Q&A with Fiona Allen on tour

Liz Nicholls

We chat to comedian & Smack The Pony star Fiona Allen who is on tour with her debut stand-up show On The Run, including stops at Guildford’s Electric Theatre on 28th September, plus Swindon, London & Maidenhead

Q. Hi Fiona. Seeing as your show is called On The Run, can you tell us about your impulse to get away from your hometown?

“I think I get my wanderlust from my mum and dad. My mum grew up in the time of Franco and left Spain as a young woman. She couldn’t speak English and was an au pair, then she became a nurse in the north of England where she met my dad (a psychiatric nurse). He then went on to work in Saudi Arabia when I was eight (interesting school holidays in Saudi…). Then the family home moved back to Spain, then back to the UK, so basically itchy feet are hardwired into me. I think I’m genetically predisposed to look at the horizon and think I wonder what’s over the hill. I was like that as a chid, and I simply haven’t changed.”

Q. How did you meet your husband & how has the whirlwind of family life affected ‘romance’?

“He was a location manager on the first series of Smack The Pony. We kept glancing at each other but trying to look like we weren’t. Then the director, who was getting slightly irritated, said ‘for God’s sake, talk to each other and go on a date’. One day I slipped filming a scene and missed the crash mat as it was the wrong way round. I banged my head, and he took me back to the base. It was then, when I was dazed, confused and slightly concussed that he asked me out for a drink! I could be flippant about the romance question, but I won’t be as one thing I really believe is that marriage is sometimes how you navigate the tough times together. Flowers, kind thoughts and actions are lovely, but nothing is more romantic than knowing that every day, no matter what, someone has always got your back. However he doesn’t tidy up and drives me bonkers.”

Q. What about meeting your father-in-law, Michael Parkingson?

“He was just a normal (very) Northern bloke who happened to be famous. Good to chat to as a journo and cut through stuff. He can ask a question. I can so answer it.”

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