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Comedy Interviews

In this podcast, special guests pop round to visit parent, comedian and writer Athena Kugblenu


March 22, 2022

Message from Athena



This podcast is taking a break but I'll be back! You have lots of lovely episodes to enjoy again or listen to for the first time if you're new to the podcast. 

Thank you to all my lovely guests who have honoured me with some good chat over the past two years and I promise I have plenty more lined up for you so watch this space.


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Jimmy James Jones and his mate Karz came round to eat fried plantain and talk about depression. How can you talk about depression whilst partaking in one of life's greatest pleasures? How can you not? The Keeping Athena Company table is the perfect place to talk about career lows, embarrassment and being bad at decorating. This was one of the most surprising and wonderful conversations. It's full of honesty, humility and gratitude and I can't wait for you to hear it. 

Find Jimmy on your socials: @jimmyjamesjonesgram / @jimmyjamesjones

More on Jimmy:

Jimmy James Jones is a comedian, actor and star of ITV2's "Pranksterz" and "Sorry I didn't know" He was the host for two years of the infamous new act 'Night at the Comedy Cafe' in Shoreditch.

When still a seasoned performer in musical theatre, he ventured stand up comedy. He's been making people laugh since - supporting some of the biggest acts in the UK and was the resident host of one of London's most beloved venues, the Comedy Cafe.
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Canadian comedian and my old housemate Dana Alexander came to visit! An international headliner, podcaster, presenter and COOK (spelt in capital letter for a reason, this woman THROWS DOWN in the kitchen), we chat about how to deal with kids who say problematic things, why it's good to eat unhealthy stuff, gender, giving our parents grandchildren...a whole heap of stuff really.


I have a lot of time for Dana. And you know what the evidence of this is? She doesn't like plantain. But I still let her in my house :)

Find Dana on Instagram and Twitter with her handle @comediandana. Look out for her cooking tutorials which are mouthwatering and informative!



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In this episode I am joined by royalty, the Cockney Prince himself, Quincy the Comedian! We talk about vaccine hesitancy in the Black community, being in a dance crew in the 80s and what it's like to hear your first pub shooting as an eight year old. 

Quincy is a comedian, radio host, actor (catch him in In The Long Run on Sky) and promoter. One of the funniest comedians on the circuit, he's been bringing the funny for years  - a true comedy legend. A community champion, he's contributed to A Place for We, a collection of stories written by people connected to the Windrush Generation. 

Follow him on Instagram (@quincy_comedian) or Facebook @QuincyComedian

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In this episode I am joined by the irrepressible Ria Lina. As well as being a top notch comedian, Ria has a BSc in Experimental Pathology, an MSc in Forensic Science and a PhD in Virology. More degrees that you can shake a Polaroid picture at. She's a fab talker and our conversation covered more miles than Ellen MacArthur. From breastfeeding to the civil service to gender to the British education system to how they treat public servants in Singapore. And more. Enjoy.

More about Ria:

Ria is a comedian, writer and actor who has been seen on on shows like Mock The Week (BBC), Yesterday, Today and the Day Before (Comedy Central) and Unforgivable (Dave). At the time of publishing, she's the only pro Filipino comedian in the UK today and probably the only one with all those tasty degrees but that makes for an intelligent, considered and vital comedian and comedy writer.

She's got various scripted projects up her sleeve as well as more TV appearances to come. Keep up by following Ria on her socials:

Twitter: @rialina_

Instagram: @rialina_




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Alex Wheatle keeps my company in this episode. Yes, THE Alex Wheatle - author of countless novels, activist and subject of the Small Axe episode that told us we all need a Simian in our lives.

We talk about unlearning inferiority, putting on fake accents and how to get your first book published. 

This chat was as delicious as the plantain I finally got to feed someone with. Enjoy.

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I had a good natter with incredible soul and my comedy writing sound board, Amy Howerska. We chat about IUDs, pull the curtains back on panel shows destroying all magic in the process, and she shares the most wonderful, heart swelling reason behind her decision to get married. Enjoy!


Amy is a top lady who is a writer, comedian, producer, filmmaker and all sorts. Everything you need to know about her is here:




Follow her on instagram, dammit: https://www.instagram.com/howerska/

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This episode I am joined by the wonderful comedian Nico Yearwood. We chat about Barbados, procrastination, having pre school children and how to occupy them and living in a place where you can't buy plantain. Thoughts and prayers are with Nico at this difficult time.

More about Nico:

Nico is a comedian and MC who is prolific on Instagram and YouTube. He's the resident MC of Top Secret Comedy Club in London and you can find him via the handle @neeksman on Instagram and Twitter. I highly recommend you do this - he is a comedy king.

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Another MICRO edition of Keeping Athena Company! I had a short and sweet catch up with the unstoppable Verona Rose who is currently hosting her own show on ITV2! It's called Secret Crush, it's on weekdays at 6pm and available on ITV Hub and I am giving you these details because Verona is iconic and I want the world to know if you don't know already!

You will also remember her from an earlier episode - yep, I seem to have run out of friends but don't worry, I am making new ones and there are some juicy conversations coming up I promise.

More about Verona:


Verona Rose is a comedy writer performer best known for BBC Three short comedy series Fully Blown (with comedy partner Donna Preston) based on two wannabe rappers ‘Starz’ and ‘GapC’ which was nominated for the Broadcast Digital Award 2020. She was most recently seen on new Sky show Dating No Filter and has also appeared on E4’s Pants of Fire, Channel 4’s Celebrity Come Dine with Me, 8 Out of 10 Cats and new ITV panel show Sorry I Didn’t Know. Verona will be next seen CBBC’s Horrible Histories.

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It's a very special MICRO episode of Keeping Athena Company, recorded during Library Laughs, a fundraiser for The Library of Africa and the African Diaspora held last month.

I "tricked" Ella into a quick chat about dating, pooping on boats and literary festivals in Somalialand.

Ella is comedian, broadcaster, explorer, writer, palaeontologist and probably loads more - she's prolific. Follow her on her socials and buy her book using the links below:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LittleMsFossil

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/littlemsfossil/

Book and other things: https://linktr.ee/littlemsfossil

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