Jenny Eclair, has been a stand-up comic for donkeys’ years, she was the first woman to win the coveted Perrier Award at the Edinburgh festival in 1995 and hasn’t stopped banging on about it ever since. She still gigs regularly and has just finished a 50 date sell-out tour around the UK with her new show How To be A Middle Aged Woman (Without Going Insane).
2015 saw the release of Jenny’s fourth novel Moving, to rave reviews. It was a Sunday Times paperback bestseller and was selected for the Richard & Judy Book club. Sales of her UK editions alone stand at well over 200,000 net copies.
Her other novels, Camberwell Beauty, Having a Lovely Time, Life Death and Vanilla Slices have been translated into nine languages, including German, Russian, French, Italian and Turkish.
Some of you might recognize her from TV, although she is smaller and plainer real life.
Small screen highlights include all the Grumpy Old Women series, Loose Women (sacked in 2012), plus of course reality TV shows such as Splash and I’m a Celebrity when in 2010, she came third and has since developed a taste for kangaroo anus.
Other TV credits include Storage Hunters UK Celebrity Special, Alan Davies As Yet Untitled, QI, Battlechefs (UKTV) Fifteen to One, Celebrity Masterchef (BBC), surprising even herself with her ability to make a cracking chicken schnitzel in 15 minutes! It was Alright In the 80’s (Channel 4), Countdown (Channel 4), The Chase: Celebrity Special (ITV), That Sunday Night Show (ITV), Antiques Road Trip: Children in Need Special (BBC Two), The Apprentice: You’re Fired! (BBC Two), Celebrity Weakest Link (BBC Two), Celebrity Fame Academy (BBC One), The Joan Rivers Position and Room 101 (BBC Two).
Her first foray into TV was a show called Packet of Three with Frank Skinner, which was universally panned.
Weirdly enough Eclair was actually trained as a straight actress and has done ‘acting’ on Holby City, The Bill and Skins. In early 2009 she cropped up playing women of forty plus, in Al Murray’s Multiple Personality Disorder (ITV1).
West End theatre credits include Steaming, Mum’s the Word and The Vagina Monologues. Jenny has appeared in the title role of The Killing of Sister George for the Derby Playhouse, unfortunately she spent the entire time she was on stage looking like a fat Margaret Thatcher. She has also done panto a couple of times (Oh yes she has)
However her biggest theatrical hit to date has been co-writing (with Judith Holder) and starring in all three Grumpy Old Women Live shows, both in the UK and Australia. Thanks to this show she has left phone chargers in dressing rooms around the globe.
Eclair is a writer as much as a performer (sometimes it’s nice to just sit down). She is a regular contributor to various newspapers and magazines and has written lots of radio comedy (mostly with Julie Balloo), including the much repeated On Baby Street. She is currently in the process of writing a third series of Little Lifetimes for BBC Radio 4.
In her spare time Jenny is a gym dodger, novice knitter and very bad painter she lives in South London with St Geof of Camberwell and together they have a daughter who writes and works in theatre.
Visit Jenny’s website: www.jennyeclair.com
Follow Jenny on Twitter: @jennyeclair
Like Jenny’s Facebook page: facebook.com/jennyeclair