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Too female, too black

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OPINION: Husband-and-wife comedians and commentators Jeremy Elwood and Michele A'Court give their views.

There are people who just have "funny bones". Robin Williams was like that; Joan Rivers, too. People who are effortlessly witty, wired differently from the rest of us. Pit them against other funny people, no one has a chance. Yet no one suggests they should be told a heart-breaking story or fed misery-inducing gin just before they take the stage, in order to level the playing field.

Some people are geniuses. There was a kid at my school who seemed to have been born understanding calculus. He won all the maths and science prizes, no matter how hard anyone else studied. There was no talk of giving him a "stupid pill" at exam time to make it fair on the rest of us.

There are poets and novelists who have perfect words falling out of their fingertips; singers who have the voice of an angel. "Gifts" we call them. Natural talent.

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