Lara A King
Larry The Cable Guy
Late Night Gimp Fight
A tribute to Linda Smith at the Chortle Awards
Tributes to Linda Smith from her partner Warren Lakin and friend Jeremy Hardy at the 2007 Chortle Award
More Linda Smith videos
|A tribute to Linda Smith at the Chortle Awards|
Regular on The News Quiz and Just A Minute.
Two Radio 4 series: A Brief History Of Timewatsing
At one point in her solo show, Linda Smith describes herself as an 'inbetweener'. She means it in terms of her age too old to be young, too young to be old - but it could just as easily apply to any aspect of her life.
With a profile in that fuzzy zone separating the famous from the obscure, and with sensibilities falling between her working-class roots and her resolutely middle-class Radio 4 constituency, she stubbornly refuses to fit any stereotype.
Any, that is, except for that of the grumpy, dissatisfied comedian an image she plays up to on stage, as much as she does with her sterling contributions to The News Quiz or Just A Minute.
She's basically a professional grumbler, her deadpan diatribes punctured by exasperated, resigned sighs, as if to say: "The world's gone to shit, but, hey, what are you going do?"
In essence, she's claiming the reactionary stance from the right, demonstrating that it's not just bewhiskered ex-majors who write stiff letters to the Telegraph in sherry-induced stupours who want a return to days of civility and services that actually work. Unlike them, she would blame society's increasing selfishness rather than refugees or leftie social workers.
But there's little she won't moan about: her hometown, her life, the news, the media. Hell, she even moans about people who moan.
Most of the observations are about what you might expect to come into the radar of the touring comic: motorway service stations, useless railways and inane daytime TV including the adverts for sun awnings, crippling loans and, inevitably, Claims Direct.
It's all delivered in that familiar style - downbeat, mundane and archly cynical. And although the show takes in all sorts of observational and personal material, it's always bobbing along on a gentle current of social politics.
The writing is simply superb. You never seem more than a minute or two from a perfect metaphor, a skillfully realised offbeat idea or just a silly bon mot.
Some of the gags might be familiar to those who know Smith's work on Radio 4, especially her underrated show A Brief History Of Timewasting, yet they all deserve a wider airing.
For all that, there's the nagging suspicion that she's happier behind a computer keyboard than in front of an audience. Smith tends to be clinically funny, rather than emotionally so, and her performance, though more than adequate, makes little progress in being warm or endearing.
Only in the second half of this near two-hour show does she seem to relax a little more, and the audience slowly start to take her into their collective heart. Until then, great lines sometimes struggle to get the reaction they deserve.
Nonetheless, this is witty, intelligent stuff, that will more than sate the comedy appetite of her Radio 4 public.
|Date of review: Jul 2004|
Wednesday 0th Jul, '04-
When you look at the news, look at the state of the world and know now how much you miss Linda's ability to sum up in a pithy comment, the tragedy and the comic truth in a situation
When I heard the words 'tribute (on Radio BBC7 last Saturday) to Linda Smith from Jeremey Hardy', I assumed the word 'tribute' to be to someone still with us, It just didnt calcualte in my head as a tribute to a woman who had passed away. When I checked and saw this news, Like others who have mentioned..." how did I miss this terrible news ?"... I dont want to believe I have, it is as someone has put, 'Its just not fair '. I can hear her distincitive voice now and whilst her body has left this world, Linda Smith's legacy will always be here. She gave us the gift laughter and that, thank God, will be with us forever. Our sympathies to her family.
I have just heard of the death of Linda Smith by way of Jeremy Hardy's tribute. She has left a wonderful legacy and will continue to make us smile for the rest of our lives. Thank you Linda. Thoughts are with your loved ones
An all-round good 'un. Will miss seeing her on TV.
I've only just heard about Linda's death. How have I missed this? She made me laugh until my ribs ached. Condolences to her partner and family. No doubt she's having a ball in that great stand-up in the sky.
I don't know how I could have missed the news - I only just heard of Linda's death when it was noted during the BAFTAs. Shocking, and so sad - she had a lovely cool manner, and always made me laugh out loud - which scared the neighbours when I was gardening and listening
I've only just heard about Linda's death...I can't believe it. God Bless from Cliff, and Tracey
Linda, wherever you are stop moaning! Greatly missed.
|Book review: I Think The Nurses Are Stealing My Clothes
The Very Best Of Linda Smith
27/11/2006 Permanent link
Driving Miss Smith: A Biography Of Linda Smith
By her partner, Warren Lakin
I Think The Nurses Are Stealing My Clothes
The Very Best Of Linda Smith