My parents are Irish but I was brought up all over England. My Dad was in the Air Force so we moved from camp to camp every couple of years.
My all-important informative teenage years were spent in Melton Mowbray – the Las Vegas of Leicestershire.
Where about in London do you live and why?
I’d always lived in/around the Fulham/Hammersmith area but when I met my husband he was a postman in North London – so we have to live near his work.
You were a waitress for 10 years before becoming a comedienne – where are some of the places you worked?
I worked in Hell. If Hell serves BBQ sauce and deep-fries everything.
I wasn’t a very good waitress. I was a real maverick. I took orders from no one. (One of the first jokes I ever wrote!)
I also worked in “TFI Friday” – or as we called it “TFI the boss is a w*****r”
The true answer is – every restaurant I ever worked in is now closed down! Read into that what you may.
You and Graham Norton work together a lot – what is it you see in each other?
We share a common interest in boys, alcohol and spreading vicious rumours.
I haven’t written for Graham in about 2 years. I’m just too busy to do it anymore but it was a great job. What better job could you have than sitting in a room, eating free food and laughing at meaningless celebrities?
What topics might you cover at the Ealing Festival?
Well, apart from the banking crisis and thieving politicians I’ll be tackling my favourite subjects: dating, relationships, my drunken friends, their ugly children, and my husband.
Dating Advice – “On my 16th birthday my strict Catholic mother told me, ‘When you go out with boys, whatever happens don’t let him touch you below the waist’. Luckily I’d learnt how to do handstands by then.”
Mothers – “I sometimes worry I’m turning into my mother. Which is both good and bad. On the down side she’s a judgemental narrow-minded emotionally stunted old bat. But on the upside she’s got no mortgage.”
Married Life – “When you send your partner out shopping, do you ever put a couple of items on the list that don’t actually exist just to keep him out of the house a bit longer?”
Kate Moss – “Kate Moss has said she’s doing another range of outfits for Topshop, which I’m delighted about. For years I’ve wanted to dress like a scrawny, promiscuous ex cokehead but there just hasn’t been the right choice of clothes around.”
Had you really, really, really never considered becoming a comedienne before entering a stand-up contest at the Comedy Café?
As a kid I had loved the ‘Dave Allen Show’, which is probably a strange thing for a 7 year old girl to be into, but I was riveted by this man sitting in a chair, with a drink in his had, just talking.
But I never saw comedy as a career plan. When I went to the Comedy Café I had no idea you could make a living out of comedy. I just wanted to know if I could make people laugh. And show off.
It’s different now; people come straight out of University and start doing comedy. People actually do degrees in comedy, which is totally ridiculous. What a waste of Taxpayers money!
(And when I say ‘People’ I mean dreadfully over-confident well-heeled middle-class boys who have no life experiences to draw from. Bitter? I hate them all!)
Your website says that in preparation for the contest you wrote down a few jokes that made your friends laugh. Do you have particularly funny friends?
My friends crack me up – but usually for the wrong reasons. I’ve never known a group of people get into so many ridiculous situations without trying!
The site also says you got drunk before the contest – do you remember what you were drinking?
I was drinking bottles of Budvar.
What’s your go-to beverage for getting through the summer months?
I like a nice cold glass of Vodka and Redbull. But without the Redbull.
Your Scottish husband sometimes gets to be the butt of your jokes. Where did you two meet?
We met at a club in North London.
My husband makes me laugh more than anyone else. Although not always intentionally.
Sometimes I think being married is like being a scientist, the house is my laboratory, and I’m studying him.
I’ll be watching him thinking, “What the f**k is he going to do next?”
Yesterday he sellotaped the TV remote to the Radio Times. Good idea but that’s not normal, is it?
Some people have called you critical. Is there anything in life that’s too flawless for you to criticise?
I don’t deliberately set out to criticise. I won’t do anything mean.
How would you describe your fan base?
Small but perfectly formed.
Hanna Montana has ‘fans’. I have people who want to laugh and drink and celebrate the disappointments of modern life.
I’m always surprised at the complete cross section I get. Obviously there’s women of all ages but now because of Mock The Week I’m getting a lot of teenage boys. In fact I get lots of Mum and/or Dad and teenage children combos. Though I’m certainly not a ‘family’ show.
My new Radio 4 comedy series “JO CAULFIELD WON’T SHUT UP!” starts on Tuesday 20th October. 6.30pm