Comic Lucy Frederick believes appearing on Gok Wan’s hit TV show How To Look Good Naked was the major impetus behind her becoming a successful stand-up comedian.
Speaking to Kate Thornton on the White Wine Question Time podcast, Lucy said she decided to go on the show in 2007 after a tumultuous time in her life.
“I went to drama school and I'd done some acting and then my mom died,” she explained. “I was working in the countryside, selling animal feed and stuff like that, and I was also in a really quite a damaging relationship with someone - he was quite toxic.”
“I saw an episode of the first series and thought, ‘I need to do that’, and then through a series of events I ended up doing it. It genuinely changed my life.”
When her big makeover was revealed, Lucy didn’t react quite as the production crew hoped she would.
“It was a massive shock,” she said. “I looked like Barbie, like fat Barbie. I had beautiful smoky eyes.”
“Then when they did the big reveal – you're meant to cry – but when I turned around, my face was just completely blank and they all like shat themselves cos it wasn't what they were hoping for!
“They're making a telly programme aren't they? It's not counselling!”
Although the makeover wasn’t quite what she was expecting, it definitely had a major impact on Lucy’s life and career.
“It was absolutely the catalyst for loads of stuff,” she told podcast host Kate Thornton.
“I thought, why am I living in the countryside? I'm being a coward and I'm sort of not living my best life, so I moved back to London and then through How To Look Good Naked, someone put me in touch with a modelling agent and I did that.”
It didn’t stop there, as in 2009 they did a revisit show. When the producers phoned Frederick she explained she had been modelling and that she might also try her hand at stand-up at some point.
“It was a throwaway comment,” Lucy said.
“They then phoned me back and said, 'Right, we've booked a gig for you!’ so I did five minutes at this gig. It was in a Masonic temple underneath the Andaz Hotel in Liverpool Street. Holly Walsh was on the bell, Benny Boot and some other people. And Gok Wan introduced me – it was lovely.”
It took her a couple of years to take up comedy properly, as that introduction was very much a learning curve.
“I just talked about the show,” she said, when Kate asked her what stand-up she did in her five minutes.
“I watched it back and I ruffled my hair loads and kind of had those weird habits that new comics have.
“But then, you know, I kind of had gotten the bug. I think the first time you go on stage and get a laugh, that's intoxicating, isn't it?”
Frederick went on to incorporate the makeover into her work, showcasing Even More Naked, which talked about her time on the show, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2018.
Hear Lucy chat with fellow comedian Patrick Monahan about the joys of stand-up comedy and why everyone should have a dog on this week’s episode of White Wine Question Time. Listen on iTunes and Spotify.