Jo Caulfield

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:06 pm    Post subject: Jo Caulfield Reply with quote

Jo Caulfield is on a new home search
Mar 17 2010
David Owens,
South Wales Echo

Award-winning comedian Jo Caufield brings her UK tour to Cardiff tonight, with one eye on her audience and the other on their homes. She tells Dave Owens why it’s all about location, location, location

JO CAULFIELD is house hunting. Nothing strange in that you may think, except that one of Britain’s leading comedians is on the look out for a new home while she undertakes a mammoth 49 date tour of the UK. This property search also forms a large part of her show Jo Caulfield Won’t Shut Up – named after her Radio 4 series. However, it’s not just a device for comedy laughs, it’s also a serious attempt to find a new place to lay roots for the Welsh-born comic and her husband.

“We’ve grown tired of London life,” says the woman who’s a regular fixture on Mock The Week, Have I Got News For You and Never Mind The Buzzcocks. "Things like the fact that it takes you an hour and a half just to get across town and the lack of community, those things have become important.”

Jo’s comedy career has reached a point that the necessity to live at the centre of London’s comedy hub no longer applies. “Luckily I’m now in a position where I don’t need to play clubs on the London circuit every night, so we can move out,” she says. “I just want to live in a place where I can see a mountain, the sea or the countryside. My husband wants to live in a city, so we’ve decided on city living with an escape to the countryside on our doorstep.”

I proffer that it sounds like Cardiff could be the ideal location for her extensive home search. “I know,” she laughs. “It ticks all the boxes doesn’t it. It’s got lovely river and bay properties, so you never know.”

She admits that while Cardiff is one that could make her shortlist, the Welsh capital does have competition for her affections. “We could honestly go anywhere,” she says. “However, my husband, who is from Scotland, likes Edinburgh, and Bristol is really nice.”

I suggest that Bristol is not a patch on Cardiff and she sniggers before accepting my offer of bringing her copies of the Echo’s homes supplement to peruse when she’s in town. “That would be great,” she laughs. “It would be fantastic if estate agents came to my shows actually. So estate agents of Cardiff come on down!”

Each show on the tour will include a survey, giving the audience their chance to tell Jo what’s good and what’s bad in the local area. “I’m open to suggestions and this is a good way of evaluating each town and city,” she adds.

Although she says she tells most of her audiences she is considering their hometown as a potential new home, the comedian’s honest enough with them to admit when there’s no chance of calling the removal men in.

“When I played Wolverhampton, I had to be honest from the outset and say it was unlikely it would make my shortlist. To be fair, they took it in good humour.” Jo also admits she’s been getting some great comments from her survey. “When I was in Hull somebody had written down that the great thing about Hull was the affordable housing; the worst thing was the common neighbours!”

Jo will be in on home ground of sorts when she arrives for her show at St David’s Hall tonight. She can claim Welsh citizenship, having been born in North Wales. “I only stayed for about nine months as my family moved around a lot (her dad was in the forces and at the time was stationed at RAF Sealand in Flintshire). “So while I’m happy to claim I’m Welsh for the purposes of this interview and in the unlikely event I’m ever chosen to play football for Wales, I don’t really feel Welsh.”

Jo does admit, however, that she doesn’t really feel that she is from anywhere. “I never had a sense of belonging in any particular place,” she says. “I grew up all over because of my dad’s forces’ postings. As well as Wales, we lived in Northern Ireland, Wiltshire, Derbyshire and London. Funnily enough, it was never a Malta posting that he got!”
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