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Wed, 12 Jun

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Huntingdon

Not That I’m Bitter: An Evening with comedian, actress and writer Helen Lederer

Join us on Wednesday 12th June, 7pm for a special chat and signing with actress, writer, stand up and TV comedy icon Helen Lederer! Celebrating her new book. This event will include an audience Q&A. After the event there will be an opportunity to get your book signed by the author.

Not That I’m Bitter: An Evening with comedian, actress and writer Helen Lederer
Not That I’m Bitter: An Evening with comedian, actress and writer Helen Lederer

Time & Location

12 Jun 2024, 19:00 – 20:00

Huntingdon, 39 High St, Huntingdon PE29 3AQ, UK

About the event

Join us on Wednesday 12th June, 7pm for a special chat and signing with actress, writer, stand up and TV comedy icon Helen Lederer! Helen has a new book out.. 

The Arts Cafe/Bar will be open and the venue is wheelchair accessible. Books can be pre-ordered and signed at the end of the evening. Books available now at the bookshop.

 ‘Helen Lederer is the third funniest woman in the world’ – DAWN FRENCH ‘Dizzy, dippy and divinely funny, Helen Lederer takes you on an insanely readable tour through her chaotically wonderful life.’ - STEPHEN FRY ‘Helen is an open book, and this is a book you should open. Her progression through the comedy swamp of the eighties is fascinating, poignant and laugh-out-loud.’ - JO BRAND

 ‘Helen’s book is funny, wise, brilliant, and brave Just like its author. A fascinating trip through the life and times of one of the early (and not sufficiently recognised) heroes of Alternative Comedy.’ BEN ELTON ‘Honestly funny, honestly truthful, from one of the pioneers of the 80’s comedy scene, when women on the circuit were as rare as unicorns’ - JENNY ECLAIR 

'This book is exactly like its author- funny, unusual, warm, and thoughtful. I love it’ - DAVID QUANTICK 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: What was it like as one of a handful of women at the heart of the right-on alternative comedy scene in the 1980s? Piece of cake? Bit of a laugh? Well, yes, and no. It had its ups – but also its downs. Helen Lederer was a regular on the stand-up circuit and new-wave sketch shows in the decade that launched the careers of today’s comedy household names and national treasures. She shared stages with comedy pioneers like Ben Elton and John Hegley, and TV screens with Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Harry Enfield, and many others. From the iconic Absolutely Fabulous, to Bottom, Happy Families, Naked Video, French and Saunders and Girls on Top, it is difficult to think of a comedy show that Helen wasn’t a part of. From writing radio shows, to performing on the West End her wry, witty perspectives, and her face, are unforgettable.

So, plain sailing then? Well, not really. Not That I’m Bitter, her powerful, frank, moving and characteristically funny memoir, reveals exactly how choppy the waters could be. Even in those ground-breaking, anti-Thatcher days, there was only room at top for so many women. For the rest, it was as much a struggle to be seen and heard in the world of comedy as in any boardroom or workplace, and just as difficult to avoid the predators. 

This is more than the story of one decade, however. The child of a Jewish-Czech wartime refugee, Helen Lederer was never part of the mainstream. How do you make humour from a lifelong battle against problems with weight and low-self-esteem? Where are the jokes in addictions to diet-pills and steroid injections? How can laughter defeat the darker moments, like a child’s anorexia or PTSD? How do you cope with constant self- sabotage and when, despite enormous success, you still feel like a failure? Helen raises an important and open discussion around mental health alongside the evolved attitudes to women today. There’s something in Helen Lederer’s life-story that everyone, can relate to. A genuinely funny memoir with lots of heart (and just the right amount of bitterness!), she pulls no punches, but every blow is wrapped in a laugh of recognition.

Brilliantly written, revealing, and moving, Not That I’m Bitter is sweet, sour, laugh out loud, and addictive.  About Helen: Helen Lederer is a Comedy Actress, Author and Broadcaster. From Helen’s early days at the famous Comedy Store through to creating ‘the Girl at the Bar’ in BBC’s Naked Video, and not to mention ‘Catriona’ in Absolutely Fabulous – Helen Lederer has remained a familiar face in the field of comedy, writing and acting for over 25 years. She has starred in many top comedy TV shows including:

  • One Foot in the Grave
  • Bottom
  • The French and Saunders Show
  • The New Statesman
  • Saturday Night Live
  • The Young Ones
  • Harry Enfield’s Television Programme

On stage, Helen has a wealth of theatre credits under her belt including:

  • The Vagina Monologues
  • Calendar Girls
  • The Killing of Sister George
  • Having a Ball

Recent credits include ‘Catriona’ in AB FAB the Movie, Mariam the Midwife in Channel 4’s ‘Hollyoaks‘ and as children’s favourite ‘Miss Bowline-Hitch’ in CBeebies’ ‘Old Jacks Boat‘, all confirming how diverse a performer Helen continues to be. Helen has presented many thought-provoking programmes including Heaven and Earth (BBC) and Here’s one I Made Earlier, a celebration of Blue Peter for the BBC. Helen Lederer is a regular guest on various Radio 4 panel games, especially where a mix of humour and knowledge is required, such as:

  • The News Quiz
  • A Good Read
  • Just A Minute
  • Woman’s Hour

Author & Journalist: A sought-after columnist, Helen has had regular columns in both The Independent’sMagazine and Woman and Home.

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