Rosie Holt: Comedy has helped Britons through last five years of the Tories

Political satirist Rosie Holt has said comedy helped her and the public through “this particular incarnation of the Tory government” by giving people a much-needed laugh.

Holt shot to fame during the Covid-19 lockdown with her portrayal of a desperate and loyal Conservative, MP Rosie Holt, where she would splice clips of herself over news segments regarding the handling of the pandemic to poke fun at the Government’s response.

The 38-year-old actor, author and comedian, originally from Somerset, said the General Election campaign has so far been littered with “remarkable gaffs”, saying she took particular “enjoyment” from the moment Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he went without Sky TV as a child.

Holt also spoke of the ways in which comedy can be “cathartic” by poking fun at the current state of affairs, helping herself and others through the “frustration” they feel at the Government.

“This particular incarnation of the Tory government since Boris Johnson have been so ridiculous, I mean that’s what kick-started my career,” Holt told the PA news agency.

“Everybody, myself included, really needed some catharsis and they needed to laugh because they were so frustrated at what our Government was doing.

“I have some sympathy for Labour because I think they’ll get in and they’ll have quite a lot to do – I think the Government have left the country in a mess.

“I do think whoever is in charge should be held to account and I think comedy is a way of doing that and I think people just need to laugh at what’s going on.”

Holt also said comedy is a “worthy tool” in helping to raise awareness on certain political issues.

“I’m always wary about sounding worthy and going, ‘yeah, we hold the Government to account’ because I’m not sure how much a comedy sketch is going to change people’s minds,” she said.

“But I think it is a way of bringing awareness about certain issues and you can do that, so I think it is a worthy tool in society – how effective it is, I don’t know.”

Throughout her career, Holt has poked fun at several Conservative policies, from Brexit to the Rwanda plan, and highlighted the partygate scandal and the subsequent Sue Gray report as fertile comedic ground.

Rosie Holt looking at the camera wearing a light blue shirt
Rosie Holt said comedy is a ‘worthy tool’ in helping to raise awareness on certain political issues (Ben Bauer/PA)

“It’s always sad saying I enjoyed it because obviously it’s due to the misery they caused,” she said.

“But the Sue Gray report and partygate was a comedic gift that kept on giving.

“More and more things would come out, their refusal to admit any wrongdoing became increasingly ridiculous.”

Of the more recent blunders during the election campaign trail, Holt said: “So far, I think this election has been a weird mix of quite boring at times, because I feel as though everyone knows what is going to happen, but there have been some remarkable gaffs which have been quite astonishing.

General Election campaign 2024
Rosie Holt thinks Rishi Sunak has ‘no idea’ on how to connect with the public (Aaron Chown/PA)

“Rishi Sunak saying he had to forego Sky TV as a child was a highlight for me, I thought that was wonderful and I really enjoyed how it understandably spawned so many comic takes on social media.”

She added that Mr Sunak leaving D-Day commemorations in Normandy early was an “incredible gaff”.

“I thought that was extraordinary, I thought, ‘who is advising you?'” she said.

“It’s terrible he left early but there is this kind of thrill at seeing him mess up so much.”

On poking fun at a new prime minister, she said it would be “harder” should the Labour Party win, but not “impossible”, and said her character, MP Rosie Holt, could be seen on the opposite bench should the Tories lose the upcoming election.

“It’s hard to say until I know what’s going to happen but the good thing about MP Rosie Holt – and I mean good for comedy and good for me – is that I’m not sure she has any particular beliefs herself,” she said.

“She’s more of an empty vessel, she will regurgitate whatever she’s told to but it will all come out kind of wrong, so she’ll go where the power is, I think.”

On 20 June, Holt released her debut novel titled Why We Were Right: A Catalogue of Conservative Successes, which is written from the perspective of her character and seeks to explain that the moves made by the Conservatives over their last few years in power were intentional all along.