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Janey Godley: Jimmy Carr convinced me to keep touring after cancer diagnosis

Scottish comedian Janey Godley has said her friend Jimmy Carr played a key role in convincing her to continue her tour despite her terminal cancer diagnosis.

The stand-up and actress, 63, announced she was being treated for ovarian cancer in November 2021.

Godley, who found viral fame with her dubbed pastiches of former Scotland first minister Nicola Sturgeon’s coronavirus news briefings during the pandemic, initially cancelled all her upcoming shows – but later was convinced by Carr that she should get back on the road and embarked on her 2023 tour, Not Dead Yet.

She told ITV’s Lorraine: “The year before last, before I got into the tour, I was told that the cancer had come back.

“So, I decided to cancel the tour, and my mate Jimmy Carr said, ‘Is your mouth not working?’ I went, ‘Yeah, my mouth works’ and he said, ‘Well get back on tour.’

“And I thought, he’s right. What am I going to do? Sit in the house and draw wee cats?

“So I decided to go back on tour and that tour went great and I have just finished another tour all over England, and I am about to take the film on tour from March 16.”

She added: “I have so much on that I keep forgetting that I have a terminal diagnosis.”

Godley has also created a documentary about her experiences, entitled Janey, after she was encouraged by her daughter.

She said: “Yeah, she said, ‘If this is going to be the last big hurrah, why don’t we stick a camera in your face and get all this documented?’

“Because that tour was going to be the last tour. And of course, you know I didn’t go in time so I am still here. But, she wanted to document it.”

Discussing how her diagnosis affects her family, she said: “I’ve bought a car. I paid for everything outright as I don’t want them to be left with debt.

“When you’re facing these things you become good at financially trying to make everything secure.

“When my dad passed away, I had to take all his stuff. So I am getting rid of a lot of clothes, I am getting rid of a lot of old stuff – the charity shop loves me.

“And then I’m paring everything down and getting everything ready so that when I do go, it’s not such a big trauma. And I think this is something we should speak about.”

She added: “People say the weirdest things to you when you get a terminal diagnosis. You know, lots of people work all the way through it.

“When we see it in the movies, someone has cancer, goes bald and then dies. But in real life, there’s a bit in the middle.

“And people say things like, ‘I could get hit by a bus tomorrow’ and I am like, ‘Yeah well, I am being chased by a bus.’ Constantly. I am having to dodge the bus everyday. And it doesn’t feel like that, it just feels like I am living as best as I can.”

She continued: “I don’t want to get up and climb a mountain. Most days I just want to lie in my pants and listen to a good murder podcast.”