'Nervous' Jennifer Saunders takes to the stage in St Ives

COMEDY legend Jennifer Saunders was in St Ives yesterday (Tuesday) to face a 400-strong audience of Women s Institute members ahead of receiving a BAFTA fellowship this weekend. Jennifer was guest speaker along with TV psychologist, Tanya Byron, at the Hu

COMEDY legend Jennifer Saunders was in St Ives yesterday (Tuesday) to face a 400-strong audience of Women's Institute members ahead of receiving a BAFTA fellowship this weekend.

Jennifer was guest speaker along with TV psychologist, Tanya Byron, at the Huntingdon and Peterborough Women's Institute annual meeting.

The comedienne told The Hunts Post she was only too aware of the WI's work after starring in the sitcom, Jam and Jerusalem, based on a new members joining a women's guild.

She said: "I think it's a fantastic organisation. It's part of the fabric of communities and not talked about enough.


You may also want to watch:


"It's one of those things that bring together different parts of the community."

However, the prospect of facing the WI at the Burgess Hall to talk about how she got into comedy was proving to be a little daunting.

Most Read

Jennifer said she doesn't do speeches and doesn't know what a speech is...she only found out it would be in front of 400 WI members after agreeing to speak.

She was originally told it would be 20 people and a cup of tea by Tanya, best known for hosting the BBC's Little Horrors and House of Tiny Tearaways.

Tanya agreed to speak after being asked by her mother's best friend Gilly Fraser, who is on the executive committee.

Tanya said: "She's like my second mother. When your mother and your mother's best friend ask you to do a talk, you say yes."

Tanya used the opportunity to speak about people's attitude to Britain's broken society and the behaviour of young people.

"I always argue that a lot of these young people that behave in this way are vulnerable, they are anxious, they are unhappy and we need to invest more in prevention."

"We need to embrace our youth culture," she added.

Jennifer is expected to receive a BAFTA fellowship at the BAFTA awards this Sunday along with comedy partner Dawn French.

She said: "It's a privilege. It's one of those things that means a lot in a certain industry."

STAR ATTRACTIONS: Jennifer Saunders, in a pre-speech nervous state, and Tanya Byron in St Ives yesterday (Tuesday). Picture: SUPPLIED

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus