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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Going Forward isn't going forward

BBC drops Jo Brand comedy

Jo Brand's sitcom Going Forward has been dropped.

BBC Four aired three episodes of the follow-up to her hospital comedy Getting On last year, with Brand reprising her role as nurse Kim Wilde.

Focusing on her home life, it co-starred Omid Djalili as her driver husband, Dave, with Tom Davis as his colleague Terry.

'Going Forward hasn’t been recommissioned', Brand told the Sunday Post. However, she added that: 'I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but it was a bit of a relief as I was so busy. Maybe I’ll revisit it sometime.'

She also confirmed that Damned, her comedy based on the lives of two jaded social workers, will be back on Channel 4 in January. It co-stars Alan Davies, Isy Suttie, Kevin Eldon, Himesh Patel and the show's co-creator Morwenna Banks,

Meanwhile, Brand's first film, The More You Ignore Me, is released in cinemas in February.

Based on her novel about a child coping with her mother's schizophrenia, the film stars Sheridan Smith as Gina with Ella Hunt as her daughter Alice. Sally Phillips and Mark Addy co-star, with Sheila Hancock, Ricky Tomlinson, Lisa Stansfield, Tom Davies, Tony Way and Brand herself.

The comedian suggested that the best advice she's taken is to write about what she knew, reflecting that 'I’ve only acted in stuff I’ve written myself, based on my time in the caring professions. I might be seen as a do-gooder, but it’s not as if I could write about being an engineer.'

In another interview, Brand also disclosed that she turned down a Lady Chatterley-style role.

'I got given a script about a woman who ran an old people’s home and had an affair with a gardener. It was really filthy, but I managed to say no' she told the Mirror this month.

- by Jay Richardson

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Published: 30 Nov 2017

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