Nikki Osborne Moves Further And Further Away From 'Normal'

Nikki Osborne
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

Comedian, 'Just For Laughs – Uncut' host and upcoming 'Dancing With The Stars' cast member Nikki Osborne brings her internationally renowned show 'Spectrum' to our shores.

'Spectrum' arrives after a sold-out Edinburgh Fringe debut, as Nikki delves into the diverse experiences of family members on the autism spectrum. Nikki's edgy stand-up has gained her industry respect and acclaim, with invitations to perform at the Sydney Opera House for Just For Laughs two years running.

She's appeared on shows like 'Hughesy We Have A Problem', 'Celebrity Mastermind', and even as a competitor on 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!'. Look out for Nikki on screens once again. . . She's set to partake in the upcoming 'Dancing With The Stars' season.

Reviews have declared her live show 'Spectrum' to be a warm, joyous, loving, insightful and hilarious take on 'those touched with the 'tism'.

Nikki tells us more ahead of her runs in Perth, Sydney and Brisbane.

What are you giving audiences for comedy festival season this year?
A good laugh hopefully. I’m giving them the best show I’ve ever written. A show that isn’t really about me but rather about something much bigger, and way more interesting than myself.

Why did you want to put a show together with this particular subject matter?
I have so many autistic friends and family members that are hilarious that it’s impossible to not talk about it. There are some very panicked, terrified parents out there whose kids are being diagnosed and my show is just the tonic to calm the anxiety and bring some lightness and laughter back into their world. As I always say, “f... normal. It’s boring”.

Tell us a bit about your beginnings in comedy – was there a moment where you realised this is something you wanted to do?
I realised during drama school that I was funnier than I was 'good at acting'. The moment was when I somehow turned Juliet’s monologue into a teenage indecisive farce (much to my Director’s horror). When you read the script properly, it really is rather funny. 'Til the suicide bit. That’s a bit of a downer. Over the years, I pivoted from performing in sketch comedy, to writing and producing sketch comedy, to writing and performing stand-up.

If you had to name someone in the industry who inspires you most, who would it be and why?
Katherine Ryan and Ricky Gervais. Katherine is so sharp it hurts and Ricky, well, he takes risks and says what everyone is thinking but dare not say. He’s cancelled cancel culture.

What would you say is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your stand-up career thus far?
In 2018, when I first announced this show 'On The Spectrum', people petitioned to have the show shut down – before it had even begun – before anyone had even seen it. I was trolled relentlessly and they even called social services to remove my children from me. I ended up pulling the plug after eight shows to preserve my mental health. But I’m back!

You’re going to be a part of ‘Dancing With The Stars’ this year! How did that opportunity come about?!
I was sitting in a cafe and I got an email 'ping', and the email simply said “would you like to dance with the stars? If yes, call us back and then we’ll contact your manager”. It was an immediate 'yes'. There’s one thing I love more than dancing, and that’s sparkly dresses.

Is dancing something you ever envisioned yourself doing at this level?
I’d always wanted to do the show but I kept ending up with the wrong network at the wrong time. Finally, the stars aligned. God it was hard work though. Ten hours of training a day. I was like “oi! I’m used to doing one hour a night, this is going to kill me”! Then, during the second month I didn’t have a single day off! I’m still nursing the injuries. My dance partner was really brutal and pushed me beyond my limits. I bloody loved it.

What’s been the most rewarding thing about being part of it?
Unlike other reality shows, this show is a creative process as opposed to some nasty manipulative show. It’s pure entertainment. We are literally putting on a show. It helped that none of my fellow cast mates were assholes. Not one. Well done to Channel 7 for pulling off that miracle.

What’s next for you?!
I’m planning on taking 'Spectrum' overseas. I’m recording a TV special and I’m starting a YouTube series. Oh, and I’m trying to buy a house. Wish me luck! Comedian. Writer. Producer. National Columnist for News Corp. Soon to appear on 'Dancing With The Stars', 2024.

Nikki Osborne plays The Rechabite (Perth Comedy Festival) 10 May, Factory Theatre (Sydney Comedy Festival) 16-19 May, Brisbane Powerhouse (Brisbane Comedy Festival) 23-26 May.

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