Janey Godley records debut Radio 4 special, on cancer & cancellation

ExclusiveFriday 13th May 2022, 11:34am by Jay Richardson

  • Janey Godley has made her debut Radio 4 special, addressing her ovarian cancer and offensive tweets from her past
  • Recorded in Glasgow, Janey Godley: Still Got It also touches on therapy, childhood sexual abuse and features several fan favourite routines
  • "It was so good to get back onstage - it's the only theatre I want to return to - not the operating theatre" Godley said.
Janey Godley

Janey Godley has recorded an emotional debut Radio 4 stand-up special, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

Taking to the stage at Websters Theatre in her native Glasgow last night, Janey Godley: Still Got It began with the comic, who has Stage 3 ovarian cancer, issuing an apology for the past offensive tweets that led to her being dropped as the face of the Scottish government's coronavirus awareness campaign.

The special, which was also filmed for Godley's personal use, is expected to air in a matter of weeks. She was forced to cut her tour short in November last year following her diagnosis and she told BCG: "It was so good to get back onstage - it's the only theatre I want to return to - not the operating theatre".

Occasionally sitting to perform, she delivered a set characterised by gallows humour, reflecting on her chemotherapy treatment and recent suicidal thoughts, the threat of being "cancelled" for her historical behaviour online, therapy, anxiety and the shame she experienced as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

Richard Melvin, producing for his Dabster Productions (Jamie MacDonald: Life On The Blink, The Good, The Bad And The Unexpected), said: "It's been an honour working with Janey on this show, it felt very special. Big thanks to Radio 4 for supporting her and us over the last few weeks."

Also touching on Godley's husband's autism, sectarianism and the "partygate" scandal in 10 Downing Street, the recording was nevertheless uplifting. She took requests for some of the most popular routines from her almost three decade-long stand-up career and celebrated her first novel, Nothing Left Unsaid, published yesterday and sitting at number 24 in Amazon's UK best selling book chart at the time of writing.

She wrote the story, about a woman dying from cancer, while unaware that she had the disease.

The book's narrative switches between Glasgow in 2019 and the 1970s. However, despite some correspondences with her own life, Godley told Clive Anderson on Radio 4's Loose Ends on Saturday that "this book certainly is not autobiographical.

"But what was good was, learning from Handstands [In The Dark: A True Story Of Growing Up And Survival, her 2005 memoir] was going back through my memory to remember situations ... I had a researcher, Caitlin, with me, to make sure I got all the facts right. And we would dress in '70s clothes and put on '70s music, and we were going through it all and it really helped. And the music was fabulous, there's a lot of music in it as well."

Acknowledging the offensiveness of her old tweets, she said that "unlike the Prime Minister, I actually apologised for it, I've apologised for the things I've done.

"I've never stood by them and gone 'that's fine'. It's amazing that I'm held to a higher standard than any sitting politician in the country."

Janey Godley - Handstands In The Dark

Janey Godley tells her unique life story. Brought up amid near-Dickensian squalor in the tough East End of Glasgow and sexually abused by her uncle, she married into a Glasgow criminal family as a teenager, then found herself having to cope with the murder of her mother, violence, religious sectarianism, abject poverty and a frightening family of in-laws.

First-hand, Janey saw the gangland violence and met extraordinary characters within an enclosed and seldom-revealed Glasgow underworld. From the grim and far-from-Swinging 60s, to the discos of the 70s, to the tidal wave of heroin addiction which swept through and engulfed Glasgow's East End during the 1980s, Handstands In The Dark is an evocative, intimate and moving portrayal of a woman forced to fight every day for her family's future.

First published: Thursday 2nd June 2005

Not in the UK?

Fear not! Many items can still be ordered. Amazon in the UK delivers to many international territories, whilst their Australia, USA and Canada stores also supply many equivalent or imported items.

If you are in the North America, look out for US/Canadian flag icons on popular product listings for direct links.

If you order from a UK store, please note that the UK is in Region 2 and B, respectively, for DVDs and Blu-rays - check your player's compatibility, or look for multi-region products if you are located in another region.

If you are in Australia or New Zealand (DVD Region 4), note that almost all DVDs distributed in the UK by the BBC and 2entertain are encoded for both Region 2 and Region 4. The UK and Australasia are in the same Blu-ray region (B).

Janey Godley - Nothing Left Unsaid

GLASGOW, 2019. Sharon has rushed home at the news her mother has been admitted to hospital. It's clear Senga's life is coming to an end. As Sharon gathers family and friends together to say goodbye, Senga, as always, does things in her own mysterious way. She instructs Sharon to find the red diary she kept in the 1970s and to read it. There's something Senga needs to talk about while she still has time. The journey into her mother's past is both shocking and surprising, forcing Sharon to re-evaluate her own childhood, her marriage and what she wants her own future to hold.

GLASGOW, 1976. Life in the tenements of Shettleston is a daily struggle. You need your wits about you to survive, and your friends. Senga has both in spades: she is part of the Shettleston 'menage' alongside her friends Bunty, Sandra, Philomena and Isa, and whatever life hands to them - cheating husbands, poverty, illness, threats and abuse - they throw something back just as hard. These women are strong because they need to be. And they never, ever walk away in times of crisis - as Sharon is about to find out.

First published: Thursday 12th May 2022

Not in the UK?

Fear not! Many items can still be ordered. Amazon in the UK delivers to many international territories, whilst their Australia, USA and Canada stores also supply many equivalent or imported items.

If you are in the North America, look out for US/Canadian flag icons on popular product listings for direct links.

If you order from a UK store, please note that the UK is in Region 2 and B, respectively, for DVDs and Blu-rays - check your player's compatibility, or look for multi-region products if you are located in another region.

If you are in Australia or New Zealand (DVD Region 4), note that almost all DVDs distributed in the UK by the BBC and 2entertain are encoded for both Region 2 and Region 4. The UK and Australasia are in the same Blu-ray region (B).

Share this page