Lynne Parker
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Lynne has spent most of her career working with women and promoting women’s products and concepts. It was no surprise that she came up with the whole idea of Funny Women after years of working with entertainment brands, as well as many fashion, beauty and health products aimed at women.

As an award winning producer, Lynne combines her interest in the entertainment and charity worlds with her experience of women’s media and marketing to women.

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,” explains Lynne. ‘But I decided that this was one idea I had to keep for myself. I’m now the proud owner of one of the UK’s leading comedy brands.”

The first Funny Women event took place in 2002 and since then Lynne has produced nine Funny Women Awards, numerous charity events, eight successful runs of Funny Women at the world famous Edinburgh Fringe, and toured Funny Women Live around 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, the Londa Hotel in Cyprus, Avon, Moschino, Nivea, Boots, Grange Hotels and NatWest.

Lynne launched Funny Women in Business in 2010 which offers a training and coaching programme for women based on stand up techniques to improve self confidence and presentation skills in their professional 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 have been running comedy workshops for women alongside the Funny Women Awards for four years now 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 recently recognised as she picked up two prestigious Awards at the inaugural 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 also 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.

Lynne is married to composer and music producer, Richard Lightman, and they live in West London with their two children, aged 23 and 19. She is a member of 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, West End Women’s Institute, and a partner in the government’s new 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 with Funny Women.

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

Entries by Lynne Parker

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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Award and Reward

(0) Comments | Posted 23 September 2012 | (11:28)

A friend tweeted me to ask if I'd seen the latest edition of QI, the television panel show hosted by Stephen Fry. She said that I'd like it because the women had outnumbered the men for once.

As it happened, I had caught the last five minutes of the programme,...

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Can You Joke About Rape?

(9) Comments | Posted 1 September 2012 | (00:00)

After 10 years of working almost exclusively with female comics, I've heard jokes about most taboo topics including, you may be surprised to hear, rape. I was at the Edinburgh Fringe for the duration and, outside of our own female-centric activities, it seemed that misogyny abounded with an unusual amount...

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Fringe Benefits

(0) Comments | Posted 13 August 2012 | (11:50)

Ah, the Edinburgh Fringe... Like 'groundhog day' I'm back for the ninth year running, in my role as executive producer of Funny Women. This is the place where careers can be made or dreams shattered. The home of cultural 'battle' where comedy looms largest betwixt this historic city's seven protective...

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You've Got to be Mad to Work Here

(3) Comments | Posted 26 July 2012 | (10:36)

While people from the world of comedy are 'outing' themselves as depressives, I'm left wondering if this is doing the image of mental illness any good. Television programmes encouraging people to tell their work colleagues about their struggle with mental health are good in terms of raising awareness but aren't...

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Why Women Can Be the Worst Audiences for Female Comedy

(8) Comments | Posted 18 July 2012 | (00:00)

Despite 10 years of running Funny Women, it's not as easy to make other women laugh as it sounds! It's one thing to get women to perform; it's another whole exercise to convince other women that women are funny. We're caught up in a social vortex that insists men are...

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Can You Teach Funny?

(0) Comments | Posted 8 June 2012 | (14:24)

I believe that most of us have the ability to be funny. By funny I mean the ability to make other people laugh, smile or react with amusement. We are all born with it - that little bit of crazy which we have as kids but slowly leaves us as...

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Should Women Use Humour in the Boardroom?

(4) Comments | Posted 21 May 2012 | (13:05)

If a woman employs the direct, masculine approach to any sort of confrontation in business, in or out of the boardroom, she is more often or not described as 'aggressive' or 'bossy'. Men are more comfortable with a woman flirting her way out of a situation than confronting them.

...
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