Stuck in a Barn with… The Scummy Mummies: Ellie Gibson and Helen Thorn

The Scummy Mummies comedy duo host a fortnightly chat show for less-than-perfect parents and perform live shows around the UK. The podcast has been recommended by The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times and featured on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. ​

Following a busy day preparing for your 2019 shows, you’ve gone for a stroll, taken in the Cotswolds’ view and decided to have a little snooze in a comfy barn but when you wake up the door is jammed.

Eek what to do?  Answer our nosey questions of course:


So Helen and Ellie…..who would be the first person you’d want to ring once you’d realised the barn door is jammed?

H: Well, obviously Ellie! She always makes me laugh and she’s the type of person you would want to be in a war with!

E: What if we’re trapped in the barn together, though? This feels like a likely scenario, as we spend more time with each other than with our husbands. I’d ring the local off licence and ask them to bring a box of wine and a long straw that will stretch through the barn door keyhole.


You’re trying not to panic (thinking about all those people waiting to see you in the Sundial theatre) – tell us about Scummy Mummies, how you got into partnership and the best thing about it.

E: We met doing stand-up comedy and found we had loads in common, including the same midwife, who helped us give birth to our sons 11 days apart. We started doing our podcast, which evolved into the live show, and now here we are! The best thing for me is getting to have all these daft adventures with my best mate by my side.


What songs are you singing to while away the time?

H: Ohhh anything by ABBA – it never fails to cheer me up!

E: I love a bit of Steps, who are of course basically ABBA without all the beards and Swedish-ness.


What makes you laugh?

E: Helen! Even in the darkest situations (e.g. being locked in a barn), she can make me chuckle.

H: I do love a bloopers show! There’s something about watching other people fall over that always makes me laugh.

What are you planning on drinking as soon as you’re out?

E: I love a pint. None of your fancy craft ale nonsense. A nice cold pint of mass produced strong Continental lager.

H: Ohhhh… I do love Gin and Tonic. I will probably have about three of those.


What’s your first delicious item of food going to be in the when you’re free? Where will you get it from?

E: Steak. Super rare. Let’s just say the cows outside the barn may not be safe.

H: I would probably eat a whole wheel of Brie. No crackers needed.


Where would be your favourite place to stay in the Cotswolds, if you weren’t sleeping on a bale of hay?

H: I love Charlbury – we stayed there last year. The Bull is a great place to eat!

E: What she said! We also stopped at that pub after Wilderness last year for lunch, it was fab.


What tips would you give you any parent who feels like they’re failing?Other than inhaling lots of wine of course…

E: No parent is perfect all of the time. Or even most of the time.

H: Just remember to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all and embrace the mess and chaos. I like to blame the kids for the mess – when really I can’t be bothered to do any cleaning.

What are your immediate plans as soon as the barn door is open? Any hobbies you’re going to take up?

H: I have always fancied getting into tap dancing. I think our show could do with some tap numbers to jazz it up even more.

E: I second this but I would like to specialise in Irish dancing. I am a huge fan of Riverdance and it is my secret dream to dance alongside Michael Flatley.


What are the places in the Cotswolds that you’re keen to visit?

E: Cirencester and Chipping Norton! I can’t wait to see how scummy the audiences there are.

What are your plans once your show is over?  If you get out of that barn of course…

E: Our post-show tradition involves going for a lovely curry with lots of lager and poppadoms. I look forward to seeing how Cirencester’s and Chipping Norton’s curry joints compare with the rest of Britain’s…


The Scummy Mummies will be in the Cotswolds very soon:

CIRENCESTER – 9 February, Sundial Theatre, Tickets  £15.  Doors 7.30pm, Show 8pm.

CHIPPING NORTON, 29 March, The Theatre Chipping Norton, Doors 7.30pm, Show 8pm. Tickets £16.50

For other venues and dates in 2019 click here

The Scummy Mummies book is out NOW. You can buy it now from here. For our upcoming live show information – click here.


Ellie Gibson was born and raised in south-east London and is too lazy to leave. She is a wife, mother, veteran video games journalist and stand-up comedian, often all at the same time. She lives with her husband, Pete, their seven year-old son Charlie and four year-old Joe.

Twitter: @elliegibson


Helen Thorn originally hails from some tiny town in Australia straight out of A Country Practice, but has lived in the UK for many years. She is also a stand-up comedian and has been on telly and everything. Helen is married to the lovely Will, with whom she has two children – Matilda, aged ten, and Hugo, seven.

Twitter: @helen_thorn