1. You have a funny face Fran, thoughts?
Funny haha?? I would like to think that it’s a warm, engaging face, also i look incredible for my age. (Ladies) Very rarely do i not have a smile on my face. Perfect face for radio, so i’ve been told.
2. I had the pleasure of meeting you at a couple of gigs while I was on the circuit 5 years ago what has made you continue?
People pay me, haha, I love that I am a stand up comedian, the more experienced I am the better comedian i’ll be. I Always wanted to be one, just happened someone dared me once and i’ve never looked back. It’s one of the jobs that you’ll know after 6 months whether or not you’ll stick to it. I’ve known loads that have stopped for various reasons but if you love doing it, why stop?
Plus i’m funny, that’s helped me continue.
3. What’s been the biggest challenge as a comedian?
Balancing your Homelife / work life / comedy life. I’m lucky though, I’ve got great support from my family and good relationships with promoters. Writing material that people will laugh at and then applaud you for it, that’s quite a challenge.
4. Comedians are a strange bunch……Why?
We love talking to strangers, we’ll travel for over two hours to gigs with 4 people at the top of a barn. We’ll most likely lose money by putting in all our efforts into a polished ‘pay what you want’ Edinburgh show. We’ll happily sacrifice a quiet night in to exchange it for sharing the M62 with a truck driver from Cardiff. We’ll watch other comedians progress and become anxious that nobody will love us. We’ll enter competitions we’ll never win just so we can get recognition we don’t deserve. You don’t get this being a bin man.
5. What’s the worst xmas present you ever received?
Socks that a 12yr old would happily wear but not a 40yr old, y’know the type, the ones that say ‘I’m too sexy’ and have a picture of Homer Simpson on ‘world’s greatest lover’ or made out like a christmas tree with bells on the side. Or Lynx.
6. What has been your biggest accomplishment in life?
Raising two kids on my own for a number of years prior to getting re-married. I was a good single dad. My kids will verify this. I’ve ran the Great North Run twice, not in the same day obviously, that would be stupid, although this year I ran it after having 3hrs sleep the night before.
7. Where do you get your ideas from for jokes?
Life, talk about my life with my family, kids etc, anything I find amusing I’ll make either a mental note or type something in my phone to work on. I usually work on stuff a few times a week, luckily i’ll try it out at a few gigs, see what the response is.
8. You are rehearsing for panto how’s that going?
It’s going great! 1st year of being asked to do panto so i’m really looking forward to it. Obviously Les Battersby will be great to work alongside, there’s other people from Casualty & CBBC too, I have a great role as the Henchman in Jack & the Beanstalk.
9. What was the call from Jason Manford like?
It was genuinely the nicest thing, I’ll mention and big up Peter Vincent who’s a great promoter from the North east, he’s progressed me from a gong show winner to regularly gigging for Manfords comedy clubs.
To be asked by Jason to do some warm up tour spots was honestly a dream come true, watched him many times over the years and even when he rang me it was like ‘Is this for real’ ‘ I’m having me dinner!’ but he liked my stuff, heard good reports. Christmas had come early!
10. What coming up next got you fran?
So Panto this Christmas, Jack & the Beanstalk in Yarm & Leyburn, still gigging around the country, I’ve got Hull, Stockton and Liverpool to come. I’ll be doing more gigs for my solo show ‘Secret Agent Fran’ & you can also hear me on Zetland FM every Sunday afternoon 2-5. www.zetlandfm.co.uk click listen live!
Thanks for spending time with us Fran