Telly star heads into Queen’s

PUBLISHED: 11:59 27 January 2011

Ninia Benjamin

Ninia Benjamin


NINIA Benjamin is one of the UK’s hottest female comedians, and is best known as one third of the BBC’s award-winning internationally acclaimed show Three Non Blondes – but you just try telling her mum that!

Ninia said: “My mum still does not appreciate the fact that I am not doing a nine-to-five job.

“The other members of the family are very supportive, but my mum grew up in an era where people did not do comedy and she still thinks that I had a good job and I gave it all up to do foolishness.

“She is getting use to it now, but if I told her that I got a job working in Debenhams she would be so pleased.”

She added: “For her, if I am not on Coronation Street then I am not famous.”

But you don’t have to rely on her mum’s opinion, you can judge her for yourself when she heads to The Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch as part of the theatre’s first comedy club of 2011 on Thursday, February 3 at 8.30pm.

She will be joined by Romesh Ranganathan and Dave Fulton.

Ninia, from Chingford, first came into comedy by accident when she was made redundant from her council job.

She said: “I did not know what I wanted to do but I went to the job centre and told them that I wanted to be an entertainer.

“They said that it wasn’t a realistic goal but I told them ‘it might not be realistic for you, but for me it is very realistic’.”

After clocking up a long list of jobs, including as checkout assistant at Woolworths, Ninia hit it big as one third of the internationally acclaimed BBC sketch show Three Non Blondes, which saw her joining forces with comedians Tameka Empson and Jocelyn Lee Esien to play pranks on the unsuspecting public.

Since then she has been crowned winner of Celebrity Scissorhands in 2007, in which she and other celebrities learned hairdressing in aid of Children In Need.

She has also been on shows like Total Wipeout, Celebrity Masterchef and her voice can be heard on children’s TV show Tinga Tinga Tales.

But it seems that her mum is not the only one who finds it hard to accept her new career.

She said: “None of my old friends and colleagues actually remember me as anyone funny and they were a bit surprised when they saw me doing stand-up.

“I was a fun person in the office, but I wouldn’t particularly say that I made anyone laugh.

“But I would definitely say that my inspiration is me and things that I find funny.

“I know what makes me laugh and I cannot make anyone else laugh if I can’t make myself laugh.”

Tickets for the show are £10 and £9.50 for concessions from the box office on 01708 443333.

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