Round & About

Host of Radio 4 Extra’s Newsjack, Angela Barnes is touring her show. Peter Anderson chats to her.

Q: Your father was a large influence on your comedy; was humour and watching comedians part of your memories of growing up?
“He was. I grew up watching all the greats – Monty Python, Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore, Morecambe and Wise, then in addition to that, listening to the Radio 4 comedy programmes like Round the Horne and The Navy Lark.”

Q. Which comedians have inspired you?
“I think the late Linda Smith; she came from Kent just like me. When I heard her doing comedy on Radio 4 it was just like listening to one of my own family and it helped convince me that I could do it.”

Q. This show is about you turning 40. Have you set yourself any targets for the next ten years?
“I am not someone who believes in setting targets at all! As for my career, I would much rather live in the moment and enjoy the ride.”

Q. What is your technique for writing – are you disciplined and allocate a certain time each day or do you write when the Muse/ideas appear?
“I so cannot write to order; a blank sheet of paper or screen just freezes my brain. Don’t laugh: but I have a pad and pencil by my bed and soap crayons so I can write things on the tiles if I have an idea while I am in the shower…”

Q. How do you relax after a show?
“After a show, there is nothing like a three-hour drive to relax you, or if I am nearer home I just potter around catching up with the washing-up or maybe watch some television.”

Q. You are coming to the Phoenix Arts Centre; do you have any memories of performing here?
“Yes, it is a lovely little theatre. I came here when I was the warm-up for Alan Carr. After doing my piece, I dived into the dressing room and spent the rest of the evening playing with his two red setters, Bev and Janice.”

Angela Barnes will perform her show Fortitude at the Phoenix Arts Centre on Thursday, 10th May. Visit  and at Putney Half Moon on Wednesday, 4th July, Visit and