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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A Damned shame

C4 drops Jo Brand's social worker sitcom

Channel 4 has dropped Jo Brand’s social work sitcom Damned.

The broadcaster says it is pulling the plug on the series – which also starred Alan Davies, Kevin Eldon, Isy Suttie and Lolly Adefope – to make way for new programmes.

However they said they were  ‘incredibly proud’ of Damned, despite having no plans to make any more.

Brand wrote the show with fellow comics Will Smith and Morwenna Banks, whose partner David Baddiel broke the news on Twitter. He said: ‘Sadly just heard @Channel4 have decided not to commission another series of the brilliant Damned. This is despite the last series getting across-the-board five star reviews. Slightly baffled.’

His post prompted scores of messages of support.

What Larks!, the production company founded by Stephen Fry and Sandi Toksvig which makes the show, said they were now on the lookout for a new home.

They said: ‘The incredible response to @Baddiel's tweet is testimony to the extraordinary following #Damned @c4 had. Don't worry, we are on the search for money & partners. We will bring Damned back.  

And Smith added: ‘I like to think we set things nicely up for a third series - Denise under investigation and Al now in charge having spent all of series 2 trying to leave.’

The second series of Damned, which was widely acclaimed by critics, ended in March. The series started with 1.3million viewers but fell to half that by the end of six episodes, averaging 900,000 over the run. The first series in the autumn of 2016 averaged 1.2 million.

A Channel 4 spokesperson told British Comedy Guide: "Across two series of Damned, Jo Brand, Morwenna Banks and the What Larks! team created a warm, poignant, and pointed comedy of which we're incredibly proud. However, with a number of other brand new comedy series already commissioned for 2019, there are currently no plans for a third series.'

It also starred  Himesh Patel, Georgie Glen and Nick Hancock as well as Banks herself. 

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Published: 9 Jun 2018

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