Hannah Gadsby Opens Up About Having Autism

Extended full interview available exclusively on 10 daily

It’s been an extraordinary last 12 months for Aussie comedian Hannah Gadsby, who’s become a global superstar off the back of her stand-up special Nanette.

As she revealed to Pete Helliar on The Project last year, she’s backed down from the statement she made in Nanette that she was quitting comedy, and she’s returned to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with a new sell-out show, Douglas.

Douglas is a show which builds on Nanette with another major revelation – that Hannah is living with autism.

“Yeah, living with autism… I never thought I could live with anybody,” she tells Pete in a new interview to screen on The Project tonight. “Turns out there's a diagnosis for that.”

Hannah tells Pete about the process that led to her receiving her diagnosis and how the stereotypes around autism tend to paint it as a condition which only males experience.

But once she was diagnosed, she said things started to fall into place.

“One of the biggest ones for me was I couldn't reconcile my, you know, there's a naivete to me and then there's also like I'm really intelligent you know, in some ways. I struggle to leave proof all the time, but I know I’m intelligent,” she laughs.

In trying to reconcile these sides, she says she became a “strong silent type”.

“I’m like Eeyore but inside I'm a bundle of Piglets. Since diagnosis I'm all embracing my Winnie the Pooh… that’s the best way I can put it.”

Hannah was yesterday named as ambassador for Yellow Ladybugs, an organisation supporting autistic girls and women. It runs regular social events for girls on the spectrum catering a wide range of interests and abilities.

Tonight on The Project, see how Hannah’s working with Yellow Ladybugs to break down the stereotypes around autism.

And check out the full 40 minute interview above, where Hannah talks about the stigma and diagnosis of autism, and explains why she deliberately didn’t address her autism within Nanette.