Ellie White: ‘I was told Fergie watched The Windsors and felt really guilty’

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what does princess beatrice Really feel? talking to the comedian Ellie Whitewho plays doe-eyed royale channel 4‘S windsor, I realize I’ve never actually heard Beatrice – or her sister Eugenie – speak. I ask my friends and colleagues: they don’t know either. “There’s a lot of footage of Harry and William and Charles and Camilla, but little of that,” says White, sitting on a stool in the middle of a Soho bar. “I think they keep themselves quite private.” She stops. “People loved their hotties at the royal wedding, but that was about it.”

If anything, the voice now associated with Beatrice is most likely concocted by White, a “Made in Chelsea stupid drool” laden with thick vocal fry. But windsor, which has been helming the firm since 2016, you’ll find comedy veteran Harry Enfield doing a pretty spot-on take on King Charles, but the mystery surrounding Beatrice has given White creative freedom since she first Had attended the party. Sitting opposite me in a pink fluffy jumper and black quilted jacket adorned with appliqués of flowers – something you can imagine Beatrice herself would wear when she’s off-duty – the 34-year-old to emphasize Curious that this is a show where there is no absurdity at all. “I’d often do one take and then the director would be like, ‘Can you make your voice sound funny 10 out of 15?'” White says. “It’s like limitless.”

White was “very, very new” to the industry when she first auditioned for the role in 2015, and recalled considering the script to be a joke (“I was like, ‘This can’t be a TV show, it’s too funny’). is a fool'” ). But windsor became a hit, White and fellow comic Celeste Dring solidified air-headed sisters Beatrice and Eugenie as fan-favorite characters. Now, seven years after it first aired, it’s back for a special to mark the coronation, and White is among some of the most exciting rising UK comedy stars. She is a close ally of the Demetriou siblings, having met Jamie at university. She often stole the scene as the scornful Katya in his show Staith Lets FlatsWhile Jamie’s sister Natasia has been White’s comedy partner on stage and screen for years, the pair continue their BBC Three sketch show Ellie and Natasia in 2022 to critical acclaim,

daughter of the former, born in oxford Independent Journalist Jim White, actor was raised like Chris Morris comedy brass eye And daily – shows that there is “a damning message here, really underneath” in the comedy. You can see why she was attracted to The Windsors, a show that mocks the royal family while acknowledging their precarious, often contradictory position in modern society. The coronation special begins with Prince William (Hugh Skinner) telling the Queen Consort (Hayden Gwynn): “You absolutely cannot wear the Kohinoor diamond. It’s an offensive reminder of privilege and empire.” Isn’t that the point of the whole coronation? Is it?” comes Camilla’s dumbfounded reply.

To Beatrice and Eugenie, windsor The special sees the pair struggling with their reduced roles in the monarchy and failing to make the coronation invitation list. Has playing Beatrice all these years made White more sympathetic to her? “God, it’s really tricky,” she says, “because now if I say no, I look like a complete sociopath. Yeah?” She shakes her head, mocking his answer. “Somebody told me once that Fergie had seen it and I felt really guilty because I was like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t want her to be upset by this.’ but I think [the show] Quite fond of… they probably know they’re going to be thrown on the bus at some point.

In terms of her feelings on the royal family, White stresses that she is “not necessarily completely anti-royal”, but mostly sees their antics as “good gossip”. Harry and Meghan’s departure from the monarchy has been “fascinating”, she says, largely because the couple seem to be “writing their own”. windsor plot “. In fact, White points out, the show included an arc the writers “predicted” “about Harry and Meghan leaving the royal family to live in America before they left”.

White with Celeste Dring as Beatrice and Eugenie

(Channel 4)

The Coronation Special had been filmed just a month earlier, with the cost-of-living crisis underpinning the episode. The uncomfortable contrast of staging a coronation (estimated to cost between £50m and £100m) at a time when people cannot afford to feed their children is made clear, but through sneaky silliness. When Rishi Sunak (to crashK Amit Shah) tells Charles that he should replace one of his staff members (an old man sleeping in a corner) on merit, Charles Seethes, “You want to talk about merit on the eve of my coronation?” How dare I anoint the king purely because my mother was queen, his father was king, and so on back to Willie the Conk! White enjoys doing this with his comedy as well. “I’m definitely always trying to make silly stuff that has that ‘Okay, there’s something weird going on here,'” she says. “It’s the best way to shine a light on things.”

White gets a lot of inspiration for her own sketch characters from mind-numbing reality TV (her current favorite is real housewives of beverly hills, “which is also quite dark to be honest”). “If I see a great comedy, I’m usually quite jealous instead of inspired, because I’m like, ‘I wish I’d written that,'” she says. “Whereas if I’m watching reality TV or documentaries, or real life things, I’m writing [things] Downstairs… I mean, it’s brain rot, but it’s brilliant.

Like many sketch comics before him, White, who debuted in comedy in 2012, has always enjoyed workshopping characters on stage. But despite spending more than a decade in the industry, she now rarely performs due to “frightening” of being on stage. I initially assume she is joking, but the strain in her eyes assures me that she is not joking. “It still really scares me,” she says, recalling being cast in a comedy play when she was 15 and how she spent four hours lying on her kitchen floor before every performance . “I always – always – wanted to be a comedian, but I felt very uncomfortable expressing that,” she says. “It’s a weird balance, when your brain is like, ‘Don’t go on stage,’ and then the other half is like, ‘But you want it. You want it.'”

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What White misses most about live performances is fiddling with Natasia, when she hasn’t done so for a while. “It’s amazing to be able to work with someone who you share a sense of humor with, who is also your friend with whom you get along great.” He suddenly realizes his sincerity. “Imagine if I start crying?” Still, she admits that Natasia may not be the best at taming stage fright. ,[Before shows], we would sit and just be like, ‘Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,’ even if there were five people in the audience. We were just ecstatic. I want a million belches. It was terrible.”

White with comedy partner Natasia Demetriou in ‘Aly & Natasia’

(BBC/NIT Television/Clare Haigh)

Edinburgh Fringe Comedy has been an integral part of White’s career, with White always being “really aware” of the “insane” costs associated with performing at major fringe venues. As a result, he always performed his shows at the free Fringe and never lost money. In 2023, the Fringe is at breaking point, costs are rising and ticket sales are in steep decline. “It’s happening everywhere,” explains White. “The prices are going up and it will just destroy the culture… It is very unaffordable. That’s just how things get cut off from certain people and it’s s***. It’s really ***. Does he think Fringe can survive? “I don’t know… it should survive, it’s such a nice place but I don’t know… humor, music and theatre, it’s sacrifice, left, right and centre.”

While Demetrius has gone on to success across the pond, White has always portrayed himself as based in the UK, “simply because I love British comedy and I always have”. “I want to try and make stuff,” she says. “But obviously if someone tells me to be in something I’ll be like, ‘Get me on the plane!’

I’m thinking of appealing windsor For American audiences, to feed their curiosity about the royals. “I think they’ll probably adopt it, although they may not get it … they may resent it,” White says. She hasn’t met any British royalists who hate the show. “I mean, it’s great that we can put out something that completely destroys the British monarchy, and then it gets so much support,” White says. “People are waving their flag for it, but still like the monarchy. I’d really like to meet someone who hates it because they’re actually a royalist.” She cringes at the idea. I will make me laugh.”

‘The Windsor Coronation Special’ airs Sunday 30 April at 9pm on Channel 4