Posted by: the3rdi | January 9, 2012

Funny Women 10th Anniversary Challenge


7.30pm Thursday 8th March 2012

Grange Hotel, St Paul’s, City of London

Who says women aren’t funny? Funny Women, the leading and best established female comedy brand in the UK is going to celebrate its 10th Anniversary by demonstrating that women are as genetically disposed to using humour as their male counterparts by challenging 10 amazing high profile women from the worlds of business, media and academia to perform stand up for the first time in their lives.

The event takes place on Thursday 8th March 2012, International Women’s Day, in the luxurious surroundings of the Grange St Paul’s Hotel, and will support and raise funds for 10 amazing causes with the help of 10 of the UK’s most well connected women’s networks.

“We want to stage an event that really benchmarks what Funny Women stands for after 10 years in the industry,” explains founder and executive producer, Lynne Parker. “I’ve personally seen nearly 2,000 new acts come through the door since we set up in 2002 and launched the Funny Women Awards and know that once women get in touch with what makes them funny, they can really go all the way if they want to work in comedy professionally.

“Some extremely high profile professional women use humour to good effect, just like their male colleagues, but it’s not seen as a worthy attribute in the same way. We launched our public workshops and our business brand three years ago and we’ve seen some brilliant new talent emanate from both.

“So, we want to Challenge Perceptions with this anniversary event by demonstrating how women from all walks of life use humour and raise lots of money for some amazing causes at the same time. Over the years we’ve encouraged women to perform comedy in aid of charity when they might otherwise not have felt confident – this is the feminine way of doing things and we’re so grateful to the amazing networks and women who have agreed to take part and support us next year.”

All 10 challengers will be fully trained and supported by the Funny Women team which includes trainers and female comedians they have worked with over the last 10 years.


Carole Stone
Author, broadcaster and founder of YouGovStone, has won the inaugural IoD and O2 ‘Britain’s Best Connected Woman’ prize. Known as the ‘Queen of Networking’, Carole has amassed more than 40,000 names in her contacts database and written two successful books on the subject – Networking: The Art of Making Friends and The Ultimate Guide to Successful Networking.
Carole is supported by Women in Journalism and raising funds for The Victoria Foundation

Vanessa Vallely
Currently head of business management for Finance, Strategy & Legal at Aviva Investors, Vanessa is also the founder of We Are the City, a free website providing city and female-centric information to the 70,000 women who work in the City and Canary Wharf. She recently won the Women in Banking and Finance Champion for Women Award which recognises the person who through personal commitment, application and dedication promotes and inspires women in the workplace to reach their full potential.

Hela Wozniak Kay & Annie Brooks
The only double act to take on the challenge, Annie and Hela co-founded Sister Snog, a networking group for movers and shakers – Sister Snog hosts over 30 sparkling business events a year. Members can interact directly with each other via a discrete and very private social network; create harmony by joining the choir, Sisters of Soul. Or be a guest on Annie & Hela’s weekly radio show, Sister Snog on Gas&Air on OnFM101.4. Sister Snog is a brand with a twist.

Deb Leary MBE
CEO of Forensic Pathways, which provides advanced data analytics, forensic intelligence, forensic products, training and consultancy, Deb is also chair of the Midlands World Trade Forum, vice president of the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs and deputy chair of the United Nations UK Global Compact.

Sonia Brown MBE
Founder and director of The National Black Women’s Network (NBWN) is a non-profit network organisation dedicated to raising the status and position of BAME women in all walks of life. The NBWN provides dynamic initiatives through network support; enabling women from diverse backgrounds and occupations to develop strong professional and social contacts; high quality training and education programmes; leadership and national recognition. 
National Black Women’s Network and Sickle Cell Society

Charlie Webster
A huge football fan, Charlie presented Real Madrid TV and Live Premier League football for ESPN for two seasons. Charlie currently presents on Sky Sports News, features on Sky Sports boxing show Ringside and has reported for BBC’s Football Focus in the 2010/11 Football season. Charlie has presented Live Speedway for Sky Sports for the past 3 years, and on various projects including GP2, F1 feeder race, for ITV and the UK School Games for C4. Most recently Charlie has presented the Olympic 2012 beach volleyball test event in Horse Guards Parade.
Women in Film & TV and Women’s Aid

Kate Nustedt
Kate Nustedt joined Women for Women International as UK Executive Director in May 2009. She is an experienced global campaigner and has run high-profile campaigns on social justice, women’s rights, anti-poverty and environmental issues. Kate was a key part of the Labour Party’s campaign team that won the landslide general election in 1997, and she has since managed campaigns and communications teams at Greenpeace, ActionAid and the Royal National Institute for Deaf People. She was an Associate Partner with Brunswick Group, a leading public relations agency.
Soroptimist International and Women for Women

Dr Julie Greensmith
Julie, AKA ‘Doctor Thrill’ gets paid to indulge her passion for rollercoasters as part of serious research to devise entertainments that adapt to how we are feeling. Her talk was one of several arranged to enthuse and inspire undergraduate women attending the BCS Lovelace Colloquium at the University of Leeds in April 2009
Women in Technology and Angelus Foundation

Rowan Pelling
Rowan has contributed to a variety of newspapers and magazines, including regular columns for the Independent on SundayThe Mail on Sunday, GQ and Jack. She was a judge of the 2004 Man Booker Prize. She is now a columnist for the Daily Telegraph, and a former editor of the Erotic Review.
Ladies at 11 and Children in Crisis


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