Ariane Sherine

The perfect mismatch

“Is she really going out with him?’ asks the old Joe Jackson song about a mixed-attractiveness couple. ‘They say that looks don’t count for much — there goes your proof.’ High society used to abound with couples in which the woman was far more beautiful than the man. But while we can still point to

Five Go Back to Blyton

Six years ago, the publishers Hachette took the well-meaning yet preposterous step of making ‘sensitive text revisions’ to Enid Blyton’s classic Famous Five books. So ‘tinker’ was changed to ‘traveller’, ‘mother and father’ to ‘mum and dad’ and ‘awful swotter’ to ‘bookworm’. The suggestion that tomboy George needed ‘a good spanking’ became ‘a good talking

One long moanfest

Tama Janowitz’s memoir is a relentlessly cheerless and bitter collection of vignettes. Between tales of her purportedly miserly, creepy and emotionally manipulative father, who suggests that Janowitz enter a wet T-shirt contest aged 15, and her estranged and vicious brother, who tries to sue her despite he being rich and her virtually penniless, the Janowitz

The reason why women aren’t often funny

The Edinburgh Fringe festival is drawing to a close. Female comics including Bridget Christie, Jayde Adams, Zoe Coombs-Marr, Kate Lucas and Michelle Wolf have been receiving scores of five-star reviews. Coombs-Marr, Wolf and Adams are nominated for Edinburgh Comedy Awards this year, Sofie Hagen won Best Newcomer last year, and Bridget Christie won the main

Marriage for one

As far as the bride was concerned, the wedding was perfect. Her dress was beautiful, the vows were traditional and she changed her name after the ceremony. The clifftop scenery was breathtaking, the seven bridesmaids were encouraging and supportive: move over Princess Di. There was only one thing missing: the groom. Like a growing number

What a shower

The fact that we get sun when we expect hail and hail when we expect sun provides those of us who live in Britain with a handy subject to cover the most awkward of conversational lulls. The weather forms the backbone of our national discourse — perhaps because our own personal observations and doom-laden predictions

Why Theresa May must channel her inner comic

Going into her first PMQs as Prime Minister on Wednesday, Theresa May faced the same struggles as a female stand-up comic. Taking the reins in an overwhelmingly male world, as only the second ever female PM and the most visible of the 29 per cent of female MPs, it was imperative that she appeared confident

Left bereft

Dear Jeremy, Please don’t go. I know you’re even more unpopular than the England football team right now — your shadow cabinet is currently emptier than the promise of a weekly £350 million for the NHS. Every few seconds a disloyal minister sends you an insincere letter full of veiled enmity which might as well

Sorry, but so-called ‘racist’ jokes are funny

There is a massive stench of hypocrisy in public life. We do and say things in private that we would castigate others for doing in public, possibly the best example of this being jokes about race. Nearly all of us will have told a so-called racist joke in private that we ‘wouldn’t get away with’

Dating stinks

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Ariene Sherine and Cosmo Landesman discuss dating” startat=1244] Listen [/audioplayer] I am crouching with a tall paper bag over my head, with holes cut out for eyes, nose and mouth, while sniffing a stranger’s hairy armpit. All the faces around me are equally obscured by paper bags, and each is inhaling the scent