Amy Winehouse’s funniest moments: from her rivalry with Dido, to fangirling over Beyoncé

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Though the late Amy Winehouse is rightfully remembered for her incredible music (as well as the cruelty and constant media intrusion she was subjected to in while the limelight) factual retrospectives that look back over her creative legacy and life often tend to omit one of her most distinctive qualities: her cracking sense of humour.

Admittedly, it does get more of a look-in during biopic Back to Black, but whether she was guesting on Noughties panel shows, being unapologetically herself while speaking to journalists, or stoking the flames of tongue-in-cheek grudges with her chart rivals, Winehouse’s wit was second to none. Here’s a look back at some of her best moments.

A unique take on Shakespeare

Winehouse appeared on telly long before her rise to fame as a singer-songwriter, and featured on Nineties comedy The Fast Show, in a recurring segment called ‘competitive dad’. The sketch sees a number of parents trying to continually out-do each other, using their children as clueless stooges. And a young Winehouse, a pupil at Sylvia Young Theatre School at the time, plays a deliberately lacklustre and half-arsed Titania in an amateur production of Midsummer Nights Dream.

‘You look fit, though’

Backstage at the 2008 Brit Awards, Denise Van Outen caught up with a slightly disgruntled Amy Winehouse as she came off stage, and asked her how she thought her performance went. When the singer seemed negative, Van Outen asked why she was being so self-critical. "It was a piece of shit,” the singer deadpanned, before looking the presenter up and down. “You look fit though!"

Her one-way beef with Dido

The Noughties singer Dido seems pretty harmless, doesn’t she? There’s nothing particularly offensive about her comfortingly beige, best-selling, down-tempo pop, right? Well, not according to Amy Winehouse, who loathed her chart rival, the queen of the coffee shop ballad.

While promoting Frank, she infamously eye-rolled at an unlucky interviewer as they fumbled their way through a question comparing the two artists; though Winehouse didn’t have a bad word to say about Dido, her face painted a totally different picture. And then, of course, there’s her iconic turn on Popworld in 2004. In the run-up to the Brit Awards she and Simon Amstell went on the campaign trail in north-west London (despite the fact the winners are chosen by an industry panel) and in a moment of rage, Winehouse pelts an apple at a Life For Rent billboard. “Don’t vote for Dido,” she screams into a megaphone as they drive around town. “Dido will kill you!”

Owing Doctor Who

Is there anything more brilliantly juvenile than shouting “your mum!” in response to literally any question? The childish staple of Inbetweeners-core British humour is often looked down upon by those who believe in devices like ‘comic timing’ or ‘satire’ but Winehouse knew much better than to buy into such highbrow snobbery. During a 2006 appearance on the panel show Friday Night Project, David Tennant ‒ who was playing Doctor Who at the time ‒ the actor was tasked with putting the following quiz question to his team mates: “What, or who, do I hold responsible for my sexual awakening.”

“Your mum!!!!” cackled Winehouse. The biggest injustice of all is that absolutely nobody laughed.

Having kittens

Winehouse was a regular fixture on the music panel show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, where she provided constant entertainment. When host Simon Amstell jokingly suggested that she collaborate with Katie Melua, she came straight back with her now famous retort: “I'd rather have cat Aids, thank you.” Best still, though, it this sound of Guess the Intro, in which her impersonation of a squalling electric guitar sounds like “an angry cat”.

”That’s what a guitar sounds like!” she protested when Phil Jupitus poked fun at her take on Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd. “It’s because I’m small!”

Fangirling Queen Bey

Despite her disdain for the likes of Dido and Katie Melua, she was a huge fan of one artist in particular; Beyoncé. At the Brit Awards 2004, the newly solo star performed Crazy in Love, and a reporter politely accosted Winehouse for a chat as she rushed to catch Bey live. She quickly excused herself, and in fairness, she had a decent reason. “I am really late!” she admitted. “I don’t wanna miss Beyoncé!”