Jenny Eclair

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Jenny Eclair
Eclair in 2013
Birth name Jenny Clare Hargreaves
Born (1960-03-16) 16 March 1960 (age 54)[1]
Kuala Lumpur, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
Medium Comedian, Author
Nationality British
Years active 1983–present
Genres Stand up, Television
Partner(s) Geoff Powell (1982–present)
Children Phoebe
Notable works and roles Grumpy Old Women (2004–2007)
I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here (2010)
Website Official site

Jenny Eclair (born 16 March 1960) is an English comedian, novelist and actor, best known for her roles in Grumpy Old Women between 2004 and 2007 and in Loose Women in 2011 and 2012.

Early life[edit]

Eclair was born as Jenny Clare Hargreaves to English parents in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where her father, Derek Hargreaves, who served as a major in the British Army, serving in the Royal Marines, Parachute Regiment, Green Howards, Trucial Oman Scouts, and BRIXMIS, had been posted in 1952. Eclair returned to England when she was two years old,[2] and she started her education at Queen Mary school (now King Edward VII and Queen Mary School) in Lytham St Annes. She studied at the Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre and joined a cabaret group variously referred to as Kathy Lacreme and the Rum Babas, and Cathy La Crème and the Rum Babies.

After moving to London her first job was at Camberwell Arts College as a life model which she did for about 2 terms. Then she saw an advert in 'The Stage' looking for novelty acts, and she found work doing punk poems. In 1989, when she was named the Time Out Cabaret Award winner, she said it "was nice because its the first time I've ever won without having to run 100 metres balancing an egg on a spoon."[3]


Jenny starred in the ITV drama The Bill and appeared in the early 1990s Channel 4 comedy series Packet of Three with Frank Skinner, as well as the follow-up series Packing Them In. In 1995 she became the first female solo winner of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival's Perrier Comedy Award. In 1997 she played 'Josie' in the stage play 'Steaming'. 2001 saw her first novel 'Camberwell Beauty'.

Grumpy Old Women[edit]

Main article: Grumpy Old Women

She helped develop and regularly appeared in the show Grumpy Old Women and a variety of successful spin-offs.

Eclair has appeared on BBC Two's Grumpy Old Women and its various spin-off shows. In 2006, Jenny starred in the stage-show Grumpy Old Women Live! alongside Dillie Keane and Linda Robson. The show was co-written by Eclair and Judith Holder. The spring saw a sell out national tour, June and July a run at the Lyric Theatre in London's West End and the autumn will see another national tour.

Loose Women[edit]

Main article: Loose Women

From 2011 to 2012, Eclair returned as a panellist on Loose Women, a show she was a panellist on in 2003. On 30 May 2012, Jenny appeared on her last Loose Women show. She was replaced by actress Shobna Gulati.

As a contestant[edit]

In 2005, Jenny appeared in the singing contest, Comic Relief Does Fame Academy.[citation needed].

She joined the 2010 series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! on 18 November 2010.[4] She finished in third place behind Stacey Solomon and Shaun Ryder.

In August 2012, Eclair took part in Celebrity MasterChef on BBC One.


Main article: Splash!

In 2014, Jenny participatied in the second series of the ITV celebrity diving show Splash!, making her first and only appearance in the fourth heat, which aired live on 25 January 2014.

Stage Air Date Dive Judges' Scores Result
Andy Banks Jo Brand Leon Taylor Total
Heat 4 25 January 2014 Forward pike fall (5 metre) 7.0 8.0 6.5 21.5 Eliminated

Note* Scores are out of a possible 30 points in total.

Guest appearances[edit]


Until April 2008, she hosted a weekend talk show on LBC 97.3. Her other radio credits include appearing on BBC Radio 4 in the Just a Minute quiz and afternoon plays, various comedy shows on BBC 7 and regularly has covered for Sandi Toksvig on LBC's weekday lunchtime chat show (now defunct).

She has also hosted her own show on the London radio station LBC Radio and starred in various stage productions.

Jenny sat in for Danny Baker on BBC London 94.9 from Tuesday 30 August until Friday 2 September 2011.[7]

Other work[edit]

Eclair fronts the Food Standards Agency's salt reduction campaign "Salt, is your food full of it?".[8]

Eclair appeared at Derby Playhouse in The Killing of Sister George from 13 September 2008 until 18 October 2008.


Personal life[edit]

Eclair is in a long term relationship with Geoff Powell, but is not married, having stated that marriages are naff.[9] She has a daughter named Phoebe, to whom she referred during her appearance on Room 101. Phoebe (b. 1989) is now attending the University of Oxford.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Researcha profile". Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Channel 4, Empire's Children
  3. ^ Programme notes, Thirty Somehow, Gilded Balloon Edinburgh 1990
  4. ^ "Two more stars confirmed for 'I'm A Celeb' – I'm A Celebrity News – TV". Digital Spy. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose on Channel 4 at 9:00am May 17th, 2014". 2014-05-17. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  6. ^ "Draw it! on Channel 4 at 4:30pm May 19th, 2014". 2014-05-19. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  7. ^ 15:00 (30 August 2011). "Eclair sitting in for Danny Baker on BBC london 94.9". BBC. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "Salt TV ads". 6 November 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  9. ^ Interview by Stuart Husband (7 December 2008). "This much I know: Jenny Eclair, comedian, 48, London, The". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 23 September 2011. 

External links[edit]