Best-known for her legendary one-woman shows, Jo Caulfield is “one of the finest female comics at work” (The Observer) and has recently been nominated as “the best female Stand-Up in the country” (Chortle.co.uk). She is also Graham Norton’s head writer. “She is, quite simply, a damn funny woman” (The Scotsman).
Jo was born in Wales to Irish parents and brought up in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. She grew up believing the East Midlands was her oyster.
At 17 Jo left home and moved to London to sing and play drums in a Rockabilly band. This was an unusual decision as Jo can neither sing nor play drums.
“Many of the points Jo Caulfield makes about the human condition would have sociologists stroking their beards in admiration, but her audience tend to be laughing too much to notice. Do not miss her.” (The Times).
“Definitely the rising star of women’s comedy. Her mixture of cutthroat wit and wildly accurate observation regularly brings audiences to their knees with laughter.” (Evening Standard).
Jo Caulfield has come a long way since her first open spot 12 years ago. To misquote the Human League, Jo was working as a waitress in an Italian Restaurant when she found herself drunkenly entering the weekly open mike competition at The Comedy Café in East London. Although she hadn’t prepared anything and could hardly stand, let alone speak, Jo won the competition and was asked back for a 10 minute booking the following week.
After being advised that regular compering was one of the best ways to improve as a comic Jo saved her ‘waitressing tips’, bought a cheap microphone and a small amplifier and opened her own comedy club in the basement bar of The White Horse in Hampstead. It was getting up on stage at her own club every week for 5 years that gave Jo her ability for bantering with the audience and improvising on their comments. As one critic put it, “It’s an amazing knack. Caulfield seamlessly weaves in and out of material and audience banter”.
Jo is in demand at all major UK comedy clubs, and has completed three nationwide theatre tours. A fourth tour commences April 2008. Recent international performances include New York, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai.
Jo Caulfield also hosts many corporate events and Award ceremonies, most recently hosting The Scottish Design Awards, The Boss Awards and The Scottish Licensed Trade Awards.
If you’re visiting the Edinburgh Festival this August make sure you book your tickets well in advance. Jo’s hilarious and outrageous solo shows have become some of the fastest ticket sellers at the Festival. Due to public demand she has moved to a bigger venue each year and has become one of a rare group in Edinburgh – a comedian who is a guaranteed sell-out.
Jo is a regular guest on both Mock The Week (BBC2) and Have I Got News For You (BBC1).
Other recent TV appearances include: Never Mind The Buzzcocks (BBC2), Saturday Night Live (ITV1), The Comedy Store series 2, 4 & 7 (Ch5), The Comedian’s Comedian (Ch4), Music Hall Meltdown (BBC4), The Bigger Picture (BBC2), Dawn French’s Girls Who Do Comedy (BBC2), The Stand Up Show (BBC1) and World Stand’s Up (Paramount/Comedy Central).
Flip through the channels and JO can be found most weeks giving her opinions on one or more list-type shows: The Comic Side Of 7 Days (BBC3), So Last Week (Ch5), TV’s Greatest Moments (ITV), 100 Greatest Tearjerkers (Ch4), 100 Greatest Christmas Moments (Ch4), I Love 1990-whatever it is (Ch4), The Nations Favourite Cheap Television List Programme (All Channels), The World’s 100 Sexiest Car Crashes (in development) and Let’s Take Cheap Shots At Famous People (also in development).
Jo wrote and starred in 3 series of her own critically acclaimed Radio 4 comedy show, “It’s That Jo Caulfield Again”.
Three episodes are available for download elsewhere in this site.
She is currently writing a new Radio 4 comedy series – to be recorded later this year.
Jo’s quick wit has led to her being in demand as a guest on a huge variety of Radio shows including: The News Quiz (Radio 4), Armando Iannucci’s Charm Offensive (Radio 4), The Steve Wright Show (Radio 2), The Now Show (Radio 4), Off The Ball (BBC Scotland), The Unbelievable Truth with David Mitchell (Radio 4), Clive Anderson’s Chat Room (Radio 2), Quote Unquote (Radio 4), Radcliffe and Maconie (Radio 2), Woman’s Hour (Radio 4) Does The Team Think (Radio 2), Parson’s and Naylor’s Pull Out Section (Radio 2).
Jo Caulfield was Comedy Writer / Programme Consultant on all five series of the BAFTA Award-winning So Graham Norton. She was Head Writer on Zoe Ball’s Strictly Dance Fever (BBC3) and Ruby Wax’s Waiting Game (BBC1). Jo has also written for Joan Rivers, Anne Robinson, Denise Van Outen, Marcus Brigstocke and Ant & Dec among others.
For several years Jo has also been one of the most highly sought after TV warm-up artist. Shows include: Have I Got News For You, Room 101, Alistair McGowan’s Big Impression, Bremner, Bird and Fortune, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, TV Heaven, TV Hell, So Graham Norton and Graham Norton’s Bigger Picture.
Jo has appeared in several sitcoms, including Days Like These (ITV), Beast (BBC1), and Get Real (ITV). She played herself in Life’s A Pitch (BBC1) along side Jimmy Tarbuck and played someone’s sister in Family Affairs (Ch5). Other credits include: So Graham Norton (Ch4) and she can currently be seen in Stitch-Up (CBBC).
(Jo says, “I was in a couple of episodes of the Channel 5 soap Family Affairs and I’ve no idea who I was meant to be. I’d never seen it before and I’ve never seen it since. But someone did recognise me in the street and asked for an autograph. So apparently I was very good in whatever part I did. Imagine how much better I’d have been if I was sober.”)
Life before Comedy
Jo spent many years honing her skills as a waitress and was frequently fired for arguing with customers. She also worked in retail and was a shop manager before being fired for arguing with customers. She then set up her own business selling 50’s vintage clothing, but soon fired herself for arguing with the boss.
(Jo says, “I wasn’t a very good waitress. I was a real maverick. I played by my own rules. I took orders from no one. Anyway, as soon as I suss out this whole internet/website thing I’m going to post some of the radio scripts on the site.”)