Interview with Josie Long

"At 17 I met David O’ Doherty and seeing his comedy made me feel like comedy could be exciting and warm and friendly. Sadly, he lost the BBC new comedy awards to me and he has never let it go."

Interview with Josie Long

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader? 

Hi, my name is Josie Long and I am a stand-up comedian. My favourite colour is aqua marine. I have no pets.

How would you describe your show? 

It’s really good. And funny. 

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe? 

Because I love it, I have been coming since I was 17 and it makes me feel glad to be alive. Every year I see shows that blow my mind and make me want to up my game.

What differentiates it from other festivals? 

It’s bigger and more exciting. And the chips are better. 

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations? 

I just really wanted to be a comedian for as long as I can remember. I loved TV comedy growing up and I was desperate to perform. When I first came up to Edinburgh at 17 I met David O’ Doherty and seeing his comedy made me feel like comedy could be exciting and warm and friendly. Sadly, he lost the BBC new comedy awards to me and he has never let it go.

If you didn’t have your current job, what would you probably be doing? 

I’m basically unemployed most of the time.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be? 

I would be a more successful comedian. 

What is your earliest childhood art memory? 

My mum made us a cupboard full of arts materials called the making cupboard, we could make collages and cardboard robots and all kinds of cool stuff and I absolutely loved it, she really encouraged us to be creative.

Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events? 

Yes, it’s hard not to vent how you feel about politics as it is all so intense and difficult at the moment, and things change so rapidly. I think the way to try and make it work onstage means you really have to work out what you think is important and what your values are in a deeper way- it’s like knowing the seasons as opposed to just talking about the daily weather, if that makes sense.

Equally, do you think there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work?

Not really, I think that everyone is talking about politics onstage now in a way that was not the case ten years ago, but I am always a bit contrary and so I don’t really feel affected by much.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less? 

I had a baby. Wow. 

If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why? 

Omg so many people! I wish I could have worked with Victoria Wood. What a hero.

Why would a performer opt to do either a ticketed event or participate in the free fringe? What are the benefits and limitations of both? 

I’m not the right person to ask this question too, so here are the lyrics to a song I wrote about my daughter to the tune of Songs of Praise: “She’s cute, she’s sweet, she’s got two feet, she is my girl she is my world.”

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe? 

Do or do not, there is no try.

When and where can people see your show? 

At the stand one at 8.20pm, please do come. NOT MONDAY 12, 19 or 26 DO NOT COME THEN.

And where can people find, follow and like you online?

@josielong on twitter and Instagram.

You can see Josie Long: Tender at The Stand from 1st – 25th August at 8:20pm. For tickets, please visit

Header Image Credit: Idil Sukan


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe..

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