The Spotlight on ... Aisling Bea

Wednesday, October 17 2012

That Aisling Bea, (pronounced "Ashling"), she's a charismatic Irish stand-up with 'huge balls and a tiny mind', who bagged this year's So You Think You're Funny competition up in Edinburgh. Scroll-y ...

Aisling Bea

Where in London do you live?
I live in Angel in Islington, which I hand picked because of the Angel's close association with the man upstairs (Jesus) and the fact that Islington is an A away from being Aislington and a W away from being Aislingtown.

How long have you been gigging for?
I've been in comedy since university in various guises with acting, sketch and writing but just over a year ago I decided to destroy my sense of self, drop the mask and start stand-up. It was this year I really decided to go hell for leather with it and start gigging anywhere they'd have me.

What do we need to know about you?
I need to be watered every two to three days and don't do well in direct sunlight. Other than that I'm an Irish broad with huge balls and a tiny mind.

What do we not need to know about you, but you're going to tell us anyway?
In 1988 I was arrested and detained on suspicion of attempting to obstruct the cause of justice for my alleged role in the "Who mashed the Coco Pops into the carpet?" incident. I was found to be guilty, but my sister Sinéad is still awaiting trial for her role in it.

Who makes you laugh?
I have a plethora of professionally funny friends ... none of whom are funny in real life, just a bunch of sad lonely clowns, they include Celia Paquola, Sara Pascoe, Cariad Lloyd, Humphrey Ker, Rufus Jones and some other saddos you'll find on my Twitter. But my sister Sinéad is one of the funniest people I know, especially when she is getting bullied by me. Honestly! Her FACE!

What do your family think of your act?
It's pretty much the same 20-minute set I've been doing since my communion after-party so they're fairly tired of it. They don't get to see me, thank God, as they're all back home in Ireland, on the farm.

If you were to appear on Parkinson as a guest, what would be your walk-on music?
Elton John's Candle In The Wind.

What was it like to win the SYTYF award?
Amazing but slightly overwhelming. I suppose I hadn't expected the attention that it would garner, especially in Ireland. And when you're developing a new skill you're still quite happy to do it under the radar up to a point. But it was a really lovely, very warmly run affair which helped take the idea that you're "competing" out of it. And next year I go to Montreal, which is a dream, because I heard the exchange rate is great, so I'm going to do a big electronics shop while I'm out there.

What would you like to achieve most in your comedy career?
Hopefully, especially with stand-up, to have a job for life that you can maintain control of. I'd like to balance acting, stand-up and writing and be able to work and juggle the three ... Ooh! And also change the face of comedy forever, duh.

Do you have a secret talent?
I play the tin whistle with my nose and I'm surprisingly good at cleaning.

Are you funnier off or onstage?
Offstage, when I'm on my own. I'm a mad laugh then.

You can follow Aisling on Twitter at @weemissbea, her website is here, and here's a recent interview with her on Irish TV ...


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