Q&A: Judi Love

Round & About

Anvil Basingstoke

Comedian & TV star Judi Love shares her thoughts ahead of her The One Like tour which visits The Anvil in Basingstoke, Wycombe Swan & Aylesbury Waterside Theatre as well as many more venues near you.

Judi Love is one of the UK’s most stand-out performers, and she’ll be taking her fresh, unapologetic and charismatic real talk to theatres across the country on her first ever stand-up tour in 2023.

Judi takes everyday relatable situations that resonate with audiences and brings them to life in hilarious routines. Marking herself a firm favourite on the comedy circuit, Judi is also known for producing a host of hilarious online comedy sketches that have gone viral on an international scale. Judi can be seen as a regular panellist on ITV’s Loose Women, including being on the first episode to feature an all-black panel, which received a prestigious RTS Programme Award for the Daytime category. She has also appeared on a number of TV shows, including Taskmaster, The Royal Variety Performance, This Morning, Good Morning Britain, Celebrity Juice, BBC’s This Is My House, The Graham Norton Show, The Ranganation and more. Bruce Dessau asks her whether she was nervous before starring on Strictly, twerking on Saturday night primetime TV: “I was definitely nervous because I wasn’t doing comedy, there was physical aspect. But it was such an amazing show and a great opportunity. When I twerked I felt my mission was complete.”

Q. How do you manage the work/life balance as a mother with two teenagers?

“I struggled with babysitting when they were younger. And now I worry for them when they have exams. But I try to put my foot down and not compromise. It’s a struggle and I definitely have mum guilt thinking I should be home with them. You don’t want them to grow up and say I was never there.”

Q. You can be frank about your sex life and what it’s like to be a woman on stage. Have they heard your material?

“When I was doing stand-up in clubs and couldn’t get babysitters they used to come with me so they know what I talk about. Now they are older they’ve probably heard worse with their friends. But they know ‘Judi Love’ and they know ‘mummy’. I might be extreme or cheeky on stage but I’d never talk like that in my private conversations with them.”

Q. What does self-care mean to you?

“It’s so important. We live in a society where we are so frightened to say ‘no’ we end up on a treadmill. Relaxation is important. I get a facial, take a walk, connect with friends not in entertainment. The other week I just got up, showered, put my houseclothes on, no make-up, no wig and watched all of The White Lotus. And it was beautiful.”

“We live in a society where we are so frightened to say ‘no’ we end up on a treadmill.”

Q. You previously worked in social care. Did your job help you as an entertainer?

“I’ve worked with some of the most deprived people. It’s easy to see someone and judge them and think you’d never end up like that but doing social care you get to see how people end up in certain scenarios. It gives you the empathy and understanding. When I’m tired from doing three jobs a day it’s not trauma. I’ve worked with people in crisis and trauma and it’s not that.”

Q. There were hard times in your early years of comedy, weren’t there?

“I moved to south London when my children were young and I left everything behind. We were in a house with nothing, just mattresses and a cooker. I had to get work quickly so I found a zero-hours job assessing parents. I remember going on a TV discussion programme early in the morning then going to work and they said ‘didn’t we just see you on TV?’. I was doing TV but in the evening my emergency electricity would run out. There’s always more to the story, it’s not all glamour.”

Q. You once said laughter is healing. Is that your philosophy?

“When you think about all the adversity people go through, laughter is what connects us. People say if you don’t laugh you’ll cry, so let’s keep laughing!”