Jo Brand says TV bosses tried to make her look 'more feminine'

Comedian Jo Brand says TV bosses tried to make her look ‘more feminine’ on screen and wanted her to ditch bovver boots for stiletto heels

She is famous for her self-deprecating jokes about her appearance, but comedian Jo Brand has revealed that TV producers tried to make her look ‘more feminine’ when she starred on screen.

The straight-talking entertainer with cropped red hair said she often overheard studio staff discussing how they could make her ‘pretty’ as she prepared to face the cameras.

Ms Brand, 64, also told how senior staff on an ITV quiz show wanted her to ditch her trademark bovver boots for soaring stiletto heels so she might appear more glamorous.

The straight-talking entertainer with cropped red hair said she often overheard studio staff discussing how they could make her ‘pretty’ as she prepared to face the cameras

The straight-talking entertainer with cropped red hair said she often overheard studio staff discussing how they could make her ‘pretty’ as she prepared to face the cameras

‘I can remember little discussions that I overheard about the way that I looked, couldn’t they make me be a bit more… I don’t know what they were after… feminine, pretty, you know?’ she said on the fashion podcast Who Are You Wearing?

‘Like people would say, ‘Oh you should wear lots of different colours.’ I was thinking, ‘Oh all right then, if you choose it, all right, I’ll wear it unless it looks absolutely ridiculous’ – which on occasion things have.

‘I remember some quiz show on ITV. They gave me a pair of five-inch heels and expected me to go down the stairs in them. I just said, ‘There is no way that I’m going to get to the bottom of the stairs without having to go to A&E.’

‘It’s those sort of things.’

Ms Brand, who recently took part in a sell-out tour of Britain, said her stylist Karen Jackson chooses her outfits for Have I Got News For You and Channel 4’s Extra Slice, because, ‘I wouldn’t choose anything that is posh or nice’.

Ms Brand last week told the What If? Podcast that she is glad she is not slim because it means she does not attract the attention of unpleasant men

Ms Brand last week told the What If? Podcast that she is glad she is not slim because it means she does not attract the attention of unpleasant men

She added: ‘I know that what she picks for me does look nice, because my daughters say it does, and they don’t often say. I can remember in the very old days doing [Channel 4 comedy show] Friday Night Live and them obviously looking at me and thinking, ‘God we’ve allowed her to dress herself, and she looks like Robert Smith from The Cure.’ ‘

Ms Brand last week told the What If? Podcast that she is glad she is not slim because it means she does not attract the attention of unpleasant men.

She revealed that as a teen she lost three-and-a-half stone but was so unsettled when a male friend began to take interest, she put the weight back on. ‘I don’t know in this society whether it’s worse to be really attractive or really unattractive,’ she said.

‘I know this sounds like I’m justifying it, but I would rather be like me and them not be interested.’

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