Liam Rudden: Fingers crossed for Joan Rivers

Comedian Joan Rivers. Pic: Comp
Comedian Joan Rivers. Pic: Comp
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BITCHY, acerbic and with a withering wit, Joan Rivers has proved time and time again through the decades that humour doesn’t need to be gentle.

Like so many comedians, however, her barbed, on-stage persona was somewhat removed from the reality of Joan Alexandra Molinsky, to give the funny woman her real name.

I was genuinely sad to read that she had stopped breathing during an operation earlier this week. Fingers crossed for a full recovery.

I’ve interviewed Joan a number of times over the years, the first was on the phone, and I have to admit it was with a little trepidation.

I’d seen her on stage at the Festival Theatre a year or two before and she certainly took no prisoners that night.

So I was pleasantly surprised to pick up the phone to a very funny, chatty, charming lady, a million miles removed from the waspish response I’d expected my questions to receive.

Each time I see her in full flow, deriding Cher or whichever celebrity has attracted her ire, I remember that first call. How she had come across as strangely vulnerable.

That impression was reinforced when I finally met her at a party in London.

A few glasses of fizz later, a pal, who was PRing her show, suggested we all went along to her after-show party.

What struck me about the 81-year- old then was how fragile she looked, petite and bird-like yet larger than life at the same time.

Feisty and strong, she was the sun around which the whole room orbited. Hopefully, that strength will pull her through. Get well soon Joan, we need a good laugh.