Cross Caulfield ready for a devilish tour

Jo Caulfield
Jo Caulfield

MOCK the Week comedienne Jo Caulfield is getting angry.

The Edinburgh-based funny woman is stepping back on the road from today with her irate show Better the Devil you Know, which arrives at the Wynd Theatre in Melrose on Sunday, April 21.

A spokesman for the stand-up said: “The celebration of anger continues with acerbic stories about dating, relationships, bad service, wrestling with a self-scanner in Tescos and humiliating herself in public. Come and join Jo’s celebration of anger.”

Born in Wales to Irish parents, but brought up in the East Midlands, Caulfield moved to London at the age of 17.

Her combative stand-up nature – anyone wishing to heckle Caulfield should have a thick skin – was honed while she was a waitress, during which time she got into plenty of arguments with customers.

She added: “I wasn’t a very good waitress. I was a real maverick. I played by my own rules. I took orders from no-one.”

Caulfield’s first step into entertainment was as a singing drummer in a rock band, despite claiming she could do neither.

After winning the open mic comedy contest at an East London cafe, she was invited back for another set before opening her own comedy club.

Caulfield first travelled to the Edinburgh Fringe as a solo act 12 years ago, and immediately got her big break.

She said: “I was messing with the audience and had a funny 10-minute bit of banter with a woman in the front row.

“She turned out to be the head of BBC Radio Comedy and gave me my own BBC Radio 4 series on the strength of that evening.”

She would go on to write three series of It’s That Jo Caulfield Again, and as a result has appeared on a wide variety of radio programmes for the Beeb – from Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour to Radio Scotland’s Off the Ball.

As well as writing for all five series of So Graham Norton, she has compiled material for a wide variety of TV personalities, including Ruby Wax, Joan Rivers, Marcus Brigstocke and Ant and Dec.

Caulfield also appears to embrace a couple of appearances on a soap most entertainers would delete from their CV straight away – Channel 5’s Family Affairs, which was pulled by the station in 2005.

“I’ve no idea who I was meant to be,” she recalls. “I’d never seen it before and I’ve never seen it since. But someone did recognise me in the street and asked for an autograph.

“So apparently I was very good in whatever part I did.”

Despite her Family Affairs showing, Caulfield has continued to be a well-known and sought-after act across the UK.

As well as appearing regularly on BBC TV’s hit panel show Mock the Week, she has performed on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Dawn French’s Girls Who Do Comedy.

Most recently, she has starred in Coalition, a comedy satire about modern politics which included Phil Jupitus, and was on stage in Edinburgh, and then London, this month.

On Tuesday, she performs at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh in an event which includes a host of well-known writers, presenters and comics.

Tickets for Jo Caulfield’s Wynd show are priced at £13.50 and the show begins at 8pm. For ticket information contact Border Events at www.borderevents.com or phone 01750 725480.