Susan Calman - Lady Like
- Claire Sawers
- 3 August 2014
This article is from 2014
The likeable lass on self-deprecation
TV game-show host, radio pundit and failed ballerina, Susan Calman was voted Britain’s fourth funniest lesbian comedian recently, she grimaces. Fourth! Sandi Toksvig, Sue Perkins and Rhona Cameron nudged her off the winner’s podium. That’s how Calman seems to feel: not quite belonging beside the gold medallist, more at home watching the action on TV, with her cat, eating a whole Viennetta.
But her fans (mostly early-to-bed Radio 4 listeners and ‘the cliterati’) adore that Calman, the one terrified of ‘getting a bit above yourself’. To them, she’s still a pally wee dork from Glasgow. That dork is now savvier; too many online trolls triggered a nervous breakdown last year, she explains, dropping the jolliness for a rare second. Her civil partnership gets a look-in too, but there’s less politically-charged stuff this time and more anecdotes about trawling the Paris sewers for romance.
It’s dependably good, seamlessly-sewn together stuff, and Calman, who’s built a career around chummy self-loathing, does it with her eyes closed, teasing laughs from nostalgic patter about Angel Delight and the Brownies. The title, Lady Like, is nothing to do with liking ladies, she stresses, it’s about learning to like herself. Who knows where her comedy would go if she ever did?
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