Unless you’ve given up social media for lent, chances are Rachel Parris has popped into your timeline recently.
The Leicester-born comic has been on the circuit for over a decade, performing sharp-witted musical comedy and improvising faux-Jane Austen novels as part of Austentatious.
But it’s Parris’s recent segments on ‘The Mash Report’ that have really rocketed her profile. Her topical how-to guides – presented in a smiley, no-nonsense fashion – have taken on subjects like sexual harassment, public apologies and, err, Piers Morgan. They’ve racked up millions of views online.
‘The day the first video went viral was insane,’ says Parris of her social success. ‘My phone sounded like a broken doorbell for a few hours.’
The first series of ‘The Mash Report’, which aired last year, was well received. But the recently broadcast second series made far more of an impact, especially for Parris. What changed? ‘The Mash team, and the Beeb, decided to give me more to say, essentially,’ she says. ‘We worked together to develop larger segments that were more pointed and political.’
Their work paid off. ‘The Mash Report’ will be back for another series, and Parris’s live shows are selling fast – a big tour is now on sale from September.
Unlike her ‘Mash Report’ slices, Parris’s live shows are packed with songs. But her new satirical status is a ‘useful challenge,’ she says. ‘It’s given me a push, and injecting more politics into my work is my new goal for this year. I'm enjoying it!’ Ben Williams