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Anne Roumanoff

Anne Roumanoff: Queen of French humour

By Marie Decreme

A date for your calendar: on 7 January, for the first, Anne Roumanoff will be at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. For the occasion, FranceinLondon paints a portrait of the French humourist who has been successful for nearly thirty years.

Her very first time in London… This is hard to believe when you know that the “lady in red” has been performing on the stage for twenty-seven years. Always as fresh as ever, each of her shows is a hit. “You learn on the job, and you improve over time; today, I really to build on the public’s response.”


Anne Roumanoff handles all topics perfectly and naturally, from

Anne Roumanoff
Anne Roumanoff © Ch.Lartige/CL2P/Prod

couples to teen drama, from gay marriage to the rise of the French far right… she always has something to say. “France is a country where we are allowed to express ourselves on many things”. No taboos, the comedian can laugh at everything. But “we have to be careful about what we say, today, lots of subjects have become touchy. Things can take on enormous proportions”, she explains. Well, it does not stop her from relishing performing, “even more than before!” That’s the thing about Anne Roumanoff, she enjoys the show just as much as you do: “I could not get bored on stage" she confides. Well, the audience could not either.

However, Anne’s early career was not that easy, “it was hard to break through.” At the age of 22, she made her first steps in Parisian cabarets, but there was enormous competition; “The trendsetters really liked Valérie Lemercier, Muriel Robin was very popular… It has not been easy to gain recognition as a humourist”. The boost came from the small screen. The young comedian regularly appeared in a programme on French channel France 3: “I had the chance to become famous pretty quickly by getting on TV”, she recalls. And the audience familiarised itself with her characters. For a long time, Anne Roumanoff has been the Bernadette she used to play in her show Completely Roumanoff, a “dope” with the southern accent. “People were actually surprised to find out that I was not stupid!” Definitely not: the artist studied at the prestigious university of Sciences Po, she graduated when she was 21. She was in the same year as Jean-François Copé, Arnaud Montebourg… How ironic it is to see that she teases both of them in her shows! But Anne could not have been one of them: “I admire the strength they have. I would not be able to bear all these treachery, these hard blows, I am way too sensitive! Politics is really

Anne Roumanoff's book

Yet she does not keep herself from talking about it; for the last ten years, the humourist has also become a political chronicler, a columnist out of the ordinary, when we only knew her jokes about pick-up techniques, marriage, baby-sitters… “People looked at me differently from then on.” And these changes are part of the job, “you always have to reinvent yourself, to renew yourself”, she explains. 

Anne Roumanoff never stops, she has a very busy schedule: the comedian juggles television, radio and the press with her chronicles… Last May, she even published a book, Normal 1er, roi des Français; “I am glad, because it is doing well!” The artist is a hard worker, very “perfectionist”.

For her show in London, Anne Roumanoff will attempt to make her sketches special: “I will try to speak English, I will make some allusions…” A few people are going to go on stage, it promises to be very funny, very interactive. Say no more, we will be there for sure! 

Test your luck to win two tickets (the draw will take place on 7 December).


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