During her 14 years running a pub in Glasgow, Janey staged the first performances by comedian and magician Jerry Sadowitz. She later became a full-time stand-up herself, ran comedy clubs including Jesters in Glasgow and regularly compered at clubs in Glasgow, Manchester and Liverpool as well as regularly playing dates in the Netherlands and successfully playing to Scots & Irish crowds in Queens, New York City. For a time, she worked as an entertainment correspondent reporting from London, New York and New Zealand for former MP Edwina Currie's BBC Radio Five Live show Late Night Currie.
During Janey's tour of New Zealand, she won Best Show Concept and critical acclaim at Television New Zealand's TV2 International LAUGH! Festival. At the same year's New Zealand Comedy Guild Awards, she was nominated as Best International Guest and as Best Visiting Comedian.
At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, her show Caught in the Act of Being Myself was hotly debated by the Perrier Comedy Award panel. It was eventually barred for consideration (according to two members of the panel) when it was realised she was ad-libbing the entire 60-minute show and therefore she was not performing the same show every night.
Janey's non-humorous one-woman play The Point of Yes about Glasgow's heroin problem in the 1980s was also premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.
In April, she started writing her daily online blog, which continues today. In May, a BBC Radio 4 documentary series on relationships to which she contributed Stuck in The Middle won a gold at the Sony Radio Academy Awards. In June, she performed at the Glastonbury Festival, after being recommended by 'father of alternative comedy' Malcolm Hardee and became the first woman ever to compere the often unruly late show in the Cabaret Marquee.
Throughout August, she performed her new 60-minute stand-up show, hotly-tipped Perrier contender Good Godley!, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, winning 40 stars in reviews - said in press articles to be more than any other comedy show. In October, she appeared for a fortnight on the daily Channel 4/E4 reality show Kings of Comedy. In December, she performed Good Godley! at the Soho Theatre in the West End of London and contributed to Channel 4's four-hour The 100 Greatest Christmas Moments.
In June, her non-humorous autobiography Handstands in the Dark was published in the UK and Ireland. It was her first book and became the number 3 bestseller in Scotland. It told the story of her tough pre-showbiz life, her sexual abuse as a child between the ages of 5 and 13, the murder of her mother, Glasgow's heroin 'plague' of the 1980s and her troubled marriage amid a world of gangsters.
That same month, a new version of The Point of Yes was staged at the Soho Theatre and she again performed at Glastonbury. In August, she contributed to We're All Grown Ups Here, another radio documentary by Stuck in The Middle's Sony Award-winning producer Sara Conkey and she guested on the Radio Scotland football show Off The Ball. Her new stand-up show Janey Godley is Innocent was staged throughout August's Edinburgh Fringe. Other appearances included regular spots on BBC Radio 4 chat show Loose Ends both as interviewee and interviewer, an interview on hit BBC1 Scotland TV series Craig Hill's Out Tonight, a major profile/interview on award-winning Swedish TV Arts show Kobra and contributions to the BBC TV documentary Scunnered about the Scots dialect.
In December, she performed Janey Godley Is Innocent to 100 long-term prisoners (including lifers) inside Glenochil high security prison, Clackmannanshire... and an extended two-hour version of the show at the Cochrane Theatre in London's West End. Her book Handstands in the Dark was reprinted and was voted a 'Best Read of 2005' by listeners of BBC Radio 4's Open Book series.
In February, she performed at the Hackney Empire, London, in the star-studded five-hour Malcolm Hardee Memorial Show.
In March, her autobiography was again reprinted; she started a regular video blog and she performed Janey Godley - Unscripted! to a sell-out audience at the Glasgow Comedy Festival. She continued to be a regular on Loose Ends and on chat shows on various BBC channels.
In May, she performed Good Godley! at the ODDFELLOWS New Zealand International Comedy Festival in both Auckland and Wellington; she won the Spirit of The Festival Award and was nominated as Best International Comedian.
Throughout the soccer World Cup in June/July, Loose Ends carried weekly extracts from the Godley-scripted Nancy Dell 'Olio's Diary.
She performed her new 60-minute stand-up show Janey Godley's Blog - Live! (based on her award-winning online blog) at the Soho Theatre in June. At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, she performed three shows every day for over three weeks: Janey Godley's Blog - Live!, her one-woman play The Point of Yes and Janey Godley & Ashley Storrie's "Square Street", a comedy sketch show written and performed with her daughter.
August also saw her first appearance on the long-running BBC Radio 4 series Just a Minute and the paperback publication of her autobiography in the UK and Ireland. It became a Sunday Times top ten bestseller.
She was nominated as 'Scotswoman of the Year' in October and, in an open public vote, reached the final six shortlist and became runner-up. In December, she was nominated by the New Zealand Comedy Guild as Best International Guest of 2006.
At the end of the year, The List magazine included her at No 38 in their 'Hot 100' of "people who have made the biggest impact on cultural life in Scotland over the past 12 months" (a couple of spots behind Doctor Who David Tennant and ahead of the highly new Celtic manager Gordon Strachan!
In February, Janey was the special guest on BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live and appeared at the Aye Write Glasgow Book Festival.
In March, she began writing a weekly page in The Scotsman newspaper every Monday. She performed a new comedy show Janey Godley - Live! at the Glasgow Comedy Festival, was on the panel of BBC Radio Scotland public debate on Women & Humour and was interviewed by BBC Radio 4's The World Tonight about the upcoming Scottish Assembly elections and poverty in Scotland.
In April, she was a guest on BBC7's radio series Serious About Comedy and made one of her occasional appearances in Tim Shaw's Asylum shock jock show on Kerrang Radio.
In May, she performed her play The Point of Yes and her stand-up show Good Godley! off-Broadway at the Bleecker Street Theater in New York and Good Godley! in Belfast.
In June, she performed at her third consecutive Glastonbury Festival, during which she also performed on Radio 4's 4 in a Field and was interviewed in their two-part Jon Ronson On... Glastonbury.
In July, she guest starred on Radio Scotland's Queen Victoria Ate My Hamster and Radio 4's Saturday Live.
In August, she performed in two daily shows throughout the Edinburgh Fringe: Janey Godley - Tell It Like It Is! at the Pleasance Dome and Janey Godley's Chat Show at the new Green Room venue. Both received 5-star reviews. She also contributed to the BBC Scotland TV documentary 10 Reasons Why I Hate the Edinburgh Festival and Radio 4's Just a Minute.
In February, Janey received the annual Fringe Report Award as Best Performer on the London Fringe. In March, she won the annual Edinburgh WAG of the Year Award as best after dinner speaker. In April, readers of London's Time Out voted her No 3 in a poll to find the Top Ten Best Comedians. She performed her show Janey Godley - Tell It Like It Is! to acclaim at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival in May and Domestic Godley throughout the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, winning two Funny Women Fringe Awards - for Best Show and as Best Stand-Up as "funniest woman on the Fringe" and "one of the most prolific and extraordinary stand-up comedians working in the UK". In November, the New Zealand Comedy Guild nominated her as Best International Guest of 2008.
In January, she appeared as a psychic medium in the BBC1 TV drama series River City. She performed her show Domestic Godley to full houses at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival throughout May and her new show Godley's World at the Edinburgh Fringe throughout August. She appeared in two major Amnesty gigs in Edinburgh and Belfast in August and October. In December, the New Zealand Comedy Guild again nominated her as Best International Guest - she had also been nominated on her appearances in 2002, 2006 and 2008.
In 2012, by now a popular Tweeter, her live Twitter description of a couple's rapidly-deteriorating relationship on a train became a viral sensation and caused a media debate on personal privacy. At the Edinburgh Fringe in August, she staged a 5-star-winning one-off play #TimAndFreya based on the incident.
Janey ran comedy workshops at the 2001 London Comedy Festival.
After the 2003 Edinburgh Fringe, as well as continuing her stand-up work, Janey was commissioned by the Scottish Health Board and several local Scottish councils' social service departments to perform her play The Point of Yes to housing associations in 'problem areas', to drug forums around southern Scotland and to the inmates of Shotts Prison in Lanarkshire.
She was also commissioned by a Scottish Drug Forum to run comedy workshops for 15 -18 year olds and drama workshops for ex heroin addicts, using their own experiences as inspiration. At the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe, she ran a comedy industry workshop for British Actors' Equity Association. On International Women's Day 2006, she contributed to a Fighting Violence With Comedy event at the Cafe Royal in London. In 2004, 2006 and 2007, she ran Confidence in Kids comedy workshops in Glasgow.
In August 2007, one of her paintings was sold at Arthur Smith's award-winning Arturant exhibition at the Edinburgh Fringe. She donated the money to two charities: the Justice For Gordon Gentle campaign and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD UK). In October 2007, she auctioned off another painting in aid of The Samaritans and also became Patron of Glasgow's DRCAF (the Dumbarton Road Corridor Addiction Forum).
She has also worked unofficially in Scottish courts, advising women bringing abuse cases.