The comedian and Motherland star on how she’s kept her comedy career afloat during the pandemic

“I hated the first few months of this,” says Jessica Fostekew of her experience of lockdown. “I’m a very gregarious person, I thrive off company, so I was bereft without my friends and my partner. It was just me and my four-year-old son [at home in London]. But since Stay Alert as opposed to Stay Home, I’ve been having a pretty good time of it actually. I’ve had lots to tick me over.”

The 37-year-old, who was born in Sheffield and grew up in Dorset, started doing standup in 2008. Her show Hench, which tackled femininity, body image and weightlifting with no-holds-barred frankness, was nominated for best show at Edinburgh last year. As an actor, she has starred in the BBC sitcoms Motherland and Cuckoo. Now, as well as doing drive-in and online shows during lockdown – she was a guest at the Covid Arms online comedy pub in May – Fostekew has been writing sitcom pilots and recording her food podcast, Hoovering, which she launched in 2018 (she also regularly co-hosts the hugely popular Guilty Feminist podcast).

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