Katherine Jakeways

Note: This review is from 2003

Review by Steve Bennett

If Katherine Jakeways ever lands her own TV series, the usual disclaimer that 'any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental' would be somewhat redundant.

For all her characters are based on real people; real people who made the news, or who she found on the Internet. Not that she knows anything much about them, but this is what she imagines them to be like.

The result is a motley bunch, from an idealistic, sexually confused 12-year-old girl to a scary, drunk pikey who caused an air rage scare at Manchester. All are very well drawn, with the comedy lying in the underplayed details of the performance.

Her opener is a celibacy therapist, Dr Coral Cox, who essentially just reels of a list of euphemisms for sex, sexuality and genitals ("the meat-seeking piss-ile) - imagine Joyce Grenfell recording the talking books version of Roger's Profanisaurus from Viz. Not exactly clever, but very effective in getting the audience giggling from the get-go.

The Cliff-obsessed stalker is a more three-dimensional creation, not an oh-so-blatant comic caricature, but a smartly-written, fully-fledged person. Another, a grumpy tutor type, showcases Jakeways' skill at crowd interaction while remaining in character

Until last month, Jakeways was the travel presenter on GM:TV in London, a job which undoubtedly prepared her for possibly her best creation - a local TV station's entertainment reporter who crowbars in cliches and puns so heavily into her reports that the actual story is almost lost. This brilliantly observed character would have been worthy of inclusion in Chris Morris's seminal The Day Today.

Undoubtedly talented, the only question that hangs over Jakeways is whether she can stand out from the crowd. Most women who go into comedy choose the character route (interestingly, she seemed to appeal a lot more to the women in her audience than the men), which means the Fringe is littered with similar acts.

But whichever way you look at it, she's certainly one of the best of the bunch and someone we can expect to hear more of. Maybe that TV series isn't such a far-fetched idea.

Review date: 1 Jan 2003
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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