What a week for the I’m Sorry family.
There were few brilliant funny women quite so under-appreciated and unfairly ignored as the great JO KEndall. Every female comic who has gone beyond ‘bimbo or old bat’ stereotypes follows in her footsteps. John Lloyd told me that when they were casting Not The Nine O’clock News, Jo Kendall’s example in not just playing the usual women’s roles was their model; then he met Pamela Stephenson at a party.
When I was writing The Clue Bible, Jo was the most incurably witty person I spoke to: it was just sad that she asked to remain off-record. I promised not even to reveal her real name in the book. She seemed none-too-sanguine about her comic legacy at the time, and it was glorious that Barnaby and all at the Offstage Theatre managed to coax her back into the land of Radio Prune one final time in the ISIRTAA stage show.
Let’s make sure her contribution to the history of laughs is never taken for granted. She may not spur the vast outpouring of grief of Baz’s sad loss, but anyone with any interest in tackling the ‘Are wimmin funny tho?’ brigade should know, love and mourn Jo Kendall. She was so far ahead, and what she achieved remains a key part of the history of women in comedy.
RIP Josephine Robinson, AKA JO KEndall.