Comedy: Rhona Cameron Drill Hall, London

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The Independent Culture
Lesbians, Rhona Cameron admits, suffer from an image problem. People perceive them as being like the Millie Tant character in Viz - aggressive and lacking in a sense of humour. Cameron, the co-presenter of BBC2's Gaytime TV, is living proof that it ain't necessarily so.

At her Drill Hall show, she acknowledges lesbians' bad reputation - she comes on stage beforehand dressed as an airheaded floor-manager who thinks Gaytime TV is "yuk, weird" - and then sets about changing it by the simple act of making everybody laugh.

Cameron says that the stroppy image stems from the fact that lesbians are fed up with people staring at them. (In her case, she has the added hassle of tabloid pests.) She fantasises about going up to gawping straight couples in restaurants and answering their questions before they've even asked them: "No, we're not interested in a threesome, and no, you can't watch." Then she wonders at the jumpiness of hotel staff when lesbians check into a double room: "What are they worried we're going to do - tidy up too much? 'Ooo, there was hoovering 'til 4am and their friends came round and dusted.' "

Sexual politics are the same, however, whatever your orientation. If you're met at the airport by someone you've been unfaithful to, Cameron reckons, "You have to go through the 'Something to Declare' channel."

With more than a tang of poignancy, she goes on to recall her parents' reaction to her coming out. "All they'll ever see is you in a white wedding dress with a big red cross through it," she sighs. Her mother, she claims, even went so far as to blame the family dog's death on her daughter's revelation: "She said the shock killed him - 'He's dead. Satisfied now?' "

She is equally sharp on being from Scotland, a nation so unhealthy, she says, "the only thing they do outdoors is eat chips". She hastens to add that: "I'm not actually Scottish. I've just drunk a lot of Special Brew so I've got the accent." She finds that her London friends "drag you out to dinner parties and ask you to say things like 'Curly Wurly' because they think it's really funny".

Cameron seems prone to nerves and not all her routines come off. Does she, for instance, need to dwell for so long on the not always amusing incident when she head-butted a policeman?

But, like another famous Scot, she is a brave-heart in her choice of material, and, more importantly, she's funny. Gay comedy has certainly come a long way from the days when it was seen as Frankie Howerd putting his hand on hip and exclaiming, "Oh, no, missus, don't."

n Rhona Cameron is at the Drill Hall, London WC1 to 28 Sept. Booking: 0171-637 8270