Lynne Parker
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 . You can also visit and

Entries by Lynne Parker

Remain of the Days - Why Brexit Broke My Heart

(0) Comments | Posted 27 June 2016 | (21:30)

My remaining days as a European are sadly numbered. I have just spent the last week away on business in Italy and Germany as a guilt-free Europhile. I was still in Germany when the EU Referendum results were announced and at breakfast in my hotel I felt like I had...

Read Post

Comedy Is a Serious Business

(0) Comments | Posted 7 March 2016 | (12:29)

A couple of weeks ago I bumped into a married couple who I know from my PR days at a comedy gig and was asked by the husband if I was still doing 'that comedy thing'. The oddness of this, quite apart from the dismissive tone of his question, is...

Read Post

Hipster Replacement

(0) Comments | Posted 3 October 2015 | (11:55)

In the last few weeks I've been to Hoxton, at least twice, bought trainers and a lightweight high-performance puffa jacket, adjudicated two short film awards and harvested enough menopausal facial hair to constitute the makings of a fine beard. Do I qualify as a 'hipster'? In fact, what is a...

Read Post

What TED Taught Me About Myself

(0) Comments | Posted 12 June 2015 | (15:23)

Despite the fact that I work in comedy and have a previously illustrious career in marketing and public relations I am, like a lot of people, desperately insecure about speaking in public. I must emphasise 'insecure' because this is key. This fact threatened my enjoyment of delivering a talk for...

Read Post

Why All Women Line-Ups Are Still a 'Big Deal'

(1) Comments | Posted 8 May 2015 | (12:43)

When I produced my first ever Funny Women all-female comedy event in 2002 I was aware that I was following in the footsteps of comedy greats like Sandi Toksvig, Josie Lawrence, French & Saunders and more who had performed and organised similar events at the world famous London Comedy Store...

Read Post

Women Making a Stand for Equal Political Power

(0) Comments | Posted 29 April 2015 | (14:34)

I would pitch the wit and chutzpah of SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon against any of her opposition, male or female, having seen her performance in the leadership debates running up to next week's General Election.

Hers is the most memorable stand of all - honest, no frills...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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,...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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,...

Read Post

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

Read Post