Kate Garraway looks at the colourful life stories of Ruby Wax

Wednesday: Kate Garraway’s Life Stories (ITV1, 9pm)
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Back in September 2020, Good Morning Britain’s Kate Garraway and her co-host Alex Beresford were joined by comedian Ruby Wax and broadcaster Nina Myskow to discuss the amount of ‘bad news’ that was being reported on during the Covid crisis.

What followed was a heated debate, with Ruby explaining she felt the public needed to hear more good news, while Kate, whose husband Derek Draper was fighting the virus, arguing that people needed to know what was going on.

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Ruby said: “If people are terrified they don’t think straight,” before Kate hit back, saying: ”But the community also has to get this information,” she said.

Ruby Wax and Kate GarrawayRuby Wax and Kate Garraway
Ruby Wax and Kate Garraway

“You can’t stop people being frightened of a situation that is frightful.”

Alex eventually stepped in to diffuse the situation, suggesting: “I think Ruby means there should be a balance.”

“Yeah, balance, that’s all I want,” Ruby agreed.

It will be interesting to see if that slight disagreement crops up tonight, as Ruby becomes the latest star to join Kate and discuss her colourful life.

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With Ruby’s long and varied career as a comedian, performer and best-selling author, there is plenty for the pair to discuss during a brutally honest and gripping interview, including Wax’s BBC chat shows in which she interviewed the likes of Donald Trump, Imelda Marcos, Madonna and OJ Simpson.

They also chat about her various acting roles down the years including her guest appearances in Absolutely Fabulous, a programme on which she served as script editor.

Ruby reveals the strange, often savagely dysfunctional relationship she had with her parents Edward and Berthe Wachs growing up in America’s Midwest, and how she escaped the trauma of her childhood by running away to Glasgow and studying at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

She started her acting career at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, where she began a long-standing writing and directing partnership with Alan Rickman, before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company, working alongside Juliet Stevenson in Measure for Measure.

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In 1987, Wax was given her own comedy chat show, Don’t Miss Wax, on Channel 4, before beginning work with with the BBC on The Full Wax and Ruby Wax Meets…

For a long time now, Wax has been open about her struggles with bipolar disorder and depression.

In an episode of the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? in 2017, she revealed her great-grandmother and great-aunt had been committed to mental asylums in Brno and Vienna.

She has also made an online series on mental-health issues for the BBC and earlier this year made Ruby Wax: Cast Away, in which she experienced life alone on an isolated Madagascan island for 10 days in an epic study of solitude and mental fortitude.

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As well as her showbiz career, Ruby is also an exceptionally talented writer, and has had best sellers with her memoirs How Do You Want Me? and Sane New World.

In her 2020 book And Now For The Good News…: The Much-needed Tonic for Our Frazzled World, she examined living in a climate of fear, among other things.

But perhaps Garraway and Wax would be better off discussing and debating that another time.