About Helen Arney
Science presenter, geek songstress and ‘Voice of an Angle’ Helen Arney has appeared on TV, Radio and in theatres across the world with her unique mix of stand-up, songs and science. You might have seen her explaining physics while riding a rollercoaster for BBC2 Coast, electrifying Sandi Toksvig on QI, singing the periodic table on Channel 4, smashing a wine glass with the power of her voice live on Blue Peter, hosting ‘Outrageous Acts Of Science’ on Discovery Channel, or touring with science comedy phenomenon Festival of the Spoken Nerd.
Their fire-filled shows ‘Full Frontal Nerdity‘ and ‘Just For Graphs‘ are out now on DVD and download, and last year saw the ‘resplendently geeky’ (The Times) trio record their latest show ‘You Can’t Polish A Nerd‘ and perform at the Royal Albert Hall with Robin Ince and Commander Chris Hadfield. The second series of their unique and truly ‘experimental’ comedy show ‘Domestic Science’ was first heard heard on BBC Radio 4, and is now available as an audiobook along with Series 1. You can also listen right now to Helen’s Radio 4 series ‘Did The Victorians Ruin The World?‘, written with sister Dr Kat Arney, and her selection of physicist and inventor Hertha Ayrton for the ‘Great Lives’ series. Helen’s voice also features in a new work by artist Yu-Chen Wang at Science Gallery London’s ‘Dark Matter‘ exhibition.
As an author, Helen has co-written the Spoken Nerd’s first illustrated book ‘The Element In The Room‘ with Steve Mould, published by Cassell. She has also filled several notebooks with rhymes for Uranus, none of which are printable here.
***** “Hugely entertaining, clever comedy at its best”
**** “Charming, witty, warm… great one-liners”
Thinking she’d left her scientific past behind after graduating in Physics from Imperial College, it wasn’t long before Helen found herself performing scientifically verified stand-up and songs, and presenting science programmes on TV and radio. Since then she’s performed everywhere from Hammersmith Apollo to CERN in Geneva, toured the UK in ‘Uncaged Monkeys’ with Robin Ince and Professor Brian Cox, and taken her own award-winning solo show ‘Voice of an Angle‘ to the Edinburgh Fringe, Cheltenham Science Festival and London’s Soho Theatre. Helen also creates comedy and science – sometimes together – for television, including BBC2 ‘Coast’, Comedy Central ‘Stewart Lee’s Alternative Comedy Experience’, Great Inventions, Channel 4 News and as a lead presenter in ‘Outrageous Acts Of Science’ on Discovery Channel. Helen is also one third of science comedy phenomenon Festival of the Spoken Nerd, whose three comedy specials ‘Full Frontal Nerdity’, ‘Just For Graphs’ and ‘You Can’t Polish A Nerd’ are out now on DVD and download. Her first book ‘The Element In The Room’ with Steve Mould is out now, you can hear the revisionist science history series she wrote with sister Dr Kat Arney ‘Did The Victorians Ruin The World?’ on BBC Radio 4.
**** “Lots of distinctive laughs… Classy stuff” — (Chortle)
***** “Hugely entertaining, clever comedy at its best” — (The Skinny)
“An all-round smartypants… the confidence and clarity of Arney’s performance is exceptional” — (The Telegraph)
**** “Charming, witty, warm… great one-liners” — (The List)
“Champion of musical whims” — (Bruce Dessau, Evening Standard)
TV, Live Presenting and Corporate Work
Helen presents science on TV and radio, including BBC2 Coast, Great Inventions, Outrageous Acts of Science on Discovery Channel and as one third of Festival of the Spoken Nerd. She hosts live events of every kind, from science-themed classical concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra to the annual international celebration of women in science and engineering, Ada Lovelace Day – Live! As a corporate entertainer, Helen has performed under a dinosaur for Europe’s science ministers, next to a Saturn V rocket in Huntsville, Alabama for ThinkerCon, on stage with Commander Chris Hadfield at the Royal Albert Hall and in Las Vegas for The Amaz!ng Meeting. She is also a regular feature at conferences and events for the United Nations, CERN, Google, British Science Association, WIRED, NIHR, Institute of Physics, National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics, Royal Institution, Royal Society of Chemistry, Lloyd’s Register Foundation, Natural History Museum and UCL.
As well as her solo shows and Festival of the Spoken Nerd, Helen performs sets at comedy clubs across the UK. She’s appeared at music festivals including Latitude, End Of The Road, Green Man, Greenbelt, Bestival and Secret Garden Party, and returns each year to science festivals in Brighton, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Cheltenham and the British Science Festival. She also curates science comedy nights everywhere from the Oxford Literary Festival and Royal Institution to Norwegian Science Week in Trondheim and Oslo and the National Astronomy Meeting.
Best Comedy Performer, Buxton Fringe 2012
Amused Moose Laughter Awards, semi-finalist 2012
Dave TV’s Top 10 stand-ups to see 2011
Funny Women, finalist 2010
“One to watch” Edinburgh Festivals 2010
Rising star of 2010, Spoonfed
Helen has a degree in Physics from Imperial College London and a Masters in Playwriting and Screenwriting from City University. Also a classically trained musician, she holds grade 8 in both piano and oboe. After graduating, Helen joined the start-up team that founded UK charity Teach First, recruiting some of the very first science and maths teachers to join their nationally successful graduate programme. She has also worked professionally as a tour guide at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
And, yes, Helen is the younger sister of Dr Kat Arney.