JANEY Godley isn’t so much gathering rosebuds; she is taking a giant combine harvester to the entire rosebud field and bagging the lot.

The comedienne, one of the most determined, positive entertainers to ever have emerged, is now touring Scotland, with final dates being performed in London.

But what’s remarkable is that Godley’s final dates could well be exactly that. Having discovered ovarian cancer a year ago, the funny woman who grew up in Glasgow’s Calton has accepted there is no cure for her illness.

However, that doesn’t mean she’s prepared to lay back, watch Cash In The Attic, eat Doritos and wait for her hair to grow back in.

No, she wants to do what she has done since she worked behind a bar - to entertain. Godley wants to hear people laugh. “I’m now having chemo every week,” she explains, “so I’m not ready to run a marathon or do yoga but I can still empty the dishwasher or go on tour.

“This will be the last big tour I do, thanks to the cancer diagnosis, but I have to say it’s going to be fun. It’s not about my blood count or haemoglobin levels and it certainly doesn’t feature the word peritoneal in it at all. I just want to have a laugh.

“So, there will be voiceovers and anecdotes and jokes, straight from the woman who wouldn’t die or shut up.”

Godley’s daughter Ashley Storrie will provide the support act “just to keep me on the straight and narrow.”

Godley adds; There will be so many stories of heart-warming love and outpouring of support to the occasional daily messages hoping I might die soon because . . . well, I am a woman who answered back.”

Janey Godley answered back and front. The performer has long ignored societal boundaries and declared the thoughts in her head, whether in writing about her harrowing life, the death of her mother or the abuse she suffered as a child.

Along the way the comedienne who found fame during the pandemic with dubbed pastiches of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s coronavirus briefings, has apologised for using “offensive, hurtful language” that had “terrible, horrific undertones”.

And the response of audiences and the mass media have suggested she has been forgiven. Now, Godley wishes to focus on a celebration, of life, of her ability to make people feel better, even when she clearly isn’t.

“What you become aware of because of a terminal illness is that you are the cause of all the sadness in the house. But at the same time, you have to have laughter. You have to have giggles.”

The question uppermost in most people’s minds however is will Janey Godley still be around to enjoy next year’s Comedy Festival? As expected, she grins and offers a delivery that’s as dry as a cat’s fresh litter tray.

“People say ‘How long have you got?’ like I’m a human advent calendar. I don’t know. But what I do know is I’m going to go out with a bang.”

The Janey Godley I’m Still Alive tour is now touring Scotland, appearing at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh on February 19 and The SEC Armadillo on March 5.

Don’t Miss: Anna Porubcansky’s brilliantly researched and performed Unbecoming, which attempts to understand how women become crafted by society and its expectations. The Company of Wolves production tours Scotland from March 9 -29.


THE MODERN-day football manager is articulate, PR-clever, tuned in to the psychology of their players, entirely aware of concepts such as mental health and positive endorsement.

But little of that featured in the world of Jim McLean, the subject of Philip Differ’s rather ironically entitled biographical play.

The Dundee United manager became a legend, thanks to the club’s domestic and European successes but what of the man himself? McLean was said to have consider players to be servants, a word which should never have entered the lexicon of Scottish football, given it implies the removal of dignity.

He was tough. He was demanding. He was feared. And he terrified. At times, mostly, he inspired greatness in those who kicked a ball for him. At times, he generated contempt. At one point, rising star Duncan Ferguson was handed out the punishment of having to paint the club’s gymnasium wall. When staff viewed his efforts they discovered he had in fact painted the words ‘Jim McLean is a ****.’

To be fair to McLean, the arch disciplinarian, he smiled at his centre forward’s sheer nerve, trying hard not to laugh.

Philip Differ’s play, directed by Sally Reid and starring Barrie Hunter in the lead role, doesn’t simply recount the life and times of a football hardman from Lancashire who was ‘formed in Dundee.’ We learn that McLean was in fact quite shy away from the football arena, and he wore a mask to work.

His fury, his aggression, his failure to use the carrot and stick technique – only the stick – was a means to achieve the success he demanded of himself. But he couldn’t realise that battering abuse and financial controlling his players was never going to produce happier individuals.

Yet, Only An Excuse? creator Differ does underline the passion for the game which Jim McLean represented. He illustrates that Dundee United could never have become so successful under the charge of a man less committed.

Barry Hunter manages to convey not only McLeans intelligence and his self-deprecating wit, but the humour the manager developed as an apprentice carpenter.

And of course he built a team of some magnificence, even if he had to nail lots of egos to the floor along the way.

Smile, Dundee Rep, February 18 -March 11.