Londoner’s Diary: Pandemic will prompt MeToo moment for disabled people, says comic Rosie Jones
Comic Rosie Jones believes disabled people’s experience of the pandemic will bring about a movement as powerful as Black Lives Matter or MeToo. “Six in 10 people who have died of Covid were disabled”, she tells us. “There have been a lot of people let down during the pandemic.”
Jones, who has cerebral palsy and will soon present her own travelogue series for Channel 4, says she believes that many disabled people felt excluded from recent activism. “Every movement ignores disabled people. So, during MeToo no one was talking about the experience of disabled women; during BLM the notion of black disabled people was just ignored and so in terms of comparison we need to have this movement for disabled people.”
Jones, 30, started comedy in 2016 and has appeared on Would I Lie To You? and Channel 4’s 8 Out of 10 Cats, but believes there’s a long way to go in terms of disability representation on TV. “You do get some disabled people… granted 90 per cent of the time if there’s a disabled person on a comedy show it’s normally me!”
BARONESS JENKIN tells us at the very least she would like to see the House of Lords change the primogeniture laws which dictate only men can become hereditary peers. “Everybody knows it’s indefensible… in today’s world it seems absurd,” she says. But No 10 said: “Any reform needs careful consideration.” The slow route it is.
BARONESS JONES has endured “a giant hissy fit of outrage” after suggesting a curfew for men after Sarah Everard’s death, but she is defiant: “Many people don’t think twice if the police advise women to stay off the streets.” She also welcomed news misogyny will soon be treated as a hate crime: “That would certainly clear my inbox.”
As the BBC’s director of creative diversity, June Sarpong admits she is now “so scared of social media”. She says while she used to be an activist, she has had to adopt a policy of “think it, don’t show it” and become “completely impartial”. “Even when people [say], ‘Well why aren’t you commenting on this?’, I’m like, ‘That’s not what I’m here to do’,” she says. The former television presenter, pictured, tells the Happy Place podcast “I’m like, ‘I better not even like that.’” The safest option.
Danny Dyer doesn’t have much time for psychic mediums, especially after his wife and daughter paid one a visit just before the pandemic. “The geezer didn’t mention it,” the actor tells his podcast Sorted with the Dyers. “Told you about what your f***ing grandad’s talking about and all that, but couldn’t warn us that in three weeks f***ing time… the biggest thing that’s ever happened to humanity is coming because someone upstairs has told me.” Three stars?
Jenner’s horrible history of comedy
Greg Jenner’s friends never let him forget he’s not really that funny. “They always remind me that I’m funny … for a historian. Which means, not funny enough to be a comedian,” he tells us. This was demonstrated at a charity gig where the Horrible Histories boffin, who appears on the BBC Sounds’s You’re Dead To Me, did his first ever bit of stand-up. “I was so scared I forgot my own name. I said, ‘Hello, I am...’ and just stopped.” Sounds like the comedy career is already ancient history.
How Dorian Gray kept me off Insta...
Fionn Whitehead, who is starring in a live-streamed adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s A Picture of Dorian Gray, tells us the script has reinforced his decision to stay off social media. The actor says the production, which reimagines Gray as an online influencer, highlights “the dangers around relying on others’ validation for your own gratification and presenting a warped image of yourself”. Whitehead has avoided this kind of vanity but can relate to the character’s hedonism. He admits: “I got Deliveroo for breakfast, lunch and dinner when I was cripplingly hungover once.”