12:07PM, Wednesday 11 September 2019
A comedian who only started doing stand-up less than a year ago is a finalist in the leading showcase for female comedy talent.
Helena Langdon, who grew up in Maidenhead, is one of ten finalists in the Funny Women Stage Award.
To earn her place she went-up against 433 entrants and through three stages.
The 34-year-old ‘used to write funny tweets for a living’ as head of digital for Innocent Smoothies.
In the role she also did a lot of public speaking which attracted numerous ‘have you ever tried comedy’ comments from her audience.
Helena said: “I always wanted to do stand-up, I just hadn’t given it a try, and half way through last year I took a sabbatical off work and as part of that I thought I would give comedy a go and its gone from there really.”
Her first foray into stand-up was at an open-mic night in the basement of a pub in Shotreditch.
“I had no idea what I was doing” she said. “I just decided to throw myself into the deep end and try it out.”
She added: “It was really terrifying but I still enjoyed it, and it was less scary than I built it up to be in my mind.”
The former Newlands Girls' School student only entered the competition ‘to get more experience really, not expecting to get through’.
She said: “In the comedy circuit, it’s quite a big competition - a lot of my favourite comedians have gone through the awards.”
These include household name Sarah Millican, Canadian writer, presenter, and actress Katherine Ryan and panel show regular Sara Pascoe.
Helena lives in Brixton and works as a freelance social media consultant and copywriter, she does stand-up about two evening a week.
“I would like to make a career out of comedy, I would like it to be my full time job, I’m way off that – but that’s the dream.”
Helena’s style of comedy is ‘quite dead-pan’, she said: “I would like my comedy to be relatable to everyone, but I have quite an unusual stage presence which is difficult to describe.”
The grand final will be hosted by actor, writer and comedian Katy Brand at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London on Thursday, September 19 between 7.30pm and 10pm.
Helena said she is up against some amazing talent, many of whom have been in the comedy game considerably longer than her.
“I don’t think I’ve got in the bag by any means, but I think I’ve got a chance - if I can make my set as good as it can be.”
To find out more about the awards go to www.funnywomenawards.com/finalists/
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At around 9.30am today (July 17) a red Honda motorcycle and a white Ford Transit van were involved in a collision on the A308 Marlow Road between Maidenhead and the Bisham roundabout.