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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

Hinton Magazine Q&A : Jordan Gray

After 10 years in the music biz (and a memorable run on The Voice), Jordan Gray has suddenly become one of the UK’s most exciting and celebrated rising comics. Her new show Is It a Bird? brings together her love of superheroes, her strong Essex roots, and her life as a transgender woman in an hour of raucous comedy that resonates within and beyond the LGBTQIA+ community.

Although having only started in comedy in 2017, Jordan’s Comedy Central web series Transaction has just been acquired for TV development by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

In 2021, Diva Magazine named her one of the “Top 10 Game-changing Women in UK Media”. Under the stage name Tall Dark Friend, Jordan recorded and released 7 albums, touring Europe several times and racking up numerous awards for her work, including WINNER – Artist of the Decade: Panic Awards (2018), WINNER – Special Recognition Award, Best Original Song, Best Original Artist: National Entertainment Awards (2015-2018).

We were very excited to ask Jordan to guide us through the fabric of her show.

You love superheroes. What would you say is the best thing we can learn from superheroes?

Supes (and villains) tend to have very clear objectives. I suspect a lot of us could stand to crystallise our goals a little better and learn to pick a lane. Especially young creatives who want to do it all. Stick with what you're good at. If you can shoot fireballs, why are you dipping your toe in telekinesis?

If Essex was to have a local superhero, what would be the most Essex of superpowers?

I dunno...turning orange when angry? Is that a cheap gag? My fellow comic Ross McGrane likes to point out that Southend (Essex) has convinced the entire planet that it has the "World's Longest Pleasure Pier"... even though there's f*** all at the end of it. So maybe 'mind control'? Or just a 'superpowered gift of the gab'?

Do you feel you might have a superpower of your own?

You'd hope so, considering the amount of lasers I've had shot at my face. That said, I've heard the Pope say that transgender people are responsible for floods and earthquakes - so that surely counts?

You’ve said that, at some point, we all look in the mirror and we want to be different. Do you think this is the most surprisingly relatable thing that people can identify with in terms of your lived experience as a transgender woman?

It's amazing how relatable the transgender experience is. For example, as we get older, who hasn't looked down at their hands at least once and gone "... OMG are those MINE!?". Our minds and bodies are more disconnected than ever thanks to social media. Wanting to change is ingrained into our DNA. But so is a fear of it.

Your Comedy Central web series Transaction has just been acquired for TV development by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. You probably can’t talk too much about that yet, but we’d love the goss – is it moving forward?

It is! And it's a dream come true. Nick's gonna play my boss and even though I can't tell you what channel it'll be on, I can tell you that you probably have it. Fans of the shortform series will also be happy to know that the bulk of the core cast will be returning.

In 2021, Diva Magazine named you one of the “Top 10 Game-changing Women in UK Media”. In what way would you best love to be seen as game changing?

I'd love people to think of me as somebody who got her head down and DID the work. A lot of being creative is about talking and ideas but ideas are worthless unless you commit to them and get them done. Give them a skeleton and send them clattering into the world.

Jordan Gray: Is It A Bird?, Assembly George Square (The Box), 10.25pm, 3-28 August (not 17)


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