Jo Brand

Jo Brand

Date of birth: 03-05-1957

Jo's first job was at Dr Barnardo's home - following in the footsteps of her social worker mother.

After this, she moved to London and famously became a psychiatric nurse - the daily parade of drug addicts, alcohol abuse and the clinically depressed, giving her the sense of humour and bravado to deal with any comedy audience.

A pioneer of the alternative comedy scene, she started performing at the age of 29, in 1987, under the name The Sea Monster and it only took her two years to be able to turn pro.

Her material, about her weight and men, made here a bete noire among those who despised the rise of alternative comedy, most notably tabloid TV critic Garry Bushell.

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Jo Brand to host a TV quiz, just for doctors

'Like University Challenge but medical'

Jo Brand is to front a new medical quiz show for BBC Two.

The former mental health nurse will be asking the questions as teams of junior doctors from eight teaching hospitals across the country go head to head in Best Junior Doctors.

Questions will range from diagnosing a patient’s symptoms, prioritising cases in a mock A&E department and getting stuck in with their chosen specialism.

GP and television doctor Helen Lawal will be offering expert advice over the five-part series, set to be screened this summer.

Brand says: ‘Hooray! Another chance to berate junior doctors for their lack of knowledge. Haven’t done that since 1988. 

‘Seriously though, I’m really looking forward to bringing a sumptuous array of junior doctors and their encyclopaedic knowledge into your homes. It’s like University Challenge but it’s medical… fingers on organs teams.’

The episodes will be stripped across a week as part of a BBC series marking  the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

Richard Hastings, creative director at programme-makers Shiver, says: ‘The knowledge that Britain’s junior doctors have to absorb in preparation for becoming GPs, surgeons and medical specialists is extraordinary. 

‘Britain’s Best Junior Doctors will celebrate this in a new and fun way while providing viewers with great medical and health takeout.’

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Published: 13 Apr 2018

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