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Viv Groskop is a writer, broadcaster, speaker, and stand-up comedian. She has written extensively on arts and culture for the Guardian and Observer for the past 15 years as well as for the Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent and Financial Times. She appears regularly on television (Sky News, BBC Breakfast) and is a frequent guest on BBC Radio 4 on Saturday Review, Front Row, Woman’s Hour, Any Questions and Quote Unquote. She’s the Artistic Director of the Independent Bath Literature Festival and Red magazine’s literary editor.
Viv took up stand-up comedy in her late thirties, reaching the finals of Funny Women and winning Spontaneity Shop’s Maestro Impro in 2012. The following year she published a bestselling critically-acclaimed memoir, I Laughed, I Cried (Orion), which turned into a five-star Edinburgh show (“absolutely hilarious” — Jennifer Saunders).
She has performed on bills with Sandi Toksvig, Mark Watson, Milton Jones, Tim Vine, Michael McIntyre and Stephen Fry.
She regularly hosts corporate events (Barclays, London College of Fashion, Intelligence Squared, Society of Authors, Mumsnet Academy, BritMums, 5X15, Editorial Intelligence) and is available to MC and chair debates. Viv has appeared at dozens of literary festivals as a solo performer, interviewer and panelist and is a regular judge on cult show Literary Death Match. Viv has been described as “crazy, clever, brave and kind” (Caroline Quentin), “a must-see, leaving you all warm and fuzzy inside” (Broadway Baby) and “frankly psychotic” (Mail on Sunday). Jo Brand says: “Viv is brilliant. But I still quite like Billy Connolly.”
2019 update: Viv’s new book How To Own The Room: Women And The Art of Brilliant Speaking is all about amazing women who are brilliant speakers. How to Own the Room is inspiring and practical, and aimed exclusively, with no apologies, at women. Believe it or not this is the very first book about public speaking focused solely on women!
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