Janey Godley on kicking the "I'm fine" compulsion & being proud to be gallus


My guest today is the “queen of Scottish comedy”, Janey Godley. Janey has played Broadway, won loads of awards and written a bestselling memoir, Handstands in The Dark about her grim childhood. But you might know her for the viral VoiceOver videos she did of Nicola Sturgeon during lockdown. (If you haven’t seen them, check out her twitter.)


Now Janey has turned her hand to fiction, with Nothing Left Unsaid, a moving but coffee-snortingly hilarious story of five single mums struggling to survive in 70s Glasgow. Think Big Little Lies set in 1970s Govan! I inhaled it in one sitting.


Last November, Janey was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer - and covid, on the same day. Ever since, in true Janey style, she has shared her ups and downs on social media, on a mission to make sure everyone knows more about the signs of ovarian cancer than she did. 


Janey joined me from her home in Glasgow not long after what was hopefully her last chemo to talk about the shock of ovarian cancer, writing a love letter to her mammy Annie and the wee warrior women she grew up with, feeling like a hand grenade in the family, how she finally kicked the compulsion to say “I’m fine”, not wearing a wig to make anyone else feel comfortable and why she’ll always be proud to be gallus.


You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including NOTHING LEFT UNSAID by Janey Godley, and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!


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The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.


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