Lynne Parker
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As an award winning producer, Lynne has combined her interests in entertainment and charity with her experience in media and marketing. She came up with the idea of Funny Women after years of working with entertainment, fashion, beauty and health brands largely aimed at a female market.

Originally trained as a journalist Lynne spent the first years of her career working in women’s magazines for publishing groups Nat Mags and IPC writing about fashion and beauty topics.

“If you’ve seen the film, the Devil Wears Prada, this gives you some idea of what I went through when I started my career!” explains Lynne. “I even knocked my teeth out when I worked on a particularly posh publication – I’m sure I was the inspiration for Ugly Betty!”

After editing a fashion trade magazine Lynne went on to set up a lingerie boutique where she gained even further insight into the psyche of women. “Your underwear says a lot about you,” she explains. “I learned so much from watching women purchasing their most intimate items of clothing. Very revealing.”

When Lynne sold the shop she began a new phase of her career in public relations and marketing along with stints as a TV presenter for cable television channel, Living. Lynne eventually set up her own PR consultancy and managed many successful promotional campaigns for well known brands like Asda, W H Smith, The Prince’s Trust, Thames Water, Hyundai Car UK, Pepe Jeans, Umbro, Nike, Avon, Almay, Innoxa and Yardley.

“Funny Women grew out of a creative idea for a client who went on to tell me that women aren't funny,” explains Lynne. ‘I am enjoying my 13th year of proving him wrong! I am proud to be the founder of the UK’s leading female comedy community.”

The first Funny Women event took place in 2002 and since then Lynne has produced 12 Funny Women Awards, numerous charity events, 11 runs of Funny Women at the world famous Edinburgh Fringe, and Funny Women runs shows and workshops all over the UK. Funny Women has also raised thousands of pounds and awareness for a range of female related causes and charities under the banner of ‘laughing about life to help and heal women’.

Funny Women has attracted sponsorship from major brands including Babycham, Lee Cooper, Sheilas’ Wheels, British Airways, Avon, Moschino, Nivea, Boots, RBS and NatWest. Funny Women has been working with Benefit Cosmetics for the last three years in a relationship that is expanding and developing the brand into new and exciting areas.

Lynne launched Funny Women into the business arena five years ago which offers a training and coaching programme for women based on stand up techniques to build self confidence and present with humour. This has proven to be a successful formula helping the women in both their professional and personal lives.

“I am passionate about giving women their voice and I’ve seen how learning to use humour helps women to become more assertive and confident. We started running comedy workshops for women alongside the Funny Women Awards and our business activity gives us the opportunity to extend these techniques to women from all walks of life.”

Lynne’s commitment to her works has been recognised with two prestigious Awards at the NatWest Ladies at E11even Business Awards. The first was the Inspirational Woman Award, for overcoming personal hurdles and challenges in business, and the second was the NatWest Award for outstanding business success.

Lynne was nominated as one of One Hundred Unseen Powerful Women ‘who change the world’ in recognition of her outstanding work in the area of arts and media. The list was created by the charity, One World Action to celebrate its work promoting women’s leadership around the world. She was also the recipient of the Women's Champion award in from the Achievers Academy for Women in 2012.

Lynne is married to composer and music producer, Richard Lightman, and has two grown up (ish) children, aged 26 and 22. She had a long association with the Certified Institute of Public Relations and was the president of Women in PR from 2001-2003. Lynne is an active member of Women in Journalism, Women in Film and TV, and a partner in the government’s Women’s Engagement Programme.

Lynne regularly appears on television and radio, writes and comments in national newspapers and is working on a book based on her experiences of working in comedy.

If you would like to speak to Lynne or find out more about the Funny Women Awards, Workshops or business events, please call 020 8948 4444 or email info@funnywomen.com . You can also visit www.funnywomen.com and www.lynneparker.co.uk.

Entries by Lynne Parker

Missing Pieces and New Horizons

(0) Comments | Posted 13 March 2015 | (17:43)

A little piece of me has evaporated. Two little pieces in fact. I have a new home which is occupied by two of us rather than four; there is a full fridge and no pile of shoes and coats in the hallway. I am in silent mourning for something that...

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Fat Isn't Funny - When Two Become One

(0) Comments | Posted 5 November 2014 | (15:29)

As I slid almost effortlessly into my size 12 jeans for the first time in several years, I felt a sense of achievement that matches some of my other notable life moments. This was closely followed by guilt - for conforming to the stereotypical norm that we have to be...

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Why I Am an Accidental Entrepreneur

(1) Comments | Posted 3 October 2014 | (19:35)

One of my favourite novels is the 'Accidental Tourist' by Anne Tyler - partly because I like the actual title and also because my mother's maiden name is Tyler, so it allows me the fantasy of being distantly related to Pulitzer nominated literary royalty. It also happens to be a...

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Acting up at The Poor School Can Make You 'Rich'

(0) Comments | Posted 21 July 2014 | (12:37)

Who would have thought that spending four days 'acting up' would be so enriching to your everyday life? Finding your inner toddler, putting yourself in a big pink bubble and humming loudly with a bunch of strangers might sound like I have finally lost the plot (I did this years...

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Improvise Your Way Through Life

(1) Comments | Posted 5 July 2014 | (00:00)

This Sunday, HuffPost UK celebrates its third birthday, and rather than ask for piles of presents, we asked some of our favourite bloggers to gift us with their three best pieces of advice. Here, founder and executive producer of Funny Women Lynne Parker shares hers...

I have been asked to...

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The End of Innocence

(0) Comments | Posted 5 June 2014 | (17:30)

'Young Girl get out of mind' sung Gary Puckett. I was instantly transported back to 1968 as I listened to this song on the radio recently. I was 12 years old and still in that phase of life where I hero-worshipped my father who could still get away with playing...

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Even Up the Odds to Beat Everyday Sexism in Comedy

(1) Comments | Posted 27 April 2014 | (19:32)

I am still reeling from a story that we were discussing in the Funny Women office last week. A 19 year old novice stand-up comic of our acquaintance was recounting the experience of her first ever gig. She told us that she had been announced on stage by...

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The Beard: What Lies Beneath

(1) Comments | Posted 21 March 2014 | (16:56)

Is the rising popularity of the beard a reflection of men's role in society today? Like hemlines rising with the onset of votes for women, full on masculine facial hair is making its own break for freedom and has become a 21st century fashion statement. Short ones, long ones and...

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Women, Humour and Power - Review Celebrates International Women's Day

(0) Comments | Posted 4 March 2014 | (23:00)

As another International Women's Day (Saturday 8 March) approaches, a vast and diverse array of women's organisations, movements and charities are focused on getting their messages of equality and justice out to the world.

The day has extended into more of a week - my own company,...

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When 'Madness' Is Confused With Genius

(0) Comments | Posted 20 January 2014 | (13:37)

There has been a lot of mainstream print and social media coverage this last week because of the findings by researchers from the University of Oxford and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust who conducted a study amongst 523 comedians (404 men and 119 women) from the...

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A New Year of Female Comedy - the Ones to Watch

(1) Comments | Posted 12 January 2014 | (23:00)

I was as dismayed as the very funny Anna Keirle who commented on Facebook this week about another article bemoaning the 'lack of female comics'... Cough, splutter, indignant face (with several chins for emphasis) Just what planet do these journalists live on?

You only have to scan the...

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Live to Work or Work to Live? Thoughts on the Third Metric

(0) Comments | Posted 2 August 2013 | (00:00)

This is the question on my lips as I left the UK launch of HuffPost's 'The Third Metric' at BAFTA on Tuesday 30th July. Keynote speaker and founder of Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington, is questioning how we 'redefine success beyond money and power' by encouraging women...

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Are Men the Fairer Sex? Challenging Perceptions with Comedy

(1) Comments | Posted 6 June 2013 | (00:00)

In a moment of madness (and there are many in my line of work) I decided to take on the challenge thrown down to us after last year's Funny Women Challenge to celebrate our 10th Anniversary, where my company trained up 10 business women to perform stand up,...

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From Cambridge USA to Cambridge UK the Girls Are on Top

(0) Comments | Posted 26 April 2013 | (15:10)

We've come a way in female comedy. When I created Funny Women just over 10 years ago it was the 'single white female' of the comedy circuit. With the help of an experienced (male) comedy promoter, we encouraged and cajoled around 70 women to enter the first ever

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The Cool End of the Edge

(0) Comments | Posted 5 March 2013 | (19:33)

When do you stop being 'edgy'? Is there an age limit on the 'cool' franchise? Once you've past the threshold of 50, society is already preparing you for a cosy fire, fluffy slippers, daytime TV and the hot cocoa of retirement!

Every now and then something...

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Humour Is a Valuable Weapon in the Battle for Women's Rights

(2) Comments | Posted 19 February 2013 | (23:00)

On Thursday 7 March, the 'Eve' of International Women's Day, my company Funny Women will explore how women across the cultural and geographical divide are positioned in today's broader society and how, if at all, they use their innate humour to communicate effectively.

Our annual celebration is...

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Women and Power - Does it Work?

(0) Comments | Posted 12 February 2013 | (09:58)

What is power? What does it bring you? Is the means by which you attain your dreams, goals and ambitions? And does comedy or humour play it's part in the quest for power? Clearly it has some resonance with the good women of BBC Radio 4's flagship programme...

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A Year of Olympic Glory and a Few Laughs

(0) Comments | Posted 21 December 2012 | (10:06)

I have to confess to being a bit jaded about the Olympics. Now that they're trying to high jump them into our Christmas stockings, I'm wondering if it will ever stop!

Sorry to sound like a moaning Minnie but my personal Olympic journey was a sad one ending in...

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Are Women Selling Themselves Short in Business?

(3) Comments | Posted 21 November 2012 | (07:33)

Two weeks ago I was invited to attend the WE Connect Europe conference focusing on all matters of procurement. I confess to not really knowing the parameters of this subject and actually was quite surprised to find out how many of our larger institutions run special diversity programmes...

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Women Stand Up for Power With New List

(1) Comments | Posted 4 November 2012 | (23:00)

That bastion of female-ness, BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour, last week launched its search for the most powerful women in Britain. It seems that, such are the sensibilities and organisational abilities of women, that we need yet another list to prove how powerful we are!

This coincidentally in...

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