My 44 day career as a Liz Truss impersonator, by Camden Fringe standup Nerine Skinner

How a viral parody video created an odd codependency with the short-lived PM

Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Nerine Skinner gained thousands of social media followers overnight when she made a well-observed parody (as Liv Struss) that gained more views than the then wannabe Tory-leader’s own campaign video.

But just when it all seemed so promising… well, we all know what happened next. 

When did you realise you could do a good Liz Truss, and that it could prove a great act for at least a 5-year term, if not for life? 

I actually didn’t know who she was at first, and a friend sent me a video of her talking about cheese and I thought she was a comedian! My friends kept saying I had to do something on her, so I made a parody of her campaign video as a joke, and overnight I went viral. I’m not an impressionist, so I wasn’t doing a very good job at her voice at first. Then, because so many videos came out after that, I worried that I actually started to become her. I genuinely thought I could make a career out of this for a bit..

How did your act develop in the short time Liz was in charge? 

I think as I started to get more confident with my parody version of her that I started to take more risks and find more mannerisms and a clear voice. I also called my character Liv Struss as a way of separating myself a bit and then had more license to go further with her. I even created a parody music video to Usher’s ‘U-Turn’

What did you do on the day she has to resign – and how did you adapt afterwards? 

I was on a flight home from Greece with my boyfriend as we’d been away for my Birthday. We’d had the busiest holiday as Liz fired Kwasi, then talks of her resigning were brewing, so we were filming the whole week. Just before we took off home everyone was saying she’s resigned and immediately I knew. I was devasted – she’d taken my career too!

I look back now and it’s actually quite funny. I then tried to do parodies of other politicians to keep active. That was fun but odd, as I wasn’t a political person but became known for that, which was never my intention.

Why should audiences come to see this show? 

It’s full of different characters, both political and non-political. There are some songs and stand up, and it’s real fun. I wanted to create a show that has a narrative running through it, so this has heart, as well as a genuine question to answer; what do I do next in my career? It’s got some honest truth in there – as well as some nonsense.

What’s the funniest thing someone has said about your career path taking such a strange turn? 

I get a lot of people comparing everything I do to Liz Truss now. Any character I play, they think I’m her. But I’m not. And anyone that thinks that, well, that is a disgrace!

In 5 words, what should we expect from coming to see you at the Fringe? 

Silly, honest, energetic, interactive, Truss

Anything else we should know? 

It might be of interest that I went on Britain’s Got Talent last year with The Dots. We did really well and then that didn’t work out either, so there’s a theme.

Camden Fringe 2023 //  See The Rise & Fall of Nerine Skinner at Aces & Eights 9th-11th August.  Tickets and info here.

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