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Jenny’s been on the scene for many years and is a familiar face to most of us. She’s on tour and heading to Fareham this month with her brand new material. Having survived the jungle and Celebrity Masterchef she tells ‘Mayhem!’ in our exclusive one to one how it all began.

Your real name is Jenny Clare Hargreaves but you’ve always been known as Jenny Eclair, how did this come about as a stage name?

Apparently I was pretending to be French in a night club in Blackpool – cider may have been drunk – then later I was in a punk cabaret band and we all had daft names and Eclair stuck.

You studied at Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre, what were hoping to become during those years, and when did the comedy side of your career
begin to evolve?

An actress, it was a drama school! The comedy side kicked in when I couldn’t get any acting work! You once had a go at life modelling which must have taken some guts, how did you get into that and can you describe the feeling? I had a go loads of times, sitting on my naked arse is one of the least taxing jobs I’ve ever had in my entire career, I couldn’t care less about nudity and I loathe primness.

You’re the first female solo winner of the Perrier comedy award, an achievement for yourself and a first for female comedians, but despite being hugely successful how do you feel about female comedians within the industry
in comparison to the guys?

There are loads more now and they’re loads better than we were. We were pretty rubbish, there were no role models, we kind of made it up as we went along. There’s still some way to go but the more experimental and brave women get,
the better we are.

You recently appeared on ‘Celebrity Master Chef ’, where did your interest in cooking come from?

I’m not interested in cooking in the slightest! I just thought I should learn something, I’m a bit embarrassed by how crap I am in the kitchen.

What is your favourite dish?

I like huge salads with lots of surprises in (but not tomatoes as I’m allergic to them)

In 2010 you headed out to the jungle with ‘Celebrity get me out of here’, what were your initial thoughts when you were approached by ITV?

I thought, I’d better shave my pubic hair in case I get caught on camera in a swimming costume!

What did you learn from the experience?

I’m not as mad as some people!

What were your favourite moments while appearing as a panelist on Loose Women?

Arguing with Carol about art, having a laugh, wearing some nice tops and the omelettes in the ITV canteen!

‘Life, Death and Vanilla Slices’ is the name of your new book. Could you talk us through it, what’s it about and where did you draw inspiration from?

I could talk you through it, but it would take forever, be quicker for you to read it. It’s essentially about mothers, daughters and sisters, it’s about guilt and the things that you have done that come back to haunt you in later life.

Eclarious is the new tour which you began in September, how is it going? What is this tour all about?

I’m still doing try-out dates, we kick off seriously at the end of the month, there’s a whole heap of stuff from tears that taste of cooking sherry to dry cracked heels and the ridiculous notion that men make good spies.

Your input into ‘Grumpy Old Women’ has been a huge success on television and in the West End, what are current pet hates?

I really hate the X factor!

To read the full interview click here to go to our online back issue…

Interview by Sophie Tsimpris