Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Ellie Taylor

Ellie Taylor

I first spotted Ellie Taylor on ITV’s search for a stand-up star, Show Me The Funny. The programme wasn’t perfect and Taylor was knocked out before the final, but her talent for delivering a crisp, sharp line shone through. She has also been on 8 Out of 10 CatsFake Reaction and Snog Marry Avoid and BBC2’s sitcom Family Tree. She is currently shooting Comedy Central's new sitcom Mummy's Boys. She did her first full-length show in Edinburgh last summer and is currently on tour. She is at the Soho Theatre from May 19 - 21, tickets here. Full tour dates and further info here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
1. What is the last thing you do before you go onstage (apart from check your flies, check for spinach between teeth and check your knickers aren't sticking out of your skirt)?

Go for a wee. Go through my set list. Go for another safety wee just to be sure. 

 
 
2. What irritates you? 

In life? Rudeness. I’m big into pleases, thank yous, giving up seats for pregnant dudes etc. I’m essentially an old school gentleman. The only bad bit about all this is that I have to be thanked for doing these things. I wish I was a nice enough person to not need to be thanked but I am essentially a needy arse hole. Essentially, I have no qualms about opening a door for you but if you don’t thank me I will kill your mum. So I’m an old school gentleman in the same way the Krays were. 

 
In comedy? The dick swinging that sometimes goes on. It’s the peacocking of the comedy world. 

 
 
3. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?

Giving up a proper job with a pension, medical insurance and free apples to do comedy full time. I had no choice really; I’d got into a TV thing which meant I had to quit grown up life to be able to commit to filming. I’m glad my hand was forced in a way as I couldn’t think too much about it. 

 
 
4. What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?

Giving up a proper job with a pension, medical insurance and free apples to do comedy full time. That or going through a phase in 6th form when driving around roundabouts the wrong way was all the rage.

 
5. What has surprised you the most during your career in comedy? 

How long it all takes. I thought after doing it for nearly five years like I have, I’d be bloody sensational by now. I thought I’d know everything and have it all worked out. I imagined I’d have a brilliant daily schedule I’d stick to rigidly using my failsafe special joke writing formula. I thought I’d be doing new material nights and everything I said would be proper gold that would change the world. I thought I’d be bullet proof. It’s much harder this comedy lark, than I’d realised. I still feel very new to it all. But when it works it makes me so happy.

 
6. What do your parents (delete as applicable) think of your job?

They are delighted by it. My mum is a great show off and I think she sees me doing the kind of thing that she may have done if she’d have had more opportunities or if times had been different. She once told me when tipsy that she was proud of me because I was  "really living life”. It means a lot to have their support even if me "really living” in reality means me sitting at home in my pyjamas trying to find a way to incorporate the great wanking noise I can do with my cheek into my set.

 
7. What’s the worst thing about being a comedian?

Vulnerability. Jealousy. Relentlessness (is that a word?). Only ever being as good as your last gig. Always having more work you could be doing. Uncertainty. Fear. Stag dos.

 
8. I think you are very good at what you do (that’s why I’m asking these questions). What do you think of you?

Ah thanks mate. I think I am better than I used to be but not as good as I should be. Ask me again in 10 years. When I am holding my Oscar…fuck it, Oscars.

 
 
9. How much do you earn and how much would you like to earn?

Good lord I am far too British to answer that. For goodness sake, Bruce. What do you think I am? American?

 
 
10. How important is luck in terms of career success – have you had lucky breaks?

Luck + hard work + opportunity = success. I’ve had some lucky breaks, for sure, but I like to think that the ground work I’d put in by that point meant that when the luck popped up I was ready to capitalise on it. 

 

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