What Katy did... | Q&A with Katy Brand as her series returns © ITV

What Katy did...

Q&A with Katy Brand as her series returns

How did it feel to win best female newcomer at last year’s British Comedy Awards?

It was very exciting but mainly it was a relief! I hadn’t really been drinking all evening so I just sat at the table watching the people around me become more and more drunk in slow motion. I got very drunk immediately after winning it. I was nervous and I thought whichver way this goes, I just don’t trust myself when I’m drunk.

What else have you been up to since the last series?

I made a film called Good Arrows which Irvine Welsh wrote and directed. I’ve been on holiday and then we were back writing the new series in January. I’ve also done a couple of radio shows; I did a radio show for Matt Lucas so I’ve sort of been doing really fun bits and pieces, a couple of panel shows and stuff like that.

Do you find that fans now recite your characters’ catchphrases when they see you in the street? If so which ones

Yes I do from time to time. I get recognised two or three times a day which is a bit surreal but nice. The weirdest one I ever had was a homeless man in his fifties with long dreadlocks and a can of cider in his hand. He came lurching up to me at 3am in Soho and shouted “I’m normal”. So from that day on I gave up trying to figure out who watches my show.

What new characters can viewers expect to see this series?

There’s loads of music, we’ll have three music videos per show so there’s enough for a double album! We’re doing Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Little Boots, Pet Shop Boys, U2, Rhianna. Then we’ve got some new celebrity characters including Penelope Cruz and Gwyneth Paltrow and some characters returning from series one which we didn’t do in series two like Jennifer Aniston. We’ve also got some new original creations one of whom is a woman who doesn’t know she is married to a serial killer.

Which characters are returning?

Jesus’s girlfriend is returning but this time Jesus has got a new manager, Saint Paul who is played by Paul Kaye. Saint Paul is a slightly manipulative character who is helping Jesus’s bid for stardom. We’ve got Captain Rosie who is presenting more in the style of her hero Ross Kemp and The Queen is coming back but this time we feature more of her family. We’re going to see her giving Princess Anne and Prince Charles a good dressing down and trying to deal with Prince Edward’s ongoing battle with the media. I think the heart of the show is still there but we’ve got loads of new stuff around it.

Would you ever consider releasing an album of the songs that you perform on the show?

Yes, it’s been discussed. It’s always vaguely and light-heartedly discussed and then we just forget about it. Its not out of the question; the artists we take off might have something to say about it but I’ve never shied away from celebrity baiting so we’ll see.

Kate Winslet and Kate, Stella and Sadie are not in this series, why did you decide not to feature these characters?

We shot a sketch with the real Kate Moss and Sadie Frost for Comic Relief so I sort of think once I’ve done Kate Moss to Kate Moss there’s not really anywhere else I can go with it, so we decided to lay them to rest. And Kate Winslet seems to be doing her own sketches now judging by her performance at the Golden Globes. There’s not much more to say about her, I’m just going to take a back seat and let her get on with it I think.

Is there a celebrity you wouldn’t include?

I don’t really like doing anyone who’s having a really awful time, people like Kerry Katona and also Amy Winehouse, we’re laying off her partly because there’s not a lot to say. We’ve done Britney in this series but I think she’s on a bit of an upswing so it feels better doing that now. I also prefer to do people who are internationally famous as well so we tend to steer clear of British TV stars. I think it’s the A-listers who really deserve it to be honest.

Have you had any feedback from any of the stars you’ve featured?

I’ve heard Adele really likes her one so that was very sweet. Lily Allen’s mum really likes all the Lily Allen sketches so that’s nice, I feel a little bit off the hook there.

How do you come up with the ideas for your characters?

With the celebrity ones, it’s just reading lots of celebrity magazines and usually they’ll have a PR type agenda they’re pushing all the time. I just object to that! I think when someone’s PR agenda becomes like somebody continually shouting in your face then that’s something that I like to write down and get out of my system. In terms of the non-celebrity characters, I think they’re just parts of me really. We have other writers too who submit ideas and I just think if it makes you laugh and you can imagine it from the moment you start reading a sketch it’s a sort of a bit of a no brainer.

Which one of your transformations takes the longest to achieve?

This series I did Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys and had to have a bald cap fitted and it took three hours to get fully made up. Everyone was terrified of me after that. It’s really horrifying because I look completely different. With the other characters you can see bits of me because we don’t use prosthetics or anything, but with that one I looked completely different. I looked in the mirror and I just didn’t recognise myself, which is quite a fright, I’ve never had that before.

How long does it take you to perfect a particular character?

We have lots of rehearsals and if they’re characters that I’ve done live for a long time then I tend to know them inside out anyway, but it might take a day or two of proper rehearsals to really figure it out. Something like the voice of Gwyneth Paltrow we found quite hard because it’s difficult to nail it exactly and still be silly. I don’t want to do an impression so it’s a just a matter of finding little tics or physical things. With Jennifer Aniston we always show her smoothing her hair down with her hand, that resembles a stiff mannequin hand. I don’t know if she does that, but it somehow seems very Jennifer Aniston to be constantly smoothing your hair down. So it’s a combination of rehearsals, live performance and seeing what comes naturally.

  • Series three of Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show starts on ITV2 on September 10.

Published: 1 Sep 2009

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