Missy Lorelei thinks the popular comedian is still a performer to relish.
I have to confess that when Jenny Éclair, who is surely by now something of a national treasure (first female winner of the Perrier award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1995) joined the risible lunchtime cackle-fest that is Loose Women, a small part of me died…had she-shock, horror- mellowed out?
On the strength of tonight’s show, it is a resounding no…everyone’s favourite blonde “ex-slapper” raconteur is back and on filthy form. Her targets, including Jeremy Kyle; young lads (“they don’t fancy me anymore”) Mamma Mia, weathergirls in spangly tops, organised religion, breast implants, parental habits…all crunch satisfyingly under the witchy one’s Per Una heels.
Sure, not all of her material works-some is a little dated-are we still having a dialogue about size zero, Kate Moss and pubic topiary? Really?
But when she hits, Jenny Eclair is a right little firecracker- nostalgic tales of tossing off teenage boys in bus stops causing “wanker’s bicep” and getting “trench crotch” from wearing leather trousers really tickles me, as does her enthusiasm for nondescript towns with “really rubbish miniature villages”.
The strength lies in Éclair’s effervescent personality- she still comes across as the most fun, gobbily inappropriate aunt at a family gathering-lesser comedians coast it on charm alone (the ubiquitous, shrill Sarah Millican) or by actively courting controversy (Frankie Boyle, increasingly tiresome) but Éclair has the material to back it up and a restless physicality.
Her non-PC world is not for everyone- it seems unbelievable, but some people in the audience are squirming throughout at jokes involving tampons and bodily fluids (there are audible gasps) but this is why we need her, now more than ever.
A national treasure definitely- a bit tarnished, often manhandled, but still valuable.