Joyce Grenfell. Copyright: BBC.

Joyce Grenfell


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My comedy hero: John Finnemore on Joyce Grenfell

The man behind such radio shows as Cabin Pressure and John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme discusses the actress and writer whom he hails as his comedy hero.

Brian Donaldson, The List, 31st May 2018

First and best of the screen adventures of Ronald Searle's anarchic cartoon schoolgels, who dress in gymslips, carry jolly hockey sticks and take A-levels in GBH. A gloriously gaudy farce, with an alpha-plus cast: lugubrious Alastair Sim as the headmistress (and her brother), George Cole's archetypal spiv and Joyce Grenfell's plummy teacher.

Paul Howlett, The Guardian, 1st October 2017

New exhibit shows archive pictures of BBC comedians

Compton Verney exhibition charts 60 years of comedy, from Hancock's Half Hour to Miranda Hart.

Mark Brown, The Guardian, 26th June 2016

The secret to Victoria Wood's popularity was that her humour allowed her to be "inoffensive and yet quite naughty." There may be comedians who were sharper or funnier, but they couldn't claim the huge affection Victoria Wood had. She was loved by so many because she'd never resort to shocks, sex or scandal to grab attention, finding the right tone by being a tiny bit "naughty" but never cruel.

Julie Walters, Barry Cryer, Celia Imrie, Alison Steadman, Michael Ball and others offer funny anecdotes and warm memories of her and if you begin to feel it's perhaps getting too sweet and sad, clips of Victoria Wood elbow their way in, being a little bit "naughty" to correct the balance. You can't be melancholy when she pops up on screen to discuss ageing women visiting the doctor, some with pelvic floors dangling and another holding her cervix in a margarine tub.

We also learn of Wood's Lancashire childhood and how she saw Joyce Grenfell's act as a girl, and became fascinated with the image of a lone woman on a stage who could make everyone laugh.

Julie McDowall, The National, 14th May 2016

Radio Times review

Isy Suttie made her mark as devoted girlfriend Dobby in Peep Show on Channel 4. Now radio is helping to establish her as the latest in a long line of female monologuists stretching back to Ruth Draper and Joyce Grenfell.

Her good-natured observational comedy dissects romantic relationships - her own and other people's - and in the first episode of her new series she recalls her time as a classroom assistant, when a dinner lady and a teacher, both married to other people, were drawn to each other.

It comes as no surprise to read that Suttie is an admirer of Victoria Wood. Now that Wood's comic performances are rare, Suttie, like her idol a comedian and a singer/songwriter, could fill the gap.

David McGillivray, Radio Times, 30th April 2014

The next Joyce Grenfell at the Edinburgh Fringe

She needs to find producers who will shape and develop her career. She may not be the next Chaplin but she's as good as Joyce Grenfell already, if not better.

Lloyd Evans, The Spectator, 17th August 2013

Cartoonist Ronald Searle's naughty public schoolgirls are back - this time rebooted for the 21st century. So as well as the sexy sixth formers, the rabble of lacrosse-stick waving young'uns are now split into cliques such as geeks and emos. Despite a cast over-crammed with the likes of Russell Brand and Stephen Fry, Ealing Studios' kidult comedy could never rival the golden 1950s black-and-white classics starring Alastair Sim and Joyce Grenfell. But try not to compare them and it is a jolly enough, if surprisingly 'safe', watch - no Asbos here, just girlish high spirits. It's worth seeing just to catch Rupert Everett, in headscarf and tweeds, as headmistress Camilla Fritton - think a mix of Ab Fab's Patsy and the former Mrs Parker-Bowles. His seduction of Colin Firth's nervous school inspector is even more of a hoot than your French teacher sitting on a whoopee cushion.

Carol Carter and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro, 8th May 2013

In bed with Miranda Hart ... what fun!

Miranda Hart is the Joyce Grenfell of the Twitter generation. Her sitcom commands four million viewers per episode because, as Jennifer Saunders puts it, 'she has funny bones'...

Hermione Eyre, Evening Standard, 11th November 2011