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Francesca Martinez (born 1978) is an award-winning Englishmarker stand-up comedian. She has toured internationally including sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Festival, the Melbourne Comedy Festival and the prestigious Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. She has recently completed a 33-date UK tour and two off-West End London runs at the Tricycle Theatre and the Hackney Empiremarker.

She has cerebral palsy but prefers to describe herself as "wobbly".


In 2003, she was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy.

She has organised charity shows featuring comedians such as Jo Brand, Johnny Vegas and Al Murray.

She has performed in many countries including Irelandmarker, South Africa, Canadamarker, Americamarker, where she gigged at Caroline's on Broadway, and at the 2008 World Economic Forum in Davosmarker, Switzerlandmarker, where she performed alongside Emma Thompson.

She is developing a feature documentary called What The Hell Is Normal?! which will see her travel around looking for a 'normal' person.

Francesca is also appearing in LIVEstock 2009, Friends of the Earth’s comedy and music event in support of the green campaign group’s Food Chain Campaign for planet-friendly farming.

Television and radio

Before becoming a stand-up, Martinez appeared in the BBC children's drama serial Grange Hill for several years, and has acted in other drama series such as Casualty.

She has also appeared as a guest on Frank Skinner's chat show, as a talking-head pundit, and in Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's comedy series Extras.

In 2009, she appeared on BBC Radio 4 stand-up comedy show, 4 Stands Up.Currently, she is working on a sitcom pilot which is being produced by the producer of Extras.

Olympics in China

In April 2008 she made global headlines when (live on Channel 4 News) she became the first Olympic Torch Bearer to pull out of the London relay in protest over China’s treatment of Tibet.


  1. BBC Radio 4 Programmes Archive |

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