Alan Yentob this week profiles one of the funniest people around: a woman who started off in a male-dominated comedy world, who is now loved by many – just don’t call Jo Brand a national treasure.
It is your typical comedy profile, looking at Brand’s early life, living with a depressed father and early feminist mother, to her start in comedy, to where she is now and her future projects, which include making a comedy with Morwenna Banks about OAPs behaving badly.
There are also some dark elements to the story, one of which was the aftermath of her avoiding homework to go and see Last Tango in Paris, which resulted in not just her father shouting at her furiously, but him ordering Brand to get all of her clothes and him setting them on fire. More recently, there was the spat she had with Ian Hislop on Have I Got News for You over the way women were treated in Parliament. Brand comes across as very dignified when talking about now, as she was at the time. Oddly though, given that one of the people interviewed in this programme was Hislop, they didn’t ask him about his reaction to the incident. Given that he is in this show, you might as well ask.
In general, this is a decent profile, and while it doesn’t stray too far from most documentaries of this type, there are still plenty of things the perk the average viewers’ interest. For example, it was nice to see Brand travelling back to the psychiatric hospital she used to work in, which helped to inspire her TV series Getting On.
Imagine is on BBC iPlayer.