Comedienne Jo Brand in Conversation with David Bell

Photo by Piers Allardyce

Listen to the conversation

Listen to the Q&A session

Venue: UCL Cruciform Building, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

Date: Friday 19 October 2012

Time: 7.30-9pm

A fundraiser for Camden Psychotherapy Unit who has helped thousands of vulnerable adults over the last 43 years by providing long term psychotherapy. Your help is needed to ensure this vital service continues.


Jo Brand, former psychiatric nurse turned BAFTA-winning comedienne, writer and actress and David Bell, psychoanalyst, meet again after 25 years. Having both worked together at the Maudsley Hospital, they reunite to discuss Jo Brand’s life and work and in the process explore the nature of comedy.

Jo Brand is a BAFTA winning English comedian, writer and actress with an international reputation for her individual 'brand' of humour and sardonic wit.

A bit of a reprobate in her youth, she later grappled with academia and achieved a degree in Psychology and qualified as a Psychiatric Nurse at the Maudsley and Royal Bethlem Hospitals, where she led the Emergency Clinic Team as a Charge Nurse. Secretly harbouring other aspirations, she was observing, formulating and scribbling notes on the complexities and incongruities of human behaviour.

Despite stage nerves, almost verging on catatonic paralysis, Jo was convinced she could deliver a comedy set and endure a less than courteous audience all without the aid of ten pints of lager. She did, and her career and reputation as a stand-up comedian grew - initially on the alternative comedy scene.

Jo has since made series for television, and had major success in 'Getting On', which she wrote and starred in as Nurse Kim Wilde. She is a regular panel member on 'QI', guest chairs 'Have I Got News For You' and suffered considerable indignities in her series 'Jo Brand's Big Splash'. She has found time to write three novels, two biographiess on her 'life so far' (and that may be as far as it goes), enjoy very private friendships and a much loved family.

Jo is pleased to support the Camden Psychotherapy Unit - a self referral service established over 40 years ago to provide therapeutic interventions to people with emotional difficulties and psychiatric disorders.

David Bell, the former President of the British Psychoanalytic Society, is a Fellow of the Institute and a Training Analyst.  He is a Consultant Psychiatrist in the Adult Dept of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust where he is director of Fitzjohns Unit, a specialist unit for serious/complex psychological disorders. David Bell is also Professorial Fellow at Birkbeck College, Univerisity of London. He teaches Freud and the history of psychoanalytic concepts at the British Psychoanalytic Society and at the Tavistock Clinic.  He is a leading psychiatric expert in asylum/human rights.

With support from Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival.

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