Carly Smallman has sung her funny songs at some fabulous venues. From comedy clubs, to arts centres, to the Hammersmith Apollo to her living room… Martin Walker asks about her ITV2 show and latest offering for the Edinburgh Fringe.
“This year I will be performing my show Made in Penge. After my debut last year I realised that everyone – the venues, promoters, PR people – was making money apart from the performers, and so this year I am performing as part of the free festival above a pub.
“My show isn’t completely written yet but I’m very excited about it, as it has the potential to be a great fun hour about how achieving your dream isn’t always as great as you imagine it will be.”
Tell us about your TV show, Viral Tap.
“Viral Tap is the ITV2 show that I’ve been shooting this year alongside Caroline Flack and Matt Richardson. People send in their clips and our panel chat about them. It’s great fun to make and has been an incredible learning curve both professionally and personally.
“Along with success can come some pretty horrendous backlash – I’ve been relentlessly abused on twitter about my weight and the way I look since the show first aired, and that ugly side of celebrity culture – even though I’m not remotely a celebrity – is something I hope to explore in my show this year. As Sarah Millican wrote in an incredible article earlier this year – we are comedians! We are paid to be funny and that’s it. The rest is just fluff.”
You’re a stand up, musician, actor and presenter – but what’s your first love?
“Stand up for sure! It’s such an honest art form and the beauty of it is that you can talk about whatever you like, in whatever way you like without censorship. I think we need more of that in the world – a bit of straight talking. Plus, and more importantly, it’s fun!”
Do you have a view on the BBC axing BBC3 and were they right to announce that they’ll be no more all male panel shows?
“I think that the BBC have made a complete boo boo by axing BBC3 at a time when the comedy scene is this vibrant and exiting. No amount of online content will reach as many viewers as a television show.
“As far as whole ‘women on panel shows’ thing goes the BBC can do what they like. Talent is talent regardless of willies or foofs or indeed anything else.”
Who would be the guests on Cary Smallman’s Comedy Roadshow?
“Oh gosh so many! Tony Law, James Mullinger, Rachel Parris, Matt Richardson, Queen Mo’Nique, Sarah Millican, John Kearns… is this list allowed to be endless? There are so many awesome people doing amazing things out there it’s hard to choose!”