The fantastic Funny Women Awards finals are here again. Now in its 16th year, the awards are the leading showcase for female comedy talent in the UK and Ireland, and have provided a platform for some of the best comedians in recent years - including Katherine Ryan, Sara Pascoe and and Roisin Conaty.
The final takes place at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London, on the 19th September, and will be hosted by Katy Brand. For more information on the Funny Women Awards, and how to get tickets, head here.
But who is in the final this year, we hear you cry? Well the following comedians are, all of who recently revealed, exclusively to Shortlist, their funniest school moments.
Warning: the following contains much embarrassment, some cringiness and one (nearly) broken nose.
1. Helena Langdon
"Once on a night out with my friends at the student union, I spotted what looked like an empty parked police car. One of my friends dared me to do a Ninja roll over the bonnet – which, being the idiot I am, I happily accepted. To the delight of my friends, I pulled off a very ungraceful roll over the bonnet of the car – and I was very proud of myself until I realised that two police officers were in fact sitting in the front seat watching the whole thing, and threatened to arrest me afterwards for damaging police property. Luckily, I got away with a stern telling off."
2. Celya AB
"Back when I was 6 or 7, we were asked to write a letter to a fictional character listing all the things we were going to do on holiday. I don’t remember the content of the letter but I remember getting a really bad grade on it. The teacher asked for one of my parents to sign it (as it was custom in my school for bad grades). I forged my father’s signature and wrote ‘Dad’."
3. Charlie George
"I was not allowed to participate in religious studies or activities at school because of my mother’s Jehovah’s Witness beliefs, but, never one to be held back from a part, I managed to spin a web of lies in order to audition for the primary school nativity play. It was of course all a ruse to try and make friends with a group of girls I liked at school and to not feel left out, but in a cruel twist of fate I landed the part of Mary. This royally pissed off the girls, who ended up becoming a bitchy rabble of Gabriel’s Angels that started a rumour I was romantically involved with Joseph; a boy who around dragging a limp gym horse dressed as a donkey, spent his time tunneling for unspecified findings in his belly button to eat. I also had to carry an embarrassing fake baby bump; the whole thing felt like divine retribution."
4. Jen Ives
"My nickname at primary school was “Duck Feet” because they used to point inwards when I ran (if you can call it running). I remember in one imaginative PE lesson, we were made to run around the assembly hall in a circle over & over again. I was so worried about keeping my feet straight that I was looking down, and I ended up smashing into the side of the piano - nearly breaking my nose & bleeding all over the sheet music for I Am The Lord Of The Dance Said He."
5. Kemah Bob
"I don't remember. Maybe because I want to forget? Whatever happened - it was in Texas. I just recall winning class clown like 6 years in a row and never being taken seriously. Which used to annoy the f*ck out of me. But now I've given in and am doing my best to own it. I'm like really funny. And that's okay."
6. Laura Smyth
"One of the classrooms in my school had a display of Year 7 kids' work who had been tasked with designing a brand of cereal and a slogan. One kid came up with a cereal called 'Alcopops' and the slogan 'Why be sober when you can be drunk?'. This was not even questioned by teachers and was up on the technology room wall for a few years. It was the strangest slogan to stare at in school. The older I get, the funnier it seems. Nowadays it would trigger a safeguarding meeting."
7. Liz Guterbock
"I wanted to change my good-girl image in my first year of university, so I decided to cut all my hair off. However, instead of the edgy bob I asked for, the stylist decided to give me the exact same haircut as George Harrison. My attempt at rebellion resulted in me looking like a Beatle with bad highlights for the next two years, but at least I got a decent Halloween costume out of it."
8. Sarah Mann
"The school French exchange is an inherently uncomfortably experience for any teenager, but I found a way to make it even more awkward. It was day 2 and I couldn't remember the word for jam. My brain quickly went through a series of logical steps: jam, preserves, preservative, “preservatif!”. It seemed like a familiar word so I went with it, but this was only because I had previously spent a French lesson looking up 'rude' words in the dictionary. It turned out I had asked for a condom with my baguette for breakfast. Mal appetit!"
Rachel: "Before Ruby and I had met, my mum asked me to walk Ruby to school, as Ruby was younger and lived across the road from us. I waited for her on the corner and she walked past me with three friends and no awareness of who I was. I awkwardly walked behind them the entire way. Even worse, I waited for her after school as well and did the same thing."
Ruby: "I had a weird kid follow me to and from school every day. Turned out to be Rachel. Quite like her now."
10. Sian Davies
"I went to a comprehensive that took us for weekends to the Lake District to build our character. At night the teachers went to the pub. Like most industrious teenagers, we used this as an opportunity to get drunk. On one trip we were staying in a youth hostel and drank three cans of super strength cider, rather than our usual two. When the teachers returned it was absolute carnage, everyone was either crying or vomiting. The next day we had to hike up a mountain - in silence as a punishment. One girl was so ill she had to be carried back down on a teacher's back. We never went back to that youth hostel and country walks still make me feel hungover."