‘Bobby & Harriet Get Married’: Exclusive Harriet Kemsley interview

❉ We talk to award-winning stand-up Harriet Kemsley, star of Vice TV’s new ‘reality sitcom’ Bobby & Harriet Get Married.

Comedian, and co-star of Vice TV’s Bobby & Harriet Get Married, Harriet Kemsley speaks to We Are Cult about juggling the filming of a 6-part ‘reality sitcom’ with tying the knot; how she went into anaphylactic shock on the big day and how being “rubbish at so many aspects of life” influenced her latest Edinburgh Fringe Festival show ‘Bad at Doing’.

Multi award-winning stand-up Harriet Kemsley’s career has seen her appear on the BBC Radio 1 Laughter Lounge, The One Show, touring with Isy Suttie and Katherine Ryan as support act, and Harriet will be appearing in the new series of Doctor Foster. Here at We Are Cult we don’t like to say we told you so (Oh yes we do- Ed.), but we featured Harriet in our 10 Stand Up Comics To Watch in 2017. You read it here first, remember.

Harriet Kemsley (Photo: BBC)

As audiences and fans of Kemsley will know, her shows are a hilarious personal journey into her innermost thoughts and also into the personal details of her relationship with fellow-comedian and fiancé Bobby Mair.

Along with preparing for her latest Edinburgh Fringe Festival show ‘Bad at Doing’ (3 – 27 August; The Spare Room, Just The Tonic at the Caves,  9pm), the soon-to-be newlyweds are about to star in Sky channel Vice TV’s new reality sitcom Bobby & Harriet Get Married, which allows viewers a glimpse into the weeks leading up to their big day.

We spoke to Harriet just before she ventured up to Edinburgh and days before the first episode of Bobby & Harriet Get Married is broadcast…

First of all, congratulations on your marriage to Bobby and on the upcoming show for Vice TV! What it’s been like dealing with the stress of getting married while having a camera crew follow you around for weeks on end?

Thank you, Sam! It’s been absolutely crazy. We’re co writers on the show with our very talented friend/director Stu Richards, so when we weren’t filming or planning a wedding we were plotting the episodes. Suggesting storylines was a great way of passive aggressively bringing up how we were feeling for example… ‘Harriet is feeling trapped.’

The series has been described by Vice as a ‘reality sitcom’, so what can we expect from the show?

So it’s our real lives, our real home, our real friends (quite a few comedians pop up) and family that are in the scenes as well as members of the public that we roped in. We’ve based the stories on our real life arguments and feelings but the episodes are structured and have jokes.

A preview for Bobby & Harriet Get Married shows a picture of you, in your wedding dress, with Bobby, in an oxygen mask in what looks like the back of an ambulance. First of all, WTF?! And second of all, are you okay now?

Ha ha, I’m fine thank you, Sam. We checked in at the airport on our way to our honeymoon (after we did or did not get married…) and sat down to have a nice relaxing meal at Heathrow after all the craziness, and I went into anaphylactic shock from a raw snap pea (I am allergic to raw fruit and vegetables while also a vegetarian) so we missed our flight and Bobby’s luggage went missing.

Harriet Kemsley (Photo: BBC)

You’re performing your new show Bad At Doing from the Ed Fringe, what can Fringe-goers expect from the show and why would they be a complete numpty to miss it?

It’s about me being rubbish at so many aspects of life and I’m really proud of it. I feel like I’m getting better as a stand-up and the TV show has really helped me to be in the moment and be myself.

Both you and Bobby have a show up at the Fringe this year (Bobby Mair: Loudly Insecure). Your shows have, of course, always been unique, but do you ever write together and if so will we perhaps see a collaborative piece of work from you both down the line?

Ha, no I don’t think we’re ever going to be a double act, that would be horrible. We’ve written together before as we both know each other’s voices really well and we’ve worked surprisingly well together on the series although poor Stu sometimes has to referee…

Finally, both you and Bobby have been very open about your relationship in stand-up shows and have gone very in-depth about certain issues in front of big audiences. How does it feel to go that extra step and open the doors of your life and relationship to a TV audience?

I think it’s been really healthy to be honest about things in our relationship. Once you start being open about problems so many people come to you and tell you they’re having similar experiences. It’s yet to be seen whether the TV show is a step too far though…

‘Bobby & Harriet Get Married’ starts today (Wednesday 2 August) on Vice TV (Sky Channel 153) and if you happen to be up at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, you can go see Harriet’s latest show ‘Bad at Doing’ at Just The Tonic at The Caves, Edinburgh, every night from 3 – 27 August (bar Monday 14 Aug) at 9pm.

 Listen to The Sam Michael Show on Kennet Radio for free on Mixcloud.

 Follow Sam Michael on Twitter. 

Become a patron at Patreon!