Helen began her career in stand-up comedy at London’s famous Comedy Store, as part of the early 80s comedians including French & Saunders, Rik Mayall, Ade Edmonson and Harry Enfield. She wrote and performed her own material.
As a commissioned writer on BBC Radio she has written and starred in two series of ‘Life With Lederer’, ‘All Change’ (pick of the week BBC Radio 4) . She has also been presenter of ‘Home Truths’ panellist on ‘The News Quiz’, ‘Quote Unquote’, ‘Just A Minute’, ‘Say The Word, guest reviewer for ‘Kaleidoscope’, ‘Fourth Column’, ‘Booked’ as well as literary based radio programmes such as ‘Speaking Volumes’, ‘A Good Read’, ‘Open Book’ and ‘Great Lives’.
Her published books include ‘Coping with Helen Lederer’ (Angus and Robertson), ‘Single Minding’,(Hodder and Stoughton), ‘Girls Night Out’ and ‘Girls Night In’ (Harper Collins) as well as published short stories in the Saturday Express and the Mammouth Book of Best New Erotica. Her current pastiche comedy book ‘Be In The Now’ is being written to coincide with Helen’s theatre Tour of ‘Be In The Now’ next year. Her New TV Sitcom ‘Extra Time’ has just been optioned by Carnival. BBC Radio 2 commissioned her to write ‘Be In The Now’.
Helen was recently a judge for the Costa Book Awards, The Romantic Novelist Award and is one of three judges for the Orange Prize for female Fiction 2011.
Journalism: Helen was contributing editor for ‘Woman And Home Magazine’ with her own column and is currently the agony aunt for ‘My Weekly Magazine’ – has written for travel section (Mail On Sunday, The Independent) wine (Sunday Express), is monthly wine columnist for ‘Living South’ and has written reviews and features for ‘The Scotsman’, ‘Woman’s Weekly’, ‘Eve’, ‘She’ and ‘The Guardian’.
Television: Helen is possibly best known for her role as the dippy Catriona in all five series of ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ with Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, and as her creation The Girl at the Bar in ‘Naked Video’. She was Flossie in Ben Elton’s series ‘Happy Families’, Alison in two series of Children’s TV – ‘Pirates’, and the mother of six children in ‘I Hate This House’.
She has had guest roles in such programmes as ‘French And Saunders’, ‘Bottom’, ‘The Young Ones’, ‘Murder Most Horrid’, ‘Filthy Rich And Catflap’, ‘Girls On Top’, ‘Harry Enfield’s Television Programme’, ‘The New Statesman’, ‘Galton And Simpson’s Being Of Sound Mind’, ‘The Baldy Man’, ‘Jack And Jeremy’s Real Lives’, ‘Love Soup’ and ‘One Foot In The Grave’.
She has played more dramatic roles in ‘Casualty’, ‘Heartbeat’, ‘Mile High’, and the latest ‘Miss Marple’for ITV. Her feature films include ‘Fat Slags’, ‘Solitaire For Two’ and ‘Horrid Henry’ released this April 2011.
Theatre credits: include playing Bunny opposite Denis Quilley in John Guare’s ‘House of Blue Leaves’ at the Lilian Baylis Theatre, the title role in ‘Educating Rita’ with Julian Glober as Frank, the premieres of ‘Wake Up And Smell The Coffee’ and ‘Take A Chance On Me’ at the New End, John Mortimer’s ‘Full House’ and ‘The Hairless Diva’ at Watford Palace, and in the West End, Doreen in ‘Having A Ball’ at the Comedy Theatre, ‘The Vagina Monologues’ at the Arts Theatre and more recently ‘Calender Girls’ at the Noel Coward Theatre. Her one-woman show ‘Still Crazy’ was a sell out at the Edinburgh Festival and transferred to the Purcell Rooms, followed by a national tour concluding at the Donmar Warehouse. Helen’s stage show ‘Be In The Now’ premiered in July 2010 at The Jermyn Street Theatre London.
Helen has enjoyed reading most of Jacqueline Wilson’s award-winning children’s stories for BBC Audio including ‘The Worry Website’, ‘A Clean Break’ and ‘Lola Rose’. She has also recorded the ‘Adventures of Ms.Wiz’ and ‘My Naughty Little Sister’ and Roald Dahl’s ‘The Magic Finger’ among others.
She is an Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust, Aspire and UNICEF.
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