Stuck in a Barn… Katy Brand

We catch up with the award-winning writer, comedian and actor to celebrate her appearance at Stroud Book Festival  this week – with her latest book “I Carried a Watermelon: Dirty Dancing and Me”, her brilliant take on how her life-long obsession with this 1987 movie has influenced her attitudes to just about everything.

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

My husband.  First of all, he would need to know where the hell I am.  And secondly he’s pretty handy with a saw…


2. You’re trying not to panic (thinking about all those people waiting to see you in your book signing queue) so whilst you try to get out – tell us why you wrote I Carried a Watermelon.

I loved Dirty Dancing as a teenager, and I watched it every day for 3 months when I was 12, until it was confiscated for my own good.  But I have remained a life-long fan, and I watched it on my 40th Birthday this year.  It made me think more deeply about the film, and I realised there was a lot in it that was interesting and quite deep.  So I wrote the book as a kind of memoir about how Dirty Dancing has affected my life, and also a love-letter to the film itself.


3. Other than Hungry Eyes and Time of My Life – what songs are you singing to while away the time?

I love Cry to Me by Solomon Burke, and Love Man by Otis Redding.

4. What makes you laugh?

A dog on a skateboard.


5. Is there anything on TV now that you’d contemplate watching as much as Dirty Dancing

I loved Fleabag, like everyone did – series 2 had quite a profound effect on me. And i’m looking forward to the next series of The Crown.

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

A vodka martini with a twist.  Can’t beat one of those, or maybe two.  Three is dangerous though.


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

I love a good Ramen, with some pork and a nice strong broth and dashi.  I don’t mind where it comes from, as long as its made with care.

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

I love the area around Lechlade – a cosy pub with a fire and some nice rooms to collapse into after a good meal and a bottle of red wine.

8. What is your big life lesson (you could pass on to anyone) that you learnt from Baby?

Take every opportunity that comes your way – be fearless and don’t worry about making a fool of yourself.

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

I have always loved astronomy, and would like to buy myself a decent telescope at some point.  I’d love to see Saturn for real (through the lens I mean – I don’t have time to go there in person at the moment).


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

A drink, a bit of telly, and an early night.  My wild days are on pause for the time being.  I plan to party again once I’m 60…

To book your tickets to see Katy at the Stroud Book Festival click here.

More from Melissa Ormiston