First aired on Q (10/12/12)
Caitlin Moran is probably tired of being described as "the U.K.'s answer to Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler, and Lena Dunham all rolled into one" (as Marie Claire magazine described her). It's true that Moran is just as funny — if not funnier — than each of the aforementioned women, but she's not the U.K.'s "answer" to anyone. The witty and fearless Moran is an original. The award-winning British columnist and author of the New York Times bestseller How To Be a Woman spoke with Jian Ghomeshi on Q recently about her latest book, Moranthology, a book of her pop culture columns, and riffed with him about everything from growing up working class to how much she loves Ghostbusters (because "bustin' makes you feel good," of course).
Moran is a busy lady, but she's one of those who never seems to stop. What fuels her? "Caffeine, alcohol and fear," she said. "I came from a very scrubby background with lots of kids and lots of chaos and lots of fear because we were on welfare." At 13, she started to work. And despite the success she's achieved, she's never lost that drive. "As I always say, if you want something done, ask a busy woman," she said. "The more you do, the more you can do. If you shave off things like sleep or any kind of social life, you really can fit quite a lot into 24 hours."
Moran credits her working-class background with her work ethic. "Britain's still very class-conscious...and the media is very much controlled by the middle and upper classes, so if you're that very rare working-class person who comes to be a journalist, you're aware that you're different to everybody else," she said. "If it goes wrong for anybody else, they can just move back in with their parents, or borrow some money, whereas I can't...there is no fallback position."
But she isn't bitter about that. "I like that," Moran continued. "That's why the working classes are superior to the middle classes. We just get things done, like the Industrial Revolution and the Beatles." And of course it helps that she loves what she does. "It's not like I'm stacking up dead bodies in a morgue. I simply sit there making jokes and occasionally going to fabulous parties."
Moran got her first journalism job at 16. Where did such literary facility come from? "I read a lot," she said. "We didn't go to school, we were taught at home...which meant we went to the library every single day and just read. I think once you've read a certain amount, it just leaks back out."