Kirsty Young’s castaway this week is the stand-up comedian Jo Brand. From the word go she always anticipated she would be heckled about her weight and appearance. While most people would run a mile at the thought of standing in front of a rowdy, aggressive and largely drunk audience, she says that the worst that can happen is humiliation – and she adds that as a woman, she was already equipped to deal with this, because people felt free to comment disparagingly on her appearance in everyday life.
Her first career was as a psychiatric nurse – and for several years she would spend the day working in a psychiatric unit before appearing at a comedy club in the evening. Both careers demand an ability to be calm in extreme situations and to display a confidence that is often not felt. Her extreme act meant that for many years she was labelled a man-hating feminist – but she confounded critics by getting married and having two children.
Elements of this programme may offend some listeners.