Lorenzo Pacitti

Kerry Godliman Q&A

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

In-demand comedian and actor Kerry Godliman returns to the Edinburgh Fringe with her new stand-up show, Face Time. The star of Channel 4’s Derek gives Giggle Beats some face time, an insight into her life as a performer, working with Ricky Gervais, and her own struggles with technology.

Hi Kerry. Tell us about Face Time.

Face Time is about making a connection with real people in a real room in real time with their actual face. It’s about my sometimes bewilderment with what cyber reality.

As an Edinburgh Fringe veteran, has the infamous grind of an Edinburgh run become any less daunting for you?

I’m doing a half run this year, so I’m a lot less daunted. I love the festival, but everyone knows, in their hearts, it’s TOO LONG!

Is it a relief to tour smaller rooms after performing for the bigger TV crowds in Live At The Apollo, Comedy Roadshow, etc?

I like doing small rooms and big rooms. Small rooms aren’t necessarily easier though…they can be quite exposing. If it’s a big performance space it feels like ‘show time’. But a small crowd can feel like a dinner party gone wrong, I’ve forgotten to cook and I’m being really vocally dominating.

Where would you place yourself on a scale of geek goddess to tactless technophobe?

100% tactless technophobe. I use technology on a very basic level. I’d love to get more out of it and use it to it’s full potential. But then I’d love to get more out of my own brain and use that to it’s full potential too.

How do you think social platforms like Twitter have affected the comedy industry? The more jokes the better? Or information overload?

I don’t really use Twitter to tell jokes. Not jokes that I’d use on stage anyway. I think I talk crap on Twitter. I don’t really know what the point of Twitter is. Is it just a massive popularity contest? How many followers have you got?

You’ve been appearing more and more on our television screens in recent times, most notably in your role as Hannah on Channel 4’s Derek. How big a departure is this from your stand-up and have you developed a preference for stage or screen?

I was an actor before I was a stand up and have always done a bit of both. Playing Hannah in Derek is a big departure from my stand up, as her persona is very different to mine. She’s compassionate, and patient, and she doesn’t judge people. Those virtues are useless in stand up.

What’s it like working with Ricky Gervais?

It’s lovely, and relaxed. He’s very clear about how he wants the world of Derek to look and feel, and we have a lot of fun realizing that world.

The critics seemed to be a little kinder towards series two of Derek. How did you feel about the initial criticism of the show? (Tanya Gold of The Guardian described Derek as “more like lazy cruelty than satire”, which we think is a touch unfair).

I think the initial criticism was based on a few assumptions and then the later criticism was confusion about what Derek was, as a genre. It’s not really a satire; it’s not a traditional sitcom either. It seems to have polarized opinion. People either adore it, or they hate it. But no one is ambiguous about it.

Finally, what’s next for Kerry Godliman after the Fringe?

The second series of Kerry’s List will be on R4 in the autumn, and I’m thinking of doing another tour later in the year.

Kerry Godliman: Face Time, The Stand Comedy Club V, Edinburgh, 12-24 August, 6.45pm, £10/£8 concessions, thestand.co.uk