|Birth name||Jenny Clare Hargreaves|
|Born||16 March 1960|
Kuala Lumpur, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
|Genres||Stand up, television|
|Spouse||Geoff Powell (m. 2017)|
|Notable works and roles||Grumpy Old Women (2004–2007)|
I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here (2010)
Jenny Eclair (born Jenny Clare Hargreaves; 16 March 1960) is an English comedian, novelist, and actress, best known for her roles in Grumpy Old Women between 2004 and 2007 and in Loose Women in 2011 and 2012.
Eclair was born to English parents in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where her father, Derek Hargreaves, MBE, a major in the British Army, who was 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, and she started her education at Queen Mary school (now King Edward VII and Queen Mary School) in Lytham St Annes.
She is said[by whom?] to have adopted the alternative surname Eclair (later her stage name) in her teens, when she was at a disco in Blackpool and pretended to be French. She studied at the Manchester Polytechnic School of Drama (now Manchester Metropolitan University) and joined a cabaret group variously referred to as Kathy Lacreme and the Rum Babas, and Cathy La Crème and the Rum Babies.
After she moved to London, Eclair's first job was at Camberwell Arts College as a life model, which she did for about two terms. She then saw an advert in The Stage looking for novelty acts and found work doing punk poems. In 1989, when she was named the Time Out Cabaret Award winner, she said it "was nice because it's the first time I've ever won without having to run 100 metres balancing an egg on a spoon." In 1995, Eclair was the first woman to win the Perrier Award, now known as the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
After an early appearance as a German hotel worker in Auf Wiedersehen Pet Eclair 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 by Nell Dunn. In 2001, she published her first novel Camberwell Beauty.
Eclair provided alternative commentary of the Eurovision Song Contest 2002 for BBC Choice viewers as part of the channel's Liquid Eurovision Party coverage, as a late replacement for broadcaster Christopher Price who died the month before the contest took place.
Grumpy Old Women
Eclair helped develop, and appeared on, BBC Two's Grumpy Old Women and its various spin-off shows. In 2006, Eclair starred in the stage show Grumpy Old Women Live! with Dillie Keane and Linda Robson. The show was co-written by Eclair and Judith Holder. The spring saw a sell-out national tour, and June and July a run at the Lyric Theatre in London's West End, and the autumn saw another national tour.
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, she appeared on her last Loose Women show and was replaced by actress Shobna Gulati.
As a contestant
|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.
- Room 101 (26 October 2005) – Guest
- That Sunday Night Show (30 January 2011, 2 October 2011, 19 February 2012) – Panellist
- The Chase: Celebrity Special (5 November 2011) – Contestant
- Saturday Cookbook (7 July 2012) – Guest
- Let's Do Lunch with Gino & Mel (19 July 2012) – Guest
- Pointless Celebrities (12 December 2012) – Contestant
- Tipping Point: Lucky Stars (30 June 2013) – Contestant
- Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose (17 May 2014) – Guest
- Draw It! (19–23 May 2014) – Contestant
- Celebrity Fifteen to One (23 December 2014) – Contestant
- Fifty Shades Uncovered (2015) – Contributor
- QI – Series M, Episode 8 "Merriment" - (25 December 2015) - Panellist
Until April 2008, Eclair 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.
Eclair became an Ambassador for audiobook charity Listening Books in 2019
- The Book of Bad Behaviour (non-fiction) Virgin, 1994. ISBN 0-86369-856-5; ISBN 978-0-86369-856-9
- Camberwell Beauty (novel) Little, Brown, 2000. ISBN 0-316-85318-6; ISBN 978-0-316-85318-7
- Sit-Down Comedy (contributor to anthology, ed Malcolm Hardee & John Fleming) Ebury Press/Random House, 2003. ISBN 0-09-188924-3; ISBN 978-0-09-188924-1
- Having a Lovely Time (novel) Little, Brown, 2005. ISBN 0-7515-3605-9; ISBN 978-0-7515-3605-8
- Life, Death and Vanilla Slices (novel) Sphere, 2012. ISBN 1847444938; ISBN 978-1847444936
- Moving (novel) Sphere, 2015. ISBN 9780751550955 (Italian translation: Le stanze dei ricordi, Sperling & Kupfer, 2017. ISBN 978-8820061531)
- "Researcha profile". Web.researcha.com. Retrieved 23 September 2011.[permanent dead link]
- "Naughty but nice". The Independent. 13 May 1997.
- Channel 4, Empire's Children
- Lawrence, Janie (13 May 1997). "Naughty but nice". The Independent. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
- "The Facts: Jenny Eclair". BBC. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
- Programme notes, Thirty Somehow, Gilded Balloon Edinburgh 1990
- "Comic Eclair takes on Eurovision". 15 May 2002. Retrieved 1 February 2021 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
- Granger, Anthony (5 November 2020). "United Kingdom: Former Head of Delegation Dominic Smith Has Passed Away". Retrieved 1 February 2021.
- "Comic Relief Does Fame Academy – Jenny Éclair profile". Manchester Evening News. 19 February 2007. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
- "Two more stars confirmed for 'I'm A Celeb' – I'm A Celebrity News – TV". Digital Spy. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- "Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose on Channel 4 at 9:00am May 17th, 2014". Digiguide.tv. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- "Draw it! on Channel 4 at 4:30pm May 19th, 2014". Digiguide.tv. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
- "TV listings guide". Radio Times.
- "Fifty Shades Uncovered (2015) - IMDb" – via www.imdb.com.
- "Eclair sitting in for Danny Baker on BBC london 94.9". BBC. 30 August 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- "Salt TV ads". Salt.gov.uk. 6 November 2009. Archived from the original on 24 January 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Interview by Stuart Husband (7 December 2008). "This much I know". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 23 September 2011.