My Comedy Hero: Kiri Pritchard-McLean on The League of Gentlemen
- Brian Donaldson
- 12 March 2019
Comedian on how the folks of Royston Vasey inspired her to go to uni
As the co-host of a podcast about serial killers, and the non-performing member of dark sketch group Gein's Family Giftshop, Kiri Pritchard-McLean's tastes veer towards the macabre. Perhaps it's no surprise that she's picked the creators of Royston Vasey'
'And why did you want to come to university?'
'Because I know The League of Gentlemen met in university so if I want to do comedy I need to be in university.'
That is the genuine conversation I had in the interview for Salford University. It's equal parts grandiose and smalltown naïve, which is coincidentally how I describe my dress sense. I saw The League Of Gentlemen late one night on TV and I was thrilled: someone was making comedy just for me. Before this, comedy had felt like a thing for other people: posh, English people smart enough to get the reference or men braying jokes where the punchline always seems to be women's intellect.
This, was something else. It was grubby and beautiful, heart-wrenching yet hysterically funny, daft and admirably clever all at once. It was also utterly inspiring to see something like this when you're an odd kid with a gang of mates who don't laugh at the same things as everyone else. When your gang are more interested in medical marvels and MR James stories than 5ive, it's the perfect escapism. Endless hours were sat quoting and dissecting the three series we had at that time; incidentally this is the quickest way to kill a comedy but remarkably I still love them.
The League of Gentleman are the gang that keep giving as the individuals have spun off and gifted us with Psychoville, Sherlock, Ghost Stories, Inside No 9 and cameos that make my heart sing. They're a cracking reminder that you can keep being excellent if you expect excellence from yourself. One day I'll get to properly thank them for inspiring a not very academic farmer's daughter from Wales to go to university to find her League of Gentlemen because that decision changed my life. In the meantime I'll just keep watching the series with the cast commentary on and laugh like I'm one of their gang.
Kiri Pritchard-McLean: Victim, Complex is on tour until Saturday 25 May.