THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS: Jenny Eclair

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Blonde, brassy Jenny Eclair, winner of the Perrier Comedy Award 1995, is back on our screens on 2 May with Jenny Eclair's Slot, Channel 5.

I have always had a need for attention but didn't plan to be a comic. As a five-year-old in Berlin in 1965, I didn't know that funny women existed. It wasn't until I got back to England that I realised women could be funny. That's where the tyrannical Eclair comes from: women like Lucille Ball, real ball-biters with lots of badly applied orange lipstick.

Winning the Perrier Award was not a lucky break because I slogged myself to death to get it. I wanted it so badly that I remember sobbing whenever I didn't get nominated. Then I got lucky. But it had become embarrassing by 1995 because no woman had ever won it, so they had to pick me.

What's kept me going is the hide of a rhinoceros and the fact I can't type - you know, vaguely unemployable. I don't think I'm successful. I'm half way there which is a bit infuriating when you're 39. But I hope to be working when I'm 70. I'm a bit of an old bat to be on television, but I've done my apprenticeship and carved a niche for myself.

It's out of sheer bloody mindedness and spite that I didn't give up when people told me to. I wanted to show them. I admire the Elsie Tanners and Barbara Windsors of the world: people who have crawled back from the abyss. I'm quite camp in that respect.

LUCY WILLIAMS

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