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Swiss Cottage 88-year-old dubbed ‘Lady Joke’ by youngsters

Elizabeth-Ann Colville performed her first stand-up gig in her 80s

15 August, 2019 — By Samantha Booth

YOU’RE never too old to laugh.

One 88-year-old woman is living by that mantra as her jokes light up the faces of youngsters every week.

Elizabeth-Ann Colville, has been touchingly dubbed “Lady Joke” on her Swiss Cottage street by a group of children.

“I told them a joke I know and now they shout ‘joke, joke, joke’,” said Ms Colville, a former Observer journalist.

Her favourite one-liners include:

  • “Why did the hedgehog cross the road?” “Because he wanted to see his flat mate.”
  • “Why did the man with one hand cross the road?” “Because he wanted to go to second hand shop.”
  • “Why did the skeleton come to the office alone?” “Because he had no body to come with.”

Ms Colville said: “I told them every joke I know so I started asking the kids for jokes and they’ve told me one or two quite funny ones, [for example] ‘Why did the banana go to the doctor? He wasn’t peeling well’.”

She has recently performed in her first stand-up act at Kentish Town Community Centre, pictured below. Ms Colville has now been encouraged by staff at charity North London Cares, where she meets friends and enjoys activities, to put on another comedy show.

Of the gig at Kentish Town Community Centre, she said: “It was terrifying, I was shaking. It’s the only time I’ve done it.”

Ms Colville suggested the council should set up a “neighbour day” to help people get to know each other, adding: “I was on a bus last year and there was a grumpy-looking elderly man and I had just been to a thing at Age UK about men being isolated.

“So I sat next to him and I chatted. Instead of saying ‘shut up’ he said ‘you are the first person I’ve talked to in two weeks’.”

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