Angela Barnes

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Angela Barnes
Angela Barnes - Glastonbury Festival 2019 crop 01.jpg
Angela Barnes, Glastonbury Festival 2019
Born (1976-11-09) 9 November 1976 (age 44)
Sidcup, Kent. , England
MediumStand-up, television
Years active2009–present
GenresObservational comedy

Angela Barnes (born 9 November 1976 in Sidcup, London)[1][2] is a BBC New Comedy Awards winning English comedian.[3]

Early life[edit]

Barnes was brought up in Maidstone, Kent.[4][2] She went to Invicta Grammar School then, in 1996, the University of Sussex in Brighton.[5]

Comedy career[edit]

As a fan of comedy, Barnes ran comedy nights in Brighton. In the summer of 2008, her father died, who was an important influence on her comedy and had always encouraged her to become a comedian. A year after his death, she decided that life was too short not to pursue it as a career. She did a 12-week workshop[6] in Brighton,[2] and a few months later started her stage career.[7]

Since winning the BBC Radio 2's New Comedy Award 2011, Barnes has continued to be a regular on the stand-up circuit, playing even bigger venues. She has also appeared on Weekend Wogan's Children in Need Special and Russell Kane's Whistlestop Tour for BBC Radio 2, written for BBC Radio 4's The News Quiz, played on Eddie Izzard's Laughs in the Park on BBC Two, appeared on Russell Howard's Good News[8] on BBC Three, developed her own series with BBC Radio Comedy, and performed at the Latitude Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park.[9]

In June 2013, Barnes became noted for an article in The Guardian that followed a blog post she had written, where she spoke about how she felt society treated people deemed ugly and her feelings as someone who self-identified as such.[10] She returned to the subject in 2015 as the subject of her Edinburgh Fringe Show "Come As You Are".[11]

In November 2013, Barnes joined the cast of the topical show Stand Up for the Week[8] and, in February 2014, appeared on Radio 4's The Now Show. In November 2014 she appeared on Radio 4's The News Quiz and has become a regular panellist.

She has appeared on Mock the Week and Richard Osman's House of Games, where she was the first ever contestant to win all five days. She appeared on episode of Dave's As Yet Untitled[8] alongside Alan Davies, Janet Street-Porter and Michael Ball and in mid-2016 toured New Zealand.[12]

From 2017 to 2018, she was the host of the show Newsjack[13] broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra.

In 2017, as part of her show in the Edinburgh fringe, "Fortitude", she performed a gig in a nuclear bunker[14] at Anstruther. In January 2018, she appeared on Live at the Apollo and started to tour "Fortitude" which is about turning 40, being child free, and nuclear bunkers.[15]

In September 2018,[16] she was able to pay tribute to her comedy hero, the late Linda Smith, at a gala to raise money to fight ovarian cancer, from which Smith died.[17]

In December 2018, Barnes was named as one of the hardest working comedians of 2018 having driven 30,000[2] miles, visited 91 venues and performed over 100 shows.

After hosting an episode of The News Quiz in September 2019, she hosted a series in spring 2020, with Andy Zaltzman and Nish Kumar hosting the other two series in 2020.[18]


You Can't Take It With You[edit]

Barnes's stand-up series on BBC Radio 4 was based on her critically acclaimed début show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014, You Can't Take It With You. The show covers important topics such as life, love, family, work and death. The four-episode series is in part a tribute to her characterful late father, who was a sex shop manager, naturist, swinger[2] and an enthusiast for caravans and pranks, and a major influence on Barnes. He taught her a carpe diem approach to life, and the show takes its name from his motto.[19] This ran for two series, in 2016 and 2019.[20]

Angela Barnes's Cold War Secrets[edit]

Made with Adnan Ahmed, Barnes spoke to people about the Cold War, and to John Robins about how to survive a nuclear apocalypse.[21]


Following the violent murder of Australian comedian Eurydice Dixon,[22] Barnes led the setting up of The Home Safe Collective, a free cab service for comedians at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe who are members of vulnerable groups to ensure they get home safely from gigs. The scheme won the 2018 panel prize award at the Edinburgh comedy awards.[23]

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ Burgess, Marissa (1 August 2017). "Angela Barnes – 'I'm a proud member of the Peter Pan generation'". Edinburgh Festival. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e "BBC Radio - Knock Knock, E01: Angela Barnes". BBC. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Angela Barnes wins BBC New Comedy Award 2011". British Comedy Guide. 19 June 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  4. ^ Dave Green (25 November 2015). "Maidstone with Angela Barnes – Hometowns – Ep 7" – via YouTube.
  5. ^ "Angela's Fringe benefits". 3 August 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Workshop Graduate Angela Barnes Wins BBC New Comedy Award 2011!!!". Jill Edwards Comedy Workshops. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Angela Barnes's News". Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  8. ^ a b c Angela Barnes on IMDb
  9. ^ "Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park – 2012 – Acts". BBC Radio 2. 9 September 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  10. ^ Barnes, Angela (17 January 2012). "I am ugly, and proud of it". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  11. ^ Castle, Jil (27 August 2015). "Angela Barnes on why it's good to be a self-deprecating comedian". The Herald Scotland. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Bringing the Big Laughs to Kiwi Hot Spots!". Scoop News. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  13. ^ Solutions. "Angela Barnes to host Newsjack : News 2016 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  14. ^ "Hope she doesn't bomb... : Punching Up 2017". Chortle. Powder Blue Internet Business Solutions.
  15. ^ "Angela Barnes: Fortitude". Nottingham Comedy Festival. Archived from the original on 25 October 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  16. ^ "News: Comedians Line Up To Pay Tribute To Linda Smith". Beyond The Joke. 4 September 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Radio 2s New Comedy Award winner Angela Barnes looks forward to Maidstone homecoming". 26 June 2011. Archived from the original on 27 May 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  18. ^ "Nish Kumar, Angela Barnes and Andy Zaltzman to host The News Quiz". BBC. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  19. ^ Guide, British Comedy. "Angela Barnes: You Can't Take It With You – Radio 4 Stand-Up – British Comedy Guide". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  20. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Angela Barnes: You Can't Take It With You". BBC. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  21. ^ "BBC Radio 4 Extra - Angela Barnes's Cold War Secrets". BBC. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  22. ^ Alcorn, Gay (19 June 2018). "Eurydice Dixon: how one woman's death put focus on 'male rage' in Australia". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  23. ^ Premier. "Panel Prize". Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Retrieved 28 August 2018.

External links[edit]