Angela Barnes is a brilliant comedian who takes usually unnoticed everyday situations and effortlessly turns them on their head; she is unique, quick-witted and most importantly: brave. With appearances on Russell Howard’s Good News and, more recently, Mock The Week, Angela has shown an array of strong and diverse material to fit any occasion (maybe not a funeral, but we can’t have it all). Her comedy is relatable, silly, and therefore, absolutely wonderful.
To learn a little more about the person behind the comedy, I asked Angela these seven questions…
1) What inanimate object best describes you?
I think a 4-colour biro best describes me. I always use a 4 colour-biro, so my writing will match my mood. So, maybe I am a biro with just 4 colours: Red – happy, black – sad, blue – angry, green-mental.
Yep, that about covers it.
2) What is the first thing you notice about new people?
Whether they have a face. Or, at least, I reckon I’d definitely notice if they didn’t, so…
3) Is there a certain subject that you would never write material about?
At the moment, I won’t do any material about my previous working life. That’s mainly because I am a pessimist, and am certain that this comedy lark will almost certainly go tits up, and I will have to go back to doing what I used to do. I’m not going to risk my chances of getting a job by writing gags about it.
4) What’s the most recent thing you’ve done that was really stupid?
I was walking through town the other day, and a homeless gentleman was approaching me. I tried to work out how to get away from him, what excuse to give him for not giving him any money. I avoided eye contact and barged past him, but he followed me. I sped up, so did he, I was feeling uncomfortable. Then he caught up, tapped me on shoulder and said “sorry love, your flies are undone, thought you’d want to know”. He was just being nice. i gave him a fiver and berated myself for being a self-important twat.
5) Which season of the year is your least favourite?
I think my least favourite season is whichever season I am currently in. I always think I love summer, but then I remember hay fever and sunburn. I burn stupidly easy. I was complaining to my Mum about having to plaster myself in F50, she said “well you redheads do burn easily don’t you”. Might surprise you, but this is not my natural hair colour. It is nobody’s natural hair colour. I said, “yes Mum, you’re right, when I got my hair dyed, it was a mistake getting the matching skin graft”.
My hay fever starts in February and lasts til October. My doctor gave me a new nasal spray, it works, but it genuinely smells of flowers. Thanks for that Doc, if I had a peanut allergy, I’d want my lifesaving adrenaline shot to smell of sun pat wouldn’t I?
Then I think I like winter, Christmas lights, mulled wine, woolly tights. Then I remember that being cold sucks, and that in my job, I often have to stand on train platforms at silly times of night in the middle of nowhere. I remember how much I miss light, how much I hate snow, and then winter loses its appeal too.
I used to think I had Seasonal Affective Disorder, but now I think I might just be a miserable arse. Yes that’s it.
6) What animal would you most like to be?
I’d most like to be a donkey. There are not many people who don’t like donkeys. Apparently, so many old people leave money to donkey sanctuaries in their wills, that they don’t know how to spend it all. Spend my days grazing on a sweet pasture, with top of the range hay and a pimped up stable, thanks to some spinster who hated her family. That sounds like a good life to me.
Also, donkeys know what’s what. In Animal Farm (not that one, the Orwell), Benjamin the donkey gets what’s going on before any of the other animals. Eeyore in Winnie The Pooh knows that life is essentially shit, and you have to make the best of it.
I guess I’m just a good old fashioned pessimist. I wouldn’t have it any other way, when you always expect the worst, you can’t be disappointed.
7) What is the best thing that has come out of being a comedian for you?
I’m going to try really hard not to sound wanky here, but no promises. I wanted to be a comedian for as long as I remember, but I thought it was something that the cool, confident kids did. The realisation that comedy is a perfect creative outlet for those of us that have never felt like we belonged properly was an immense thing.
I can be me, albeit a sometimes exaggerated version of me, and it doesn’t matter that I’m not the prettiest girl, or the thinnest girl, or the coolest girl, people still want to hear what I say (sometimes). And finding that out was the best feeling in the world.
I can’t believe that someone like me is allowed to do this. And get paid for it.