Comedian Ronni Ancona on being naughty in antenatal class and getting parenting wrong

Impressionist Ronni Ancona tells MFM how she's sure she’s doing it all wrong when it comes to parenting

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Ronni Ancona, best known for her comedy partnership with Alistair McGowan, loves playing with paint and drowning her two girls, Elsa, 4, and Lily, 6, with cuddles. Ronni’s sure her girls are up to something. In fact she’s pretty sure it’s some kind of ponzi scheme in the Cayman islands…

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MFM: How do you find juggling showbiz with being a mum?

RA: “At the risk of sounding like a pretentious celeb […] virtually impossible. I don’t like to miss things, as I’m freelance I’m around a lot of the time so they do notice when I’m not there. They’re both characters though with a well-developed sense of humour. My youngest – she’s definitely up to something. I’m sure she has a ponzi scheme in the Cayman Islands or something.”

MFM: Are your girls aware of what your job is?

RA: “Being in Pet Squad on CBBC was popular with my girls, I was the cat, but I think they’re more keen on the fact that it’s a cartoon rather than that their mum’s in it. My 4-year-old Elsa asked me to turn it over when I was on bedtime stories! I do love doing voices when I’m telling a story though – particularly old men! It must be a sign I’m getting older. My youngest doesn’t really like me doing the voices though.”

MFM: As a mum, what can’t you live without?

RA: “I love doing art with the girls. I don’t do much baking. If I try and cook I end up with mutant cupcakes that look like frizbees – the girls end up looking at me like, ‘Should we ice these now?!’”

MFM: Do your daughters have a favourite toy?

RA: “Their bunny rabbit is very popular – it’s pulled to smithereens. A comedian once mentioned that if a child’s favourite toy got lost all hell would break loose. That would happen if their rabbit got lost.”

MFM: Have you had any mummy mishaps?

RA: “I once walked out with my urm, you know what I mean, hanging out. People think they know who I am and go, ‘Oh look, it’s Nigella with her boob out!’ With your first child you try and do everything by the book, but it all kind of goes out the window with the second. My girls have me wrapped around their little finger already though!”

MFM: What kind of things did you hate to hear while you were pregnant?

RA: “My Gynecologist once said to me, ‘Don’t worry that your body will never be the same again’. While it’s true (my varicose veins look like a map of the M40), it’s not something I wanted to hear!” 

MFM: Do you choose your friends based on their parenting style?

RA: “I met great friends at some pre-natal classes. Our children have actually grown up together. We were the naughty girls in the classroom laughing every time someone said vagina! I think you do gravitate towards parents with similar approaches to parenting. If you gave a kid a choccy biscuit you wouldn’t want their mother suddenly running over saying ‘You’re going to poison my child, she only eats organic carrot sticks.’ I’m sure I’m doing it all wrong, I just drown them in cuddles.”

MFM: Do you want your girls to follow in your career footsteps?

RA: “Ultimately I want them to do what they want to do, but I hope they have a more stable career and don’t have to endure the rejection and precarious nature of the industry I’m in. You can’t dictate though, although I try…’Let’s play lawyers!’”

MFM: Are you ready for Christmas?

RA: “Don’t we need to get through Halloween first? No, I’m not thinking about Christmas. Should I be?!”

MFM: Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming work?

RA: “Well, obviously I’m a teenage girl with a dewy look, so I’m going to be Bella in a spoof of Twilight at Christmas. Lenny Henry is going to play Robert! The plus side is that I got to kiss a model who’s playing Jacob– he’s the only one who actually looks right for the part. I’m also working on some new stuff with Alistair…”

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Ronni is supporting the Kleenex Balsam Coldline, a dedicated hotline offering soothing words of sympathy from Ronni’s take on some of Britain’s most recognisable voices.  Call the free phone Coldline on 0808 COLD FLU (0808 2653 358)

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