7 British Comediennes You Might like to Get to Know ...


If you like funny ladies, there are some British comediennes you might like to get to know. We’ve got some very clever and funny ladies who make us laugh over here – some have been stalwarts on the comedy scene for years, while some newbies are still carving their niche – but successfully. Check out some of these most excellent British comediennes and you might just find a new way to tickle your funny bone.

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Victoria Wood

Victoria Wood was one of the first British comediennes to achieve national acclaim. She won a TV talent show – New Faces – back in 1974 and never looked back. Today she has a very impressive list of credits under her belt and is a hugely successful stand up comedian, singer-songwriter, actress, screenwriter and director. She has a unique take on life and is highly skilled in observing and satirising our culture from a female standpoint. As well as her one-woman shows, which are a mix of stand up routine, songs sung at the piano and sketches, Victoria penned and starred in a very successful sitcom – Dinnerladies – and also a one-off serious drama, Housewife, 49. The video clip showcases the song she is probably most known for.


Dawn French

Along with comedy partner Jennifer Saunders (see next point), Dawn French came to our attention as one of a new crop of anarchic comedians who grabbed the limelight in the very early '80s – this included Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Ben Elton, Harry Enfield, Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson. She has been inspirational to many women because she has never let her size be an issue or a barrier in an industry that lauds the “ideal woman.” The French and Saunders show on TV was a tour de force of parody (lampooning such notables as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Titanic), observational comedy and total stupidity and slapstick. Her most famous role is as Geraldine Granger, the Vicar of Dibley – penned by one of Britain’s greatest comedy writers, Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral).


Jennifer Saunders

Although in equal partnership in French and Saunders, like her long time friend, Jennifer Saunders has achieved solo success. I think it speaks volumes about the talent of both these British comediennes that they are as equally comfortable working together and apart. Jennifer is mainly known outside the double act for Absolutely Fabulous – a scathing and hugely funny portrayal of the world of PR and fashion, ably assisted by Joanne Lumley as vodka swilling, man hungry Patsy. Jennifer also wrote the stage musical Viva Forever, based on the life of The Spice Girls, which sadly the critics panned! She’s an amazing writer and has been married to the hilarious Adrian Edmondson for 28 years in one of the most enduring marriages in the UK comedy world.


Sarah Millican

This northern lady has endeared herself to British comedy audiences with her rather naive view of the world. She often references the messy and gritty side of relationships and dating and delivers her observations in well-chosen, oft surprising words – you rarely hear an expletive or cuss word but lady’s front bottoms and men’s poking sticks are referenced in all sorts of cutesy and (maybe) childish ways – but it works. Like most British comediennes she is very self-deprecating, with much of her comedy being based on her own quirks and personal life.


Sue Perkins

Of all the British funny ladies on my list Sue Perkins is probably the least well known but I like her. She too is one half of a double act, her partner is Mel Giedroyc, but Sue has gained greater fame in more recent years through her radio broadcasting and solo appearances on other shows – although as Mel and Sue they recently enjoyed great success as the presenters of The Great British Bake Off. Comedians usually don’t mind doing anything for laughs and Sue showed this side of herself perfectly in the series she did called The Supersizers Eat… in which she and Giles Coren presented various episodes, each featuring a week where they ate exactly as people would have during certain periods of history. Sue Perkins appears on many panel shows on TV and radio and is always an entertaining guest.


Jo Brand

I mentioned self-deprecation in an earlier point and few embody this more than Jo Brand. She is indeed the queen of self-deprecation. When she first appeared she shocked audiences. We were used to our British comediennes taking the mickey out of themselves and delivering their wry and sardonic observations of the female sex, but this rather large and quite scary looking lady telling us how much she loved cake and reveling in her body mass in no uncertain terms was quite refreshing. Jo went on to join the ranks of the very funny ladies who make us laugh. She is completely unpretentious and totally at ease with herself – even to the point of donning a schoolgirl outfit to recreate Britney’s “...Baby One More Time” for charity event Let’s Dance for Comic Relief. The former psychiatric nurse has also written and starred in her own sitcom – Getting On.


Miranda Hart

Last but not least is my current favorite. Miranda Hart literally burst on to our TV screens when some bright spark decided a TV version of her radio show would be worth the gamble. Miranda was a breath of fresh air. It is so simple in its concept and delivery – we follow Miranda through all her dating disasters and crazy life. Miranda is very distinctive looking and is just over 6 foot tall. When the BBC decided to dramatize Call the Midwife, a memoire/autobiography, the writer of the book, Jenny Worth, decided Miranda was perfect for the role of Camilla “Chummy” Fortescue-Cholmondeley-Browne. Miranda showed that like so many of our British comediennes, she isn’t just a comical genius but can transfer her skills to dramatic acting roles too. Miranda has recently released a fitness DVD – based on exercising using maracas!

I do hope you take some time to check out these very funny British comediennes. Maybe you already know some of their work? Do you have a favorite?

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Andi Osho? Shappi Khorsandi? Pity the list wasn't 10 or so

I was met to say I'm British and I. Think you should watch a YouTube clip of a comedian called Peter Kay he does loads of charity work and is very funny

How come Catherine Tate isn't on this list? Love Miranda though

Where is Alan Carr

French and Saunders are hilarious, but I do love Millican xx

An Fab was brilliant

sarah millican is wonderful but if you struggled with cheryl Cole I think youll struggle with sarah!!!

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