It’s a rag to riches tale that comedian Lucy Beaumont could have only dreamed about when she was working as a cleaner at Hull University.
But with her own comedy series currently riding high in the TV ratings, a posh converted farmhouse in a chi-chi boutique town, a daughter with a distinctly middle-class name, and even a parenting book coming out – it’s fair to say that Lucy is now a long way from home.
It’s no secret that the Hull-born comedian had a modest upbringing in Hessle, with a string of low-paid jobs from cleaning to pulling pints, and working on Asda’s meat counter.
Indeed, much of her comedy routine makes mention of her working class Hull background.
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But, as seen from her ‘mockumentary’ ‘Meet The Richardsons’, which is currently on its second series on comedy channel Dave, Lucy and her comedian husband Jon Richardson are now reaping the lucrative rewards of their success.
A glimpse into the last public accounts of the entertainment company they run as a couple shows a balance of £2.4m in the bank along with hundreds of thousands of pounds in additional assets. Lucy under her married name, and Jon are the only directors with the company which is listed at an address in London’s affluent West End.
Meet the Richardsons also features their luxury home, a detached farmhouse with views over the Calder Valley, complete with its own pub in the grounds. Similar converted properties in and around the trendy area of Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire fetch anywhere from £400,000 to £850,000. It is far cry from the terraces of Hessle.
The market town was recently dubbed “the greatest town in the world” and is famed for its cosmopolitan feel, with its independent boutique shops, rolling hills of the Calder Valley, and creatives who live and work there giving it an edgy feel.
Lucy and Jon – well know for his appearances on 8 Out of Ten Cats, and for successful stand-up tours – live with their daughter, Elsie, three, who is often featured in their show.
It’s been a huge hit for the channel, who said that the first series was their highest-rated launch for five years. The second series, which is currently being aired on Thursday nights, has been well-received by critics and a third series is already believed to be filming.
Guardian TV critic Rebecca Nicholson wrote of series two: “It makes for a zippy half-hour and – although it feels strange to say it is pleasurable, given the bickering – I happily cackled away for much of it. The idea of being so unnaturally familiar with your partner’s company that you start to wind them up for something to do feels relatable at this time. I can’t think why.”
The couple, who married in 2015, are clearly happy to put their relationship in the spotlight in the ‘mockumentary’ – although it’s unclear how much of it is scripted. Asked about how close to true life it is, Lucy once said: “All of it. Some of the storylines have been heightened for entertainment but it’s always real. It’s a bit like The Only Way is Essex.”
The partnership has proved a winning combination for the audience – and their production company, of which they are both listed as directors.
Appearing on ITV’s Lorraine earlier this year to discuss the return of the show, stand-in presented Cat Deeley asked the couple if they enjoyed filming the new series. Lucy, clearly joking, replied: “No, but we got paid quite well for it so that softened the blow a bit.”
Lucy now pokes fun at herself for her ascent from her working class beginnings. She recently tweeted: “Just gone for a sandwich and asked for olives in it, the shop went quiet, the lady slowly put down her butter knife and said like a gangster, ‘you don’t have olives in sandwiches.”
“What do you have them in?” It went quiet again. “You have them in little plastic pots.”
She also revealed that she now considers herself both working and middle class – as demonstrated recently after buying a bottle of organic red wine, she tripped on the way out of the shop, and saved the wine before herself.
She is a champion of working class actors and comedy actors, and how important it is for them to show their work online, on YouTube or blogs, and she got her own big break when she was a finalist in the 2011 So You Think You’re Funny annual stand-up competition.
She says she turned to comedy after studying drama at Hull University – the place she also ended up working as a cleaner when her first acting role fell through.
That job, however, may even have spurned her next big thing if the plot of her show is to be believed, and if she has indeed written a comedy ‘Wet Cloth, Dry Cloth’ – a sitcom about a bunch of cleaners working at a university campus in Hull. However, it’s currently not clear if that’s real or a scripted part of the plot.
Equally, the viewer was uncertain whether the staunchly left wing couple really were keen to send daughter Elsie to a £10,000-a-year local private prep school, as shown in episode two.
Jon says in the show: “As long as there’s air in my lungs, my daughter will not go to private school.”
But they’re later seen touring Rastrick Independent School and meeting the head.
With her own family’s finances and futures secure, Lucy has now become a supporter of campaigns to end child poverty. She was very vocal in her criticism of the Government’s free school meals given out during school closures in lockdown, which she condemned as ‘Dickensian’.
“I got free school meals as a child, they were hot and they were filling,” she tweeted at the time of the furore.
She is also behind the Backpack Buddies charity which provides free meals to vulnerable kids and families in poverty, launching a campaign and comedy festival in Hull in 2019 to raise money. She also helped launch a local branch in Calderdale near her new home.
The couple also lend their names to Calderdale’s Never Hungry Again campaign, which aims to end child hunger in the borough where they live.
It’s unclear what Lucy and Jon’s roles are, but the campaign says they’ve “pledged their support for Calderdale’s anti-poverty work and are championing the campaign.”
Lucy doesn’t hide her strong political views either, tweeting in February this year: “I wish people would leave off Matt Hancock, every time I’ve been in the middle of a crisis, I’ve always thought ‘how can my friends make a profit from this?’ referencing an associate of his being given a contract for producing Covid test vials.
But politics and Covid aside, 2021 is proving to be highly-successful for the pair.
With Jon’s 2020 stand-up tour now potentially re-scheduled to take place later this year, along with the publication of Lucy’s parenting book ‘Drinking Custard, Diary of a confused mum’ which is out this September, career-wise 2021 looks set to be one of their best ever years.