe I’ve been to a lot of auditions.’

Kerry started off in acting, notching up minor roles in the likes of The Bill and Holby City, a period she describes as ‘not entirely fulfilling personally or financially,’ before trying stand-up. But she has always kept up the acting side of her career with the comedy.

Kerry has just returned from filming a movie called Mascots out in LA, where the plot revolves around The Fluffy Games – a competition for sports teams’ mascots.

‘It’s very squarely in the world of Christopher Guest’, says Kerry. ‘It’s all improvised. When you get the script everything is mapped out, but there’s no dialogue, you have to improvise your lines.

‘I loved it, I had a great time. I was a bit apprehensive because it’s such a bolt from the blue, but to be asked to work with such a comedy hero, it was extraordinary.

‘To have Christopher Guest and Ricky Gervais on your CV – I think I might retire now.’

It was Kerry’s first time in California, and she admits: ‘I was very curious as to whether I would like it and all the cliches, but I loved it.’

And she didn’t waste time when not on set – she performed a few gigs a friend helped set up.

‘It was fun, they’re more receptive than British audiences. People go bananas, I wanted a taste of that. British audiences can be very loving if you deliver the goods, but I wanted to be exotic and be the foreigner.

‘Comedians are kind of like a cult, or AA – you’ve always got a comedian buddy you can call. It’s a support network for people who are addicted to stand-up comedy and need to get a gig in the diary.’

Is performing like a drug, then? ‘Yeah, it is, it’s worrying,’ she laughs. ‘Once you get the bug for it, you’re hooked.’

From here though, Kerry is focusing on getting a sitcom off the ground.

‘I’ve been commissioned to write something by the BBC, and we’re on the second draft at the moment. It’s an extension of my stage persona. If we can get it right, it will be a version of what I do in my stand-up, fleshed out into a sitcom. It’s trying to nail the spirit of that. ‘

Kerry appears at Laughter Live with Doc Brown, Sean McLaughlin and compere James Alderson.


Ferneham Hall, Fareham.

Friday, December 18.