Illawarra Mercury

Showbiz a family affair for Flanagan

Date: 26/06/2012
Words: 548
Source: ILL
          Publication: Illawarra Mercury
Section: Good Life
Page: 31

July 12-13:

Illawarra Performing Arts Centre

Comedian Kitty Flanagan is not the only showbiz type in her family.

There's also her father John, the co-creator of TV show Hey Dad! and the author of the wildly popular Ranger's Apprentice novels, and sister Penny, who is a musician and one half of '90s indie band Club Hoy.

Then there's her brother.

"My brother is a chef but he lives in Japan," Flanagan says.

"He runs a little coffee shop now. He realised there was more money in coffee than cheffing so he runs a little coffee hut at the snowfields in Japan. He lives up there ripping people off at 5 yen a coffee because he's the only one there who knows how to make a decent coffee."

Flanagan is now back in Australia after living in the United Kingdom for several years - and it was far from a planned move.

"It happened by accident, which I think is the only way it could have happened," she says.

"If it had come down to a pressure decision of 'it's time to get up and leave and go back to Australia' I probably couldn't have done it.

"I used to come back two or three times a year and do four weeks of work here and there. I came back one time and had a three-month block of work planned out. At the end of those three months, another month came in. And things just kept coming in after that.

"After about six months my manager said, 'do you want to stay? Lots of stuff seems to be happening'. I thought, 'yeah maybe I should go back to London and pack up my house and come over here for a while'."

One of the things that happened for Flanagan was a two-minute slot on the Ten Network series The Project every Tuesday.

It's led to a lot of people recognising her - and also a lot of work for what is just a few minutes of work.

"That is the hardest thing I do all week," she insists.

"I spend all Tuesday thinking, 'oh my God I've got to come up with two minutes of jokes'.

"I love doing it because it's such a good discipline and comedians are notoriously undisciplined.

"I have to have those two minutes ready and I have to make it squeaky clean because we've got a G rating.

That's good too - I like the fact that I have to come up with stuff that will potentially appeal to young kids."

Flanagan is coming to town to perform her new show Hello Kitty Flanagan - a mix of new stand-up material and some funny music, performed with the help of sister Penny.

Penny has also had to adjust to the comedy audience.

"She's really adapted and realised that a comedy audience is very different to a music audience. The first gig we ever did, she walked off the stage and said 'oh my God that is terrifying. You walk out and all these people are looking at you and you have to start.

"There's no walking out, and the band talking and tuning up and then beginning when we're ready. ... You've got to hit that stage being funny and talking'."


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