20 January 1961-
Comedian & Writer
Multi-award-winning Scottish comedienne, playwright, award-winning blogger, best-selling author and former Scotsman newspaper columnist Janey Godley has performed her comedy shows and one-woman play around the world, including off-Broadway in New York. She is a regular on BBC Radio 4's Just a Minute.
Brought up in Shettleston, Glasgow, Scotland, at the age of 18 she married into a Glasgow gangster family. Her 2005 autobiography Handstands in the Dark describes working-class Glasgow in the years 1961–1994. It told the story of her sexual abuse as a child between the ages of 5 and 13, the murder of her mother, Glasgow's heroin 'plague' of the 1980s and her troubled marriage amid a world of gangsters. It was voted a 'Best Read of 2005' by listeners of BBC Radio 4's Open Book series and Sunday Times Top Ten best-seller.
For 14 years, she ran a public house the Weavers Inn in the tough Calton area of Glasgow where she staged the first performances by comedian and magician Jerry Sadowitz. Later, she became a full-time stand-up herself, running comedy clubs including "Jesters" in Glasgow, and regularly compered at clubs in Glasgow, Manchester, and Liverpool. She played regular dates in the Netherlands and played in New York City.
She was, for a time, a BBC Radio Five Live entertainment correspondent, reporting for former British MP, Edwina Currie's Currie Club show from London, New York, and New Zealand.
She first gained wider attention on her 2002 tour of New Zealand, where she won Best Show Concept at Television New Zealand's TV2 International LAUGH! Festival.
In 2006, Janey was nominated and was close runner-up for the annual Scotswoman of the Year title as 'the most inspirational woman in Scotland'; at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival, she won the Spirit of The Festival Award.
A regular 5-star performer at the Edinburgh Fringe, in 2008 she won the Fringe Report Award as 'Best Performer' and two Nivea Funny Women Fringe Awards - as 'Best Stand-Up' and, overall, for 'Best Show'.
After the 2003 Edinburgh Fringe, as well as continuing her stand-up work, she was commissioned by the Scottish Health Board and several local Scottish councils' social service departments to perform her play The Point of Yes to housing associations in 'problem areas', to drug forums around southern Scotland and to the inmates of HMP Shotts (prison) in North Lanarkshire.
One of her paintings was sold at Arthur Smith's award-winning Arturant Exhibition at the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2007, with the money going to two charities: the Justice For Gordon Gentle campaign and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD UK).
In October 2007, she auctioned off another painting in aid of The Samaritans and, later that month, she became the Patron of Glasgow's DRCAF (Dumbarton Road Corridor Addiction Forum).
In 2012, a regular Tweeter, her live Twitter description of a couple's rapidly-deteriorating relationship on a train became a viral sensation and caused a media debate on personal privacy. At the Edinburgh Fringe in August, she staged a 5-star-winning one-off play #TimAndFreya based on the incident.
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