Why do I bother?

Frustrated Ancona ends Big Impression

Ronni Ancona says there are unlikely to be any more Big Impression series because of the frustrations of ‘dumbing down’ for a mass audience.

She also says she gets fed up of being sneered at because she’s ‘just an impressionist‘ and dismissed simply as ‘the girl who does Posh Spice’.

This summer, her co-star Alistair McGowan hinted at the end of their BBC1 series saying: “We've got one show at Christmas and after that we don't really know. But we want to move on because we've impersonated so many stars now.' We need to go away and refresh ourselves.”

Now Ancona, who is due to give birth to her first baby in April, said she is irritated by the limitations of the show, too.

She told The Observer: “There's a bit of a dichotomy because I want to do very new, very satirical, very surreal stuff and the BBC understandably wants old favourites.

“We've got lots of support from the BBC and they're keen for us to do more shows but it's very hard when you have to write for such a wide demographic and keep a modicum of intelligence in it.

Of her image, she added: “I am the girl who does Posh. That's all people say to me in the street. And when Alistair and I counted up the number of characters over the years, it's like 150, and you do get to the point of... why do I bother?

“It's a terrible trap, impressionism. We're the pariahs of the comedy world. Everybody thinks it's a cheap trick. We're comedy actors, Alistair and I, but nobody thinks you're an actor. They just think you're an impressionist and ‘that's not acting’.''

 In the interview, Ancona also admits that most comics have some ‘freakishness’ in their personality – and that defect is essential to being funny.

“I've seen some comics who are technically very good but if they don't have that kind of warped element, it doesn't seem to translate so well,” she said.

“There seems to be some correlation between funny bones and being a bit fucked I think.'

>> For the full interview

Published: 19 Dec 2004

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