Ruby Wax booking
Ruby Wax, born Ruby Wachs on April 19, 1953, Evanston, Illinois is an American comedian who
made a career in the United Kingdom as part of the alternative comedy scene in the 1980s. She is the
daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors. She is married to television producer and director Ed Bye.
Originally she had been a straight actress, working at the Royal Shakespeare Company alongside
Juliet Stevenson. Her popularity in terms of comedy came from her interviewing skills in which she
was always forthright, brash and loud, conforming to the British stereotype of an American. Her
physical appearance matched this image, with red hair and blood-red lipstick. She cemented this
trademark image in 1985 when she starred as loud-mouthed American actress Shelley DuPont on the
British sitcom Girls On Top. According to a BBC Arena documentary narrated by Dawn French it was
Ruby’s role as backstage interviewer at the annual charity event The Secret Policeman’s Ball 1987
that finally launched her career.
Many of her early television shows involved her being put into a situation where she simply met and
interviewed people, mostly extraordinary members of the public (including a memorable visit to prebreakup Soviet Russia in which she first hated and then touchingly made friends with her female
translator, explaining, in ways that words can’t, the grim situation in the country at the time). More
recently she’s made a career from interviewing celebrities such as Imelda Marcos and Pamela
Anderson, where she again applies her interviewing style, often to jaw-dropping effect. Critics have
called her ‘abrasive’ or ‘vulgar’. She also makes many guest appearances in Absolutely Fabulous (for
which she is script editor) and other similar sitcoms.
In March 2003 Wax was one of the celebrity contestants on Comic Relief does Fame Academy, which
was a spin-off from the BBC’s Fame Academy with all proceeds donated to Comic Relief. Regardless
of the fact that she can’t really sing, Wax impressed viewers with her lively songs and successfully
made it to the final, taking runner-up position to Will Mellor. In September and October 2005 she
appeared as a celebrity contestant in Ant & Dec’s Gameshow Marathon, progressing through to Sale
of the Century before getting knocked out. In summer 2006, she was a celebrity showjumper in the
BBC’s Sport Relief event Only Fools on Horses.
In 2004, the BBC planned to show a cartoon series called Popetown. The series poked fun at the
Roman Catholic Church. In it, Wax was to portray the Pope as a spoilt child. After protests, the BBC
chose not to show the series. In February, 2004, Irish broadcaster Patricia Danaher reached an out of
court settlement with Wax who apologised after allegedly making slanderous comments. In November
2005, Wax was criticised by the Daily Mail columnist Richard Kay for opposing a proposed disabled
access ramp for the nearby Couper Collection charitable art gallery. UK Sunday newspaper The
Observer also reported the controversy.
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