Gina Yashere

Gina Yashere

Date of birth: 06-04-1974
Born in Bethnal Green, East London, to a Nigerian family, Gina Yashere turned to comedy after working as a lift engineer.

She made her Edinburgh debut in 1995, and in 2000 completed her first stand-up tour, and has been regularly on the road ever since.

Her first TV exposure was as a regular on the BBC Two comedy show Blouse and Skirt (originally called The A Force) in 1996. Other TV credits Live at Jongleurs, The Comedy Store, Jo Brand's Hot Potatoes and talking heads shows such as the I Love...series for BBC Two. In 2001, she briefly hosted a BBC Choice chat show, Up Late With Gina Yashere and she provided the voice of Keisha Marie in the Channel 4 animated series Bromwell High

In 2007, she took part in the NBC reality show Last Comic Standing, giving her a foothold in the US. In 2008, she became the first British comic to appear on the influential black stand-up show Def Comedy Jam.

She has also branched out into acting, appearing in the films Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Mr In-Between, as well as in the West End show The Vagina Monologues.

She was named best female at the Black Comedy Awards in 2002, and nominated as best female stand-up in the Chortle awards the same year.

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Hypocrite!

Gina Yashere says Russell Peters is in no position to call out joke thieves

Russell Peters is on very thin ice when it comes to accusing other comedians of stealing jokes, Gina Yashere has claimed.

The British comic has previously called out the Canadian superstar for appropriating one of her lines, as we reported in 2015.

And now the allegation has resurfaced after Peters claimed that Trevor Noah lifted his gag about Russian sounding like English being spoken backwards… even though he had to concede that another comic, Elon Gold, had been doing the same material before him.

In a new video posted on her social media channels, Yashere said: 'What this fucker fails to mention is that he stole material from me when I was starting out. I confronted him, he promised never to do it again.

Yashere

'Six years later I'm getting messages from his fans saying, "Why are you doing Russell Peters' material?" So he was still doing it. And it was on his stand-up special, so my shit helped to make him famous.'

She says she confronted the multi-millionaire comedian again, and he promised to pay for the gag 'but he never did'.

The key joke Yashere alleges Peters stole from her is one in which his Indian father thinks  'punani' is a type of tropical fruit.

Yashere added: 'Now I'm not the only comedian he's stolen from. He's stolen from countless other Canadian comedians who were afraid to speak out  Marc Trinidad, Mike Wilmot, Ali Badshah just to name a few.'

In fact, Trinidad did post a video compilation on Facebook last year, detailing how Peters's material does match that of those other comedians, including Yashere's.

In the video Peters confesses to stealing jokes 'early in my career' and said he learned better.

And in his interview on Sway In The Morning where he accused Trevor Noah of plagiarism – a charge he first laid at the Daily Show host's door in 2013 – he did admit stealing Yashere's punani joke, saying it was 22 years ago, saying it was just 'eight words'.

'I'm not saying what I did was right,' he said. 'I stole those eight words and built a whole story behind it… I'll admit it. I'll always admit it. It wasn't cool, it wasn't right. I can't take it back.'

Peters' manager, his brother Clayton, has not responded to Chortle's request for comment.

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Published: 6 Jul 2018

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