Sheffield set to laugh at Twitter comedy favourite Janey Godley

Scottish comedian Janey Godley was both horrified and amazed when one of her catchphrases gatecrashed the state opening of Parliament.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 10:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 2:11 pm

Glasgow stand-up comedian Janey, who appears at Sheffield City Hall on February 18, has reached a wider audience via Twitter and other social media with her clever and sharply funny voice-overs of news film clips, often featuring politicians such as Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and even US President Donald Trump.

Often the joke is that Janey voices over important events as if what is going on is part of everyday life and conversations, featuring characters such as Big Frank and Sandra.

However, she wasn’t expecting what happened when she sat down to watch the that highly controversial Queen’s speech on TV last October.

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“Black Rod came up to the door of the House of Commons and banged on the door. You could hear one of the SNP MPs shout ‘Frank, get the door’. My husband turned to me and said, ‘What have you done to the world?!’

“Seven hundred years of tradition and there’s my catchphrase. That made it funnier.”

Many of the SNP politicians, say they enjoy the voiceovers, said Janey, which is clear from the Black Rod incident.

There’s one video where Boris Johnson tries to usher Nicola Sturgeon inside her own official residence and she’s clearly having none of it, which is reflected in the commentary. “She loved that one,” Janey said.

Scottish stand-up comedian Janey Godley, with a backdrop of one of her watercolours showing her comic characters

Janey said that her show alternates between stand-up routines and live voiceovers of videos that appear on a big screen.

Because of the fast-changing nature of politics these days, the voiceovers keep her on her toes. “They’re being updated every single day because things keep happening.”

Janey explained how the voiceovers got started: “My daughter Ashley (comedian Ashley Storrie) and I would be doing this for years.

“There always would be some film on TV with John Mills and Anthony Quayle. We would turn the volume down and do the voices.

“Sometimes I lost my breath laughing, it would be so funny. We would cowboy films and just do these voices.

“During the election with Theresa May two years ago, I would do her, Ruth Davidson and Nicola Sturgeon and give them another voice. It took over and I’d do more and more. I did some that became viral.”

None of the voiceovers are pre-scripted, Janey said. “None of them are edited. The only time I’ve had to start and stop again is if I say a wrong name. It’s very much improvising comedy.

"It’s lovely and nice because I’ve been a comedian for 25 years and it’s taken a Tory to make me famous!”

Part of that fame means her current tour is taking her to new places.

“I’ve never been to Sheffield. I’m looking forward to it. One of the thing I love is going to see new cities and the architecture.

“I do a lot of watercolours of buildings. I also love getting to see really old, beautiful theatres where you have just heard of the place.”

Perhaps surprisingly for a staunchly separatist Scottish Nationalist, Janey loves coming to England.

“When I get free time, I don’t spend it in Scotland. I holiday in England. I love the green spaces, history and culture.”

Sheffield City Hall box office: go to www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk or call 0114 278 9789.

Janey’s website with tour details: janeygodley.com