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 tour shows ‘Full Frontal Nerdity‘ and ‘Just For Graphs‘ are out now on DVD and download, and this year sees the ‘resplendently geeky’ (The Times) trio tour again and record their latest show ‘You Can’t Polish A Nerd‘. The second series of their unique and truly ‘experimental’ comedy show ‘Domestic Science’ could be heard on BBC Radio 4 earlier this year, and will be released along with Series 1 soon. You can listen right now to Helen’s Radio 4 series ‘Did The Victorians Ruin The World?‘, written with sister Dr Kat Arney and produced by Hat Trick, and her selection of physicist and inventor Hertha Ayrton for the ‘Great Lives’ series.
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 and London’s Soho Theatre. Helen presents science on stage and on television, including BBC2 ‘Coast’, Comedy Central ‘Stewart Lee’s Alternative Comedy Experience’, Channel 4 News, BBC Radio 4’s ‘Did The Victorians Ruin The World?’ 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 recent shows ‘Full Frontal Nerdity’ and ‘Just For Graphs’ are out now on DVD and download. Last year they toured again with new show ‘You Can’t Polish A Nerd’, released their first book ‘The Element In The Room’ and created a second series of experimental comedy series ‘Domestic Science’ for 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, 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, in Las Vegas for The Amaz!ng Meeting, for BBSRC, IOP, and at conferences including WIRED, NIHR, AIM, White Rose and International Women’s Day at 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. 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.