Ronni Ancona is famous for her celebrity impressions on the long-running comedy sketch show, The Big Impression. But aside from making people chuckle (and Victoria Beckham seethe) Ronni is a proud mum to Lily, six, and Elsa, three.
Parentdish caught up with the busy comedienne to talk about how she's not the only 'funny' one in the family and how having children has changed her ...
Which celebrity do you enjoy impersonating the most?
The people I love to impersonate are sadly either dead or slightly off the radar, which is terrible isn't it! I love doing old film stars, especially obscure film stars but the problem is, nobody knows who they are! I'm actually friends with some of the people I enjoy impersonating, which can get interesting. I'm a friend of Ruby Wax and I once phoned her son and pretending to be her. I only slightly got away with it... I also love, love, love Lorraine Kelly as she's from my neck of the woods. (*does an excellent Lorraine accent)
You're brilliant at Victoria Beckham impressions. Any plans to include baby Harper Seven into your sketches?
Ah Victoria Beckham... It would be fun doing something with Victoria and her baby Henry VII, or Harper Ten, or whatever her name is, accidentally dirtying her Roland Mouret romper suit...
You're a mum to two daughters. Do they find you funny or are they too young to appreciate their mum's humour?
My girls are old enough to appreciate humour, the only problem is, they don't like my humour! Every time I try to be funny mummy, they say, "Mum stop being silly," so it kind of gets lost on them.
I did, Storytime on CBBC and they were so unimpressed, they made me switch it over! However, I thought my luck had changed recently after I voiced the Pet Squad cartoon. They LOVE IT. I thought they liked it because their mummy is on it but no... they love it because it's a cartoon.
They were totally disinterested that I play the main character. Maybe next time... Although they do like me putting on my 'silly' voice when reading their bedtime story, so there's still time to win them over.
Are your daughters showing any signs of following your footsteps down the comedy route?
My girls are very developed when it comes to their own humour. They're quite articulate with humour and comedy, like mini-comics. Although I'm pretty horrified with that.
Would you not want them to become comediennes?
No it's terrifying! I sound like a terrible mother and I do want them to do what they want to do. But at the same time, I'm like, "Come along darling, lets play lawyers! you're going to be a witness and I'll be the judge..."
Their father is a doctor and I'm tempted to put a stethoscope around their neck to convince them. It's their choice at the end of the day, but it's the precariousness and fickle nature of this business that I worry about and I don't wouldn't want them to go through that.
What's the funniest things your daughters have said or done?
Now Lily – she is extraordinary. I once had friends over for dinner. Nothing posh but there was quite an important person there at the time. She got out of bed, came downstairs, took a fork and took a mouthful of food that I'd cooked and said, "Mummy never cook that again," and walked back upstairs again! Such a character.'
Do you use things that happen in your family life and put them into sketches?
Every day I go, "This could give the Outnumbered show a run for their money," when something they do or say makes me laugh. For example, their grandfather died very recently and it was very sad. He had arranged to take them to a pantomime and my youngest said, "It's very sad. Yes. (paused for a second) But we will still be going to the pantomime won't we?" Their dad tried to explain that he's need to check with their grandma, to which they replied, "What's the problem? She's not dead."
You're behind the latest Kleenex Balsam Coldline campaign, where you provide comforting voices for Brits feeling ill - do you find it comforting being a mum?
I really do. In my business, there are so many ups and downs and you have a lot of rejection. I like the fundamental grounding children give you. You're not self-centred because all you care about is them. It's a primal, maternal instinct. It's quite liberating.
They also give you a sense of your priorities. You get upset about something and then one of your children will say, "I love you, Mummy" and you go, "You know what, that's what it is all about."
What comforts your children?
Other than chocolate biscuits... They are obsessed with their rabbits. Lily has a threadbare, grey and rather disgusting-looking rabbit and god forbid if he went missing. The youngest one has her own rabbit too, which I think is a reaction to her sister's comforter – as she recently went though a stage of wanting everything Lily has.'
Ronni is supporting the Kleenex Balsam Coldline, a dedicated hotline offering soothing words of sympathy from Ronni's take on some of Britain's most recognisable voices. Call the free phone Coldline on 0808 COLD FLU (0808 2653 358)