She has 7 million followers on video app TikTok and the BBC is pinning its hopes on her new female-led sketch show winning it teen viewers but Amelia Gething says she still encounters “cavemen” comments about women comedians.
The 20-year-old’s forthcoming BBC youth series The Amelia Gething Complex counters pre-conceived ideas about female comedians with its surreal Monty Python and League of Gentlemen style of humour.
The popularity of female-led and created hits such as BBC2’s Motherland, Lisa McGee’s Channel 4 comedy Derry Girls and Aisling Bea’s This Way Up is helping turn the tide for female comedy, which Gething hopes will ensure “frustrating” notions that women are not funny will die out.
“I still get so many comments unfortunately saying ‘women aren’t funny’…’get back into the kitchen’, it’s so cavemen…that people still have those ideas,” she says.
“I’m glad there is so much more female comedy on the rise currently because it’s needed as so many people have these cavemen ideas about the fact that women can’t be funny. It’s so untrue…it’s a bit frustrating as well, actually, especially being a female in comedy. But I think eventually, hopefully, it will die down – it’s much better than it used to be but it’s still kind of there still.”
Writer and actor Gething, who is inspired by Python and The Mighty Boosh, says her favourite kind of comedy is “random humour” and argues that films such as Bridesmaids have shown that different sorts of humour are not gender-specific.
“I love Bridesmaids; the bit where in the wedding dress shop [they get] food poisoning. I love it, it’s so funny … It’s a lot more real – girls do do that sort of thing.”
Gething started making videos with her younger brother on an old camera , then moved onto TikTok before graduating onto longer sketches on YouTube where she was spotted by the BBC.
She says that because of technology there are now “many different platforms to share so much comedy”.
“There are so many more opportunities to show your programme to get commissioned…it’s great the diversity of comedy [around].”
With the BBC now facing an existential crisis as it competes for younger viewers with tech giants such as Netflix and YouTube, according to regulator Ofcom, the corporation hopes that shows such as Gething’s will attract the next generation.
Gething thinks her new outlet will not be much of a departure for her fans, especially as the BBC’s bigger budget will mean more content for them: “I don’t think my audience will find it that different, I think they will enjoy it the same or even more … fingers crossed they will like it.”
“The BBC has grown and created so many great shows for young audiences”, she says adding that they, “will find good content if it’s out there.”
The Amelia Gething Complex, which is available on BBC iPlayer before going out on BBC Two later this year, is based in a flat and features actors Jasmin Hinds and Natalia Hinds as Amelia’s best friends, as well as Alex Griffin-Griffiths as their unusual neighbour. The surreal series gently satirises other flatshare comedies such as Friends.
According to Gething entertainment is in her blood, with her family having the same “odd sense of humour”. She says that every person in her family is “some kind of performer”, including her granddad who is in a band dressed as the Grim Reaper.
Commenting on her similarity to actor Anne Hathaway, Gething says: “I’d love to do the sort of things she [Anne] does. I see comments every single day saying has anyone ever told you you look like Anne Hathaway, it’s so cool.”