London Hughes, Bobby Mair And Gráinne Maguire Say Comedy Would Be ‘Boring White Men’ Without Immigration

London Hughes, 27

Funny Women Awards winner and CITV presenter also known as ‘Miss London’

Tell us a joke about immigration.

My mum moved here from Jamaica when she was nine. She saw snow for the first time and thought someone was grating the moon.

What’s the funniest reason you’ve heard for why people immigrants shouldn’t come to this country?

Because Halal chicken is racist.

Tell us your story

I’m not an immigrant, but my mum was born in Jamaica. My mum and grandma lived in Jamaica whilst it was still being colonised by the British and they took that British mindset with them when they moved to the UK, so I’ve basically been brought up on traditional British values and jerk chicken.

What would your message be to those who say immigration challenges the British way of life?

Everything that makes us ‘British’ has been borrowed from other countries, from the Chinese tea we drink, to the Indian emeralds sitting in Queen Liz’s crown. Not sure how we can have the curry as our national dish and still want to kick out all immigrants.

Is immigration a good subject for comedy?

It’s a great subject, it provokes a reaction and makes people think. I like my comedy to challenge perceptions and stereotypes. I also talk about topics we can all relate to regardless of skin colour or cultural background. Comedy can approach a serious issue like immigration in a non-threatening way, poke fun of it and twist it on its head until we’re all ok with it and letting everybody in.

It comes up a bit when I talk about race in my stand-up. I was brought up in Brighton which at the time was a predominantly white area, I was the only black person in my school, I was the only black person in my area! Well, apart from Countdown Dave – the first black man on Countdown, he lived down the street. But growing up in that kind of environment was tricky, and hilarious, and I have more than a few jokes about it.

What effect has immigration had on British comedy?

There’d be no diversity, no new stories, comedy would literally just be English white guys, in a room talking about being English and white.

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