Rachel Parris: Lockdown rules were 'skewed' as she remembers grieving alone in hospital

·3 min read
Rachel Parris and Marcus Brigstocke during filming for the Graham Norton Show, 2021. (PA Media on behalf of So TV/PA Wire)
Rachel Parris and Marcus Brigstocke during filming for the Graham Norton Show, 2021. (PA Media on behalf of So TV/PA Wire)

Comedian Rachel Parris has spoken out about the government's priorities being 'skewed' during the pandemic, when she was alone and grieving in hospital while pubs were open.

Speaking to Kate Thornton on White Wine Question Time, the 37-year-old talked about losing her baby at 21 weeks in the first months of the pandemic, and about how being a parent made her angrier, more emotional and more sympathetic, turning her 'dial up to 11'.

She described her husband, fellow comedian Marcus Brigstocke, as 'incredible' in supporting her through the tragedy and said he was there 'in every way he could be' by calling and FaceTiming her while she was in hospital.

"He was absolutely amazing," she said. "But it was the being kept apart. I [can't] help but look back on that time when I was losing the baby, when Marcus wasn't allowed to come and see me in hospital, was when the pubs were open.

"So people could go to the pub, but I wasn't allowed to have a partner be with me in my grief in the hospital. The priorities of what was happening, it just felt so skewed."

WATCH: Rachel Parris on motherhood, advice from strangers, and being a woman in comedy

She asked a nurse if an exception could be made once she found out the baby wouldn't survive, and then Brigstocke was allowed to the hospital. Parris also spoke in the episode about the amazing care she received from hospital staff who were specially trained for such scenarios.

Parris and Brigstocke now have a son, Billy, who was born in 2021.

She also compared it to the 'partygate' stories coming out now, around lockdown rules being broken in Whitehall, with the Met Police issuing more than 100 fines.

Rachel Parris takes part in the BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief Big Night In at London on April 23, 2020. (Comic Relief via Getty Images)
Rachel Parris takes part in the BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief Big Night In at London on April 23, 2020. (Comic Relief via Getty Images)

Parris said: "Everyone has a story around that time that is so emotional to them.

"And everyone knows what we were doing, and it just blows my mind that people would take the mick of those rules, when there were such big things happening."

Listen to the full episode to hear how a well-placed lie got Rachel her start in stand-up comedy and about collecting weird and wonderful advice from strangers

Thornton said that when she had her son, she found she reacted to things differently, and 'felt very strongly about things in a way I never had before'. She asked if Parris felt the same.

The comedian replied: "I think I feel more. I feel more about everything, I feel a little bit angrier and a little bit more emotional and more sympathetic to the people whose lives are affected by the decisions made by the government. It just sort of turns the dial up to 11."

Marcus Brigstocke and Rachel Parris attend the press night after party for
Marcus Brigstocke and Rachel Parris attend the press night after party for Fiddler On The Roof, 2018. (Getty Images)

She said particularly on issues such as free school meals, where campaigners including Marcus Rashford forced the government to U-turn on providing meals to eligible school children in the school holidays, and the ongoing refugee crisis.

Parris added: "To be absolutely clear, I'm not saying you have to be a parent to understand the plight of refugees, of course.

"But for me personally, I do feel like my own dial has certainly... I just feel angrier about it than before. And I was angry before."

If you've experience baby loss or want any support on the issues raised, you can visit the Sands website.

WATCH: Rachel Parris on getting her start in stand-up comedy

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