ironydefA few weeks ago I was doing my bit as a Loud Mouth on BBC Radio Derby. It’s where I get to discuss the news stories of the day with a fellow Loud Mouth. Obviously, we’re a little controversial and the idea is to get the listening public to phone in and add their ten pence worth.

As usual, before we launched into the stories hitting the headlines that day, I was asked about what I do and I explained I wrote humorous books and did a little bit of stand up. We then got stuck into the topics for the next hour.

It was a quiet morning and in spite of throwing out some arguments that should have had people phoning in incadesant with rage the phonelines remained strangely silent until towards the end of the show.

“We’ve had a message,” said the presenter with relief. Then his face changed. “Uhm. It doesn’t appear to be about the stories we’ve been discussion. It’s actually for Carol. Our listener says, “Women shouldn’t try and do humour. They are no good at it and don’t know what irony is. There are no funny female comdians. Carol, have you anything to say to that?”

“Let me think. Are there any funny female comedians? Hmm. Joan Rivers? Jennifer Saunders? Olivia Coleman? Catherine Tate? Shappi Khorsandi? Jo Brand? Too brash. Miranda Hart? Too slapstick? Okay, how about Victoria Wood, Sally Phillips, Sarah Millican, Shazia Mirza, Gina Yashere, Katherine Ryan, Amy Shumar, Jessica Hynes, Sara Pascoe? No, I guess there aren’t any funny women. Oh, and I actually know what irony is…it’s the opposite of wrinkly.”