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Best known for her hilariously accurate insights into modern parenthood, Sophie McCartney AKA ‘Tired and Tested’ has proven you don’t need a live venue to get ahead on the comedy circuit as she wins the prestigious Funny Women Award for ‘Best Comedy Web Series, 2020’.
The self-styled ‘Comedimum’, whose viral videos have gained her more than 1 million fans across social media, now follows in the footsteps of Funny Women alumni Katherine Ryan and London Hughes after receiving the accolade for her online wildlife mocumentary ‘Planet Birth’. The Funny Women Awards are the leading showcase for new female comedy talent in the UK and Ireland, with its annual search for brilliant new performers, writers and creators.
At 36, Liverpool-born mum of two Sophie is living proof the current closure of comedy clubs shouldn’t discourage aspiring comedians from breaking onto the scene and making waves. She says, ‘If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us, it’s the art of adaptability. COVID hit the live arts hard, but it also provided those unable to take to the stage with an opportunity to play to the biggest audience of all – the internet. Online video viewing rates are doubling, along with the R rate, so now’s the perfect opportunity take advantage of people’s dire social lives by putting out much-needed comedy content. All you need is a camera phone and the self-confidence to get out there and make people laugh.’
Sophie’s award-winning ‘Planet Birth’ series is a David Attenborough-esque wildlife spoof that sees her twist the everyday adventures of modern motherhood into a series of comedy-gold shorts. She says, ‘I first had the idea for the series after enduring a hen party while heavily pregnant. Sober, I was thinking, ‘Wow. Is this what us Mums are really like on a night out?!’ Absolutely feral, it was as though they’d all been released from captivity / day release prison. It was brilliant. I was half expecting David Attenborough to pop up from behind a lamp post to narrate it all – as the bride’s 62 year-old mother pole danced (badly) against it. Planet Birth was born…’
The Funny Women Awards were created in 2003 and have become the leading platform for so many talented female performers, writers, creators and short film makers across five different awards. Funny Women Founder, Lynne Parker said ‘This year we had to replace Best Show with Best Web Series for our public nomination award and Sophie’s work really demonstrates how creative and inventive women can be. She totally captures the frustration of parenthood, from home-schooling in lockdown, to getting a hangover. Nothing is off limits!’
Hosted by 2019 Stage Award winner Laura Smyth, faces from the comedy industry zoomed in to watch the award ceremony which was live-streamed from London’s Groucho Club. On winning the award, presented by the BBC’s Commissioning Comedy Editor, Sarah Asante, Sophie added, ‘I’m so chuffed! Honestly, I’m not a natural-born achiever so this is pretty monumental. I just hope it encourages other women, especially, to try their hand at comedy and not be afraid of putting themselves out there. Making online content can be a daunting prospect, the internet is a scary place… but it can also be a wonderful place full of opportunity, career prospects, and like-minded people. My advice to anyone started out would be to persevere, stay true to your own comedy style, and develop a thick skin!’
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